Rogues Gallery
Rogues Gallery
27th Letter Productions
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 025: The Gremlin (The Twilight Zone)
On this episode, we're investigating three different versions of one of The Twilight Zone's most famous stories - Nightmare at 20,000 Feet. We take a closer look at the classic episode from the original series, the concluding segment of 1983's Twilight Zone: The Movie, and the unique spin the 2019 revival puts on the premise with Nightmare at 30,000 Feet. Topics include: the short story by Richard Matheson that the original episode was based on, why its most obvious shortcoming might be because of how closely it interprets that source material, the reason it's still the most successful version in terms of pacing, the manic energy of the 1983 adaptation, the pros and cons of the most recent version's reinvention, our favorite version of The Gremlin, why every revival of The Twilight Zone seems to struggle to recapture its spirit, and more! Facebook | Twitter | Instagram Apple Podcasts | Stitcher | Google Play | Spotify Chris' Instagram & Twitter | Kristen's Instagram Chris & Kristen's Web Series: The Strange Case of Lucy Chandler
Dec 1
1 hr 21 min
Case File 024: Leatherface (The Texas Chain Saw Massacre)
With Thanksgiving right around the corner for those of us here in the States, it felt like the right time to revisit one of the most famous family dinners in cinematic history. Pull up a chair and dig in as we open up a case file on Leatherface from 1974’s The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. Topics include: the unimaginable circumstances this low-budget film was assembled under, the controversy it caused upon its release, how it’s able to trick you into thinking you saw something so much more graphic than what’s actually on screen, the aspects of this that none of the other entries in this franchise have been able to capture, where the series goes from here, and more! Facebook | Twitter | Instagram Apple Podcasts | Stitcher | Google Play | Spotify Chris' Instagram & Twitter | Kristen's Instagram Chris & Kristen's Web Series: The Strange Case of Lucy Chandler
Nov 17
1 hr 25 min
Case File 023: Furiosa (Mad Max: Fury Road)
Oh what a day! What a lovely day! We’re taking a look at Mad Max: Fury Road and opening a case file on one of our favorite modern antiheroes: Imperator Furiosa. Topics include: the setbacks previous iterations of this film faced during its two decade journey to the big screen, why the finished version may have benefited from those delays, behind the scenes tension between cast and crew, what the film can teach us about world building and visual storytelling, how it compares to previous Mad Max films, whether or not there’s any merit to the argument that Furiosa overshadows our title character, how we feel about the recently announced spin-off, what we’d like to see in further sequels, and much more! Facebook | Twitter | Instagram Apple Podcasts | Stitcher | Google Play | Spotify Chris' Instagram & Twitter | Kristen's Instagram Chris & Kristen's Web Series: The Strange Case of Lucy Chandler Unnatural Situation by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/4567-unnatural-situation License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Nov 3
1 hr 21 min
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! Facebook | Twitter | Instagram Apple Podcasts | Stitcher | Google Play | Spotify Chris' Instagram & Twitter | Kristen's Instagram
Oct 20
1 hr 33 min
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! Facebook | Twitter | Instagram Apple Podcasts | Stitcher | Google Play | Spotify Chris' Instagram & Twitter | Kristen's Instagram
Oct 6
1 hr 30 min
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! Facebook | Twitter | Instagram Apple Podcasts | Stitcher | Google Play | Spotify Chris' Instagram & Twitter | Kristen's Instagram
Jun 30
1 hr 16 min
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! Facebook | Twitter | Instagram Apple Podcasts | Stitcher | Google Play | Spotify Chris' Instagram & Twitter | Kristen's Instagram
Jun 16
1 hr 39 min
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! Facebook | Twitter | Instagram Apple Podcasts | Stitcher | Google Play | Spotify Chris' Instagram & Twitter | Kristen's Instagram
Jun 2
1 hr 30 min
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! Facebook | Twitter | Instagram Apple Podcasts | Stitcher | Google Play | Spotify Chris' Instagram & Twitter | Kristen's Instagram
May 19
1 hr 35 min
Case File 016: Audrey II (Little Shop of Horrors)
The evolution of Little Shop of Horrors is not dissimilar from that of the killer plant at the center of it. It began life as a strange, little oddity - a quick, low-budget film that was shot in a couple of days by legendary B-movie producer Roger Corman. From those inauspicious beginnings, it transformed into a bigger and bolder off-Broadway musical. The success of that show paved the way for this more lavish feature film production, which firmly entrenched these characters (and songs) into popular culture. Although this adaptation is fairly faithful to the stage play, there are several important changes - including a major overhaul of the final act. What effect do those deviations have on the overall story? Is it possible the real problem wasn't actually the original ending? And what does all of that tell us about the direction the upcoming remake might take? We dig into all of those questions and more as we open up a case file on the mean green mother from outer space - Audrey II. Facebook | Twitter | Instagram Apple Podcasts | Stitcher | Google Play | Spotify Chris' Instagram & Twitter | Kristen's Instagram
Apr 21
1 hr 22 min
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