Grimoire
Cthulhu
Dracula
Abraham Lincoln
Ken
Grimoire

Archive for May, 2022

Episode 497: Edgelord Tarot

May 20th, 2022 | Robin

Beloved Patreon backer Ryan McClelland kicks of an all-request episode in the Gaming Hut, seeking advice on how to convincing players to treat former adversaries as questionable allies.

In the History Hut, estimable backer Derek Hiemforth has discovered that two doomed airships, the R101 and the Hindenburg, used the exact same Duralumin, and naturally asks us who cursed it.

Then it’s time for Ripped from the Headlines, as discerning backer Matthew Preston wants to know who’s in the lead-lined sarcophagus preventative archeologists just found buried under Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.

Finally, the Consulting Occultist tells curious backer Aaron Sapp, and by extension you, about his collection of Tarot card decks.

Want to pose a question to the show? Get your priority question asking access with your support for the KARTAS Patreon!

Our Patreon-backed Letterboxd list of all films mentioned on the show is now up and running.

Also check out the Goodreads list of books mentioned on the show.

Snag Ken and Robin merchandise at TeePublic.


Human problems are out of hand, so thank goodness, and Atlas Games, for Magical Kitties Save the Day, a fresh, fun roleplaying game for players of all ages, and for GMs from age 6 and up!

Score a blood-drenched special bonus from Pelgrane Press when you order the print edition Night’s Black Agents Dracula Dossier Director’s Handbook or any of its associated bundles. A new 50-page Cuttings PDF of deleted scenes and horrors that didn’t fit is now available for a limited time with the voucher code VAMP2021.

The treasures of Askfageln can be found at DriveThruRPG. Get all issues of FENIX since 2013 available in special English editions. Score metric oodles of Ken Hite gaming goodness, along with equally stellar pieces by Graeme Davis and Pete Nash. Warning: in English, not in Swedish. In English, not Swedish. While you’re at it, grab DICE and Freeway Warrior!

Delta Green Iconoclasts, a campaign of horrors modern and ancient, brings a team of Agents to a scene of horrors all too real: Mosul in 2016, held by the self-styled Islamic State in a reign of depraved brutality. From a small base at the Kirkuk airfield, the Agents must research the horrors to come and prepare for a harrowing infiltration. Terrors and new supplementary material await, now in PDF, hardback now in preorder.

Ken and Robin Consume Media: 60s LA, 80s Argentina, 30s Germany, and Classic SF Art

May 17th, 2022 | Robin

Ken and Robin Consume Media is brought to you by the discriminating and good-looking backers of the Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff Patreon. Each week we provide capsule reviews of the books, movies, TV seasons and more we cram into our hyper-analytical sensoriums. Join the Patreon to help pick the items we’ll talk about in greater depth on a little podcast segment we like to call Tell Me More.

The Pinnacle

Eve’s Hollywood (Nonfiction, Eve Babitz, 1972) Autobiographical essays of girlhood at late-50s Hollywood High and young adulthood in the heyday of the Sunset Strip assert an unsparing but wholehearted love for Los Angeles. Voice is everything in these sere, incisive gems of the memoirist’s art, never mind brushes with the Manson family or the time she introduced Dalí to Zappa.—RDL

Recommended

Azor (Film, Argentina/France/Switzerland, 2021) Uneasy Swiss banker (Fabrizio Rongione) travels to junta-era Argentina with his vigilant wife (Stephanie Cléau) to sort out business deals complicated by a colleague’s ambiguous disappearance. Handles the material of the political thriller with a hushed minimalism, wringing dread from anodyne surroundings.—RDL

Better Days (Film, China, Derek Tsang, 2019) Withdrawn girl (Zhou Dongyu)  targeted for vicious senior-year bullying seeks the aid of a street tough (Jackson Yee.) Intense performances from the young leads and the director’s urgent visual style lift this gritty crime drama above the po-faced declarations of Party propaganda inserted around its hard-hitting social critique.—RDL

Chroma: The Art of Alex Schomburg (Nonfiction, Jon Gustafson, 1986) Puerto Rican artist Schomburg began illustrating for Gernsback in 1925, drew covers for Golden Age superhero comics, and survived self-exile in Spokane to return as an SF art grand master. If there were another study of Schomburg, this one (which spends too many of its slim 108 pages describing potted history) might only be Good, but as the only survey of a near-forgotten master, it deserves Recommendation. –KH

Little Man, What Now? (Film, US, Frank Borzage, 1934) When his optimistic fiancée (Margaret Sullavan) gets pregnant, a young clerk’s (Douglass Montgomery) struggle to find a stable job in Depression-era Germany reaches a point of desperation. Borzage’s humanism overcomes Montgomery’s wooden ingenuism in this adaptation of Hans Fallada’s observational novel.—RDL

Okay

Crazy Samurai: 400 vs. 1 (Film, Japan, Shimomura Yuji, 2021) Disgraced Yoshioka clan seeks revenge on sword master Musashi (Tak Sakaguchi) by ambushing him with 400 samurai and ronin, setting up a one-take, 77-minute fight scene. Sadly, the cheapout production undermines the “killing is pointless” message the dull choreography hopefully intends. More like watching a really good gardener pull 400 weeds than anything else. –KH

Episode 496: Tonsils Not Included

May 13th, 2022 | Robin

Beloved Patreon backer Urchin Prince beckons us to the shiniest throne of the Gaming Hut to ask about boons the PCs’ patrons might give them.

The Architecture Hut faces cost overruns for its fiendish traps as estimable backer Tim Vert asks which famous architects we’d commission were we to build dungeons.

An odd shrimp smell lures us to the forest, and the Monster Hut, to discuss the shapeshifting tunda of Colombia and Ecuador.

Then we take a patented Ken’s Time Machine look at the Popish plot conspiracy hoax.

Want to pose a question to the show? Get your priority question asking access with your support for the KARTAS Patreon!

Our Patreon-backed Letterboxd list of all films mentioned on the show is now up and running.

Also check out the Goodreads list of books mentioned on the show.

Snag Ken and Robin merchandise at TeePublic.


Human problems are out of hand, so thank goodness, and Atlas Games, for Magical Kitties Save the Day, a fresh, fun roleplaying game for players of all ages, and for GMs from age 6 and up!

Score a blood-drenched special bonus from Pelgrane Press when you order the print edition Night’s Black Agents Dracula Dossier Director’s Handbook or any of its associated bundles. A new 50-page Cuttings PDF of deleted scenes and horrors that didn’t fit is now available for a limited time with the voucher code VAMP2021.

The treasures of Askfageln can be found at DriveThruRPG. Get all issues of FENIX since 2013 available in special English editions. Score metric oodles of Ken Hite gaming goodness, along with equally stellar pieces by Graeme Davis and Pete Nash. Warning: in English, not in Swedish. In English, not Swedish. While you’re at it, grab DICE and Freeway Warrior!

Delta Green: Black Sites collects terrifying Delta Green operations previously published only in PDF or in standalone paperback modules.  They lock bystanders and Agents alike in unlit rooms with the cosmic terrors of the unnatural. A 208 page hardback by masters of top secret mythos horror Dennis Detwiller, Adam Scott Glancy, Shane Ivey, and Caleb Stokes.

Ken and Robin Consume Media: Moon Knight, Picard, and a Javelin-Throwing Cary Grant

May 10th, 2022 | Robin

Ken and Robin Consume Media is brought to you by the discriminating and good-looking backers of the Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff Patreon. Each week we provide capsule reviews of the books, movies, TV seasons and more we cram into our hyper-analytical sensoriums. Join the Patreon to help pick the items we’ll talk about in greater depth on a little podcast segment we like to call Tell Me More.

Recommended

Blondie Johnson (Film, US, Ray Enright, 1933) Desperate for a break, an unemployed gal (Joan Blondell) uses her smarts to rise in the ranks as a gangster consigliere, keeping the less bright accomplice she loves (Chester Morris) at arm’s length. Peppy crime drama lightly gender-flips the Warners gangster structure.—RDL

This is the Night (Film, US, Frank Tuttle, 1932) To defuse the jealousies of his lover’s javelin-throwing husband (Cary Grant), a put-upon sophisticate (Roland Young) hires a desperate young woman (Lila Damita) to pose as his wife for the duration of a trip to Venice, Droll farce given further oomph by a scene-stealing Charles Ruggles as our hero’s enabler and rival.—RDL

Good

The Bandit (Film, Italy, Alberto Lattuada, 1946) With his old life shattered, a POW returned from Austria (Amedeo Nazzari) becomes the lover of a hard-bitten criminal (Anna Magnani), assembling a robbery gang from the ranks of her hangers-on. Combines the arc of the gangster film, the stark, expressionist visuals of film noir, and, unfortunately, the shameless sentimentality of neo-Realism.—RDL

Okay

Moon Knight Season 1 (Television, US, Disney+, Jeremy Slater, 2022) Meek Londoner Steven Grant (Oscar Isaac) discovers that he is also American mercenary Marc Spector, who is also the superhero Moon Knight and a servant of an Egyptian god, and that the god’s previous host (Ethan Hawke) has a plan to destroy the world’s potential sinners. Once again for MCU TV, a winning performance and characterization builds to a disappointing conclusion.—RDL

Picard Season 2 (Television, US, Paramount+, Terry Matalas, 2022) An encounter with strange new Borg prompts Q to send Jean-Luc (Patrick Stewart) and his newfound crew to 2024 to prevent the emergence of the darkest timeline. A freeway pile-up of colliding homages to iconic Trek episodes epitomizes the crisis of referentiality rippling across the geek franchise space—RDL

Ken has been consuming carnitas in Texas.

Episode 495: More of an Octagon

May 6th, 2022 | Robin

The Gaming Hut investigates the difference between problems that rules sets should set out to solve and mere conceptual issues that never come up in play.

The History Hut gets hairy as we reveal the secrets of the Chester Cat Hoax.

Umbrage is entertained in the Narrative Hut as beloved Patreon backer Benjamin Rawls seeks our support on the misuse of the term “allegory.”

And much mystery is found within three points as we enter the Eliptony Hut, at the urging of estimable backer Ed (Speaker in Digressions), for a look at the Bridgewater Triangle.

Want to pose a question to the show? Get your priority question asking access with your support for the KARTAS Patreon!

Our Patreon-backed Letterboxd list of all films mentioned on the show is now up and running.

Also check out the Goodreads list of books mentioned on the show.

Snag Ken and Robin merchandise at TeePublic.


Human problems are out of hand, so thank goodness, and Atlas Games, for Magical Kitties Save the Day, a fresh, fun roleplaying game for players of all ages, and for GMs from age 6 and up!

Score a blood-drenched special bonus from Pelgrane Press when you order the print edition Night’s Black Agents Dracula Dossier Director’s Handbook or any of its associated bundles. A new 50-page Cuttings PDF of deleted scenes and horrors that didn’t fit is now available for a limited time with the voucher code VAMP2021.

The treasures of Askfageln can be found at DriveThruRPG. Get all issues of FENIX since 2013 available in special English editions. Score metric oodles of Ken Hite gaming goodness, along with equally stellar pieces by Graeme Davis and Pete Nash. Warning: in English, not in Swedish. In English, not Swedish. While you’re at it, grab DICE and Freeway Warrior!

Delta Green: Black Sites collects terrifying Delta Green operations previously published only in PDF or in standalone paperback modules.  They lock bystanders and Agents alike in unlit rooms with the cosmic terrors of the unnatural. A 208 page hardback by masters of top secret mythos horror Dennis Detwiller, Adam Scott Glancy, Shane Ivey, and Caleb Stokes.

Ken and Robin Consume Media: Tokyo Vice, Slow Horses, and the Making of Ghostbusters

May 3rd, 2022 | Robin

Ken and Robin Consume Media is brought to you by the discriminating and good-looking backers of the Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff Patreon. Each week we provide capsule reviews of the books, movies, TV seasons and more we cram into our hyper-analytical sensoriums. Join the Patreon to help pick the items we’ll talk about in greater depth on a little podcast segment we like to call Tell Me More.

Recommended

Cleanin’ Up the Town: Remembering Ghostbusters (Film, UK, Anthony Bueno, 2019) Lots of talking heads – especially Harold Ramis, Dan Aykroyd, Sigourney Weaver, and Ivan Reitman – tell the story of the No. 1 film of 1984. Lots of focus on Richard Edlund’s team of SFX makers, and the joy expressed by everyone involved, compensates for the absence of Murray and Moranis. Not a cutting edge “making of” doc, but a justifiably proud film about people justifiably proud to have made a Pinnacle. –KH

Slow Horses Season 1 (Television, UK/US, Apple+, Will Smith, 2022) Sidelined to Slough House, the place MI5 careers go to die, an ambitious young agent (Jack Lowden) ignores the elaborate vituperations of his brilliant, slovenly new boss (Gary Oldman) for an investigation that entraps the department in a false flag scheme. Adaptation of the first in a series of novels by Mick Herron fuses overt le Carré homage with contemporary spy thrills. The result gives Oldman an unforgettable character to make an exquisite meal of, and that he surely does.—RDL

Tokyo Vice Season 1 (Television, US, HBO Max, J.T. Rogers, 2022) Naive gaijin (Ansel Elgort) becomes an oversized bull in a journalistic dishware department when he joins a Tokyo newspaper as a crime reporter, forging contacts with a principled maverick cop (Ken Watanabe), an ambitious club hostess (Rachel Keller), and a neophyte Yakuza (Shô Kasamatsu.) The grounding authenticity of Jake Adelstein’s nonfiction memoir and the energy imparted by the Michael Mann-directed pilot elevates this ensemble crime drama. I would have liked the season closer better had I known to expect a cliffhanger, so I’m telling you that now.—RDL

Okay

Murder at the Vanities (Film, US, Mitchell Leisen, 1934) The fast-talking stage manager of a Broadway revue (Jack Oakie) stays one step ahead of a lunkish cop (Victor McLaglen) when a series of slayings threatens to disrupt an opening night performance already in progress. Very Pre-Code musical mystery is  notable for a Duke Ellington number, a musical ode to marihuana, and as a filmed record of the Vanities series of ultra-racy theatrical extravaganzas.—RDL

Film Cannister
Cartoon Rocket
d8
Flying Clock
Robin
Film Cannister