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Episode 492: More Feck in the Bank

April 15th, 2022 | Robin

In the Gaming Hut we provide advice on working with the  GM to play a mastermind character.

At the behest of beloved Patreon backer Drew, the History Hut goes all the way back to 2004 for the tale of the missing Sri Lankan handball team.

We venture into the Food Hut to provide estimable backer Derrick Yates with the Mythos truth behind the mysterious McRib.

Finally, we point Ken’s Time Machine at the 1822 Greek War of Independence to see what improvements he can make in the timeline.

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.

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Ken and Robin Consume Media: The Pulp Tarot, All the Old Knives, RRR, and a Tale of Two Hunts

April 12th, 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

The Pulp Tarot (Tarot deck, Todd Alcott, 2021) This full 78-card tarot deck translates the Rider-Waite-Smith deck of 1910 from its medieval mythology to the modern mythology of 20th-century pulp cover art. Alcott montages together several hundred source images to build a visually exciting, surprisingly deep set of arcana that genuinely honor and update the masterpieces of Pamela Colman Smith (and A.E. Waite) while sparking the imagination of the postmodern querent. Absolutely one of the three or four best Tarots I own. –KH [Note: The deck sells out fast. Follow Todd on Twitter @toddalcott to find out when a new print run goes on sale.]

Recommended

All the Old Knives (Film, US, Janus Metz, 2022) When new information indicates a mole in the Vienna CIA station fed intel to terrorists during a 2012 hijacking, CIA agent Henry Pelham (Chris Pine) meets his former colleague (and ex) Celia Harrison (Thandiwe Newton) to uncover the truth. Very old-school spy film takes advantage of spartan COVID filming constraints to focus on Pine and Newton, their chemistry, and their enormous acting-as-lying skills: it’s essentially a two-hander dinner scene with flashbacks. Truth be told, it could probably have used one more twist, but it’s beautiful and unsettling enough as is. –KH

Apollo 10½: A Space Age Childhood (Film, US, Richard Linklater, 2022) Young Stan (Milo Coy) either has a very active imagination or gets recruited for a secret Apollo mission in early summer of 1969. At times, this delightful animated reminiscence threatens to just become a list of late-60s childhood signifiers, which might drop the film down to Good for those not blessed with a late-60s childhood. The narrative through-line, such as it is, works more by impression than progression, but did I want to see about four hours more of Stan’s family? Yes indeed, so something besides my own Space Age childhood and my love for Linklater may be at work here. –KH

House of Hummingbird (Film, South Korea, Bora Kim, 2019) Teenager looks for emotional connection outside of life cooped up with her alienated, abusive family. Beautifully rendered drama sets aside coming-of-age cliches through a character who starts out understanding life’s hard lessons.—RDL

The Hunt (Film, Denmark, Thomas Vinterberg, 2012) Community turns against a kindergarten teacher (Mads Mikkelsen) after he is mistakenly accused of abusing a student. Incisive, impeccably scripted drama revolves around the extraordinary special effect we know as Mads Mikkelsen.—RDL

RRR (Film, India, S.S. Rajamouli, 2022) When the hated British steal a Gond girl in 1920, Gond tribal protector Komaram Bheem (N.T. Rama Rao, Jr.) goes after her and only Indian Army officer Rama Raju (Ram Charan) can stop him. Spoiler: They team up and fight the hated British together. High-octane, literally super-patriotic action extravaganza presents a fictional team-up of two historical anti-British freedom fighters: much as if Michael Bay made a movie about Paul Revere and Francis Marion teaming up in 1765. Never a dull moment, and the CGI animals look better than most MCU fights. The human fights, meanwhile, hit a new high for Tollywood. –KH

Good

Aimless Bullet (Film, South Korea, Yu Hyun-mok, 1961) Two brothers, embittered veterans discarded by the society they saved, suffer in the slums of Seoul. Neorealist drama goes from bleak to brutal.—RDL

Torch Singer (Film, US, George Somnes & Alexander Hall, 1933) Notorious club singer (Claudette Colbert) becomes the host of a radio program for kiddies, enabling her to search for the daughter she put up for adoption. Colbert’s star power carries this rather easily resolved melodrama, aided by the swelegant dresses of costume designer Travis Banton.—RDL

Okay

The Hunt (Film, US, Craig Zobel, 2020) One stoic woman (Betty Gilpin) shows that she’s the wrong person to mess with when an assortment of red state Americans wake up in a forest to find they are being hunted for sport. Variant on The Most Dangerous Game makes mysteries both of its situation, and the screenplay’s satirical point. Spoiler: it’s fatuous.—RDL

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Episode 491: Stormy Petrels of Crime

April 8th, 2022 | Robin

In the Gaming Hut, we look at the elements that ought to go into an introductory scenario.

Beloved Patreon backer Todd W. Olson has not left the building, but has rather entered the Culture Hut, as he asks how Elvis Presley’s 1968 Comeback Special might reverberate in Fall of DELTA GREEN.

In Ask Ken and Robin, esteemed backer Neil Barnes wonders what kind of superhero universe might be shifted into existence by the dread machinations of the King in Yellow.

Finally a Mother Jones piece by Rene Ebersole inspires an Eliptony Hut inquiry into  the crank forensic science of corpse witching.

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.

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Ken and Robin Consume Media: Archive 81, Apollo 10½, and a Conspiracy-Riddled High Finance Scam

April 5th, 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

Apollo 10½: A Space Age Childhood (Film, US, Richard Linklater, 2022) A tall tale about his covert moon landing prior to the official one frames a man’s reminiscences of growing up in a big family in 1969 Houston, an idyllic time when Baskin-Robbins and Astro-Turf were new, corporal punishment was dished out like breakfast, and you ran through DDT clouds and liked it. The trailer focuses on the fantasy sequence to make this look like a kid’s adventure movie, but don’t let that fool you. This animated memoir joins Dazed and Confused and Everybody Wants Some!!, as part of what is now a thematic trilogy.—RDL

Archive 81 (Television, US, Netflix, Rebecca Sonnenshine, 2022) Video archivist Dan (Mamoudou Athie) takes a job restoring footage taken by oral historian Melody (Dina Shihabi) from just before the 1994 fire that destroyed a haunted NYC apartment building and uncovers wouldn’t you know it a conspiracy. The two leads’ performances (withdrawn and outgoing) complement each other superbly despite almost no scenes together, a sign of the directorial talent that keeps this supernatural mystery from disappearing up its own mythology. Its own mythology is pretty cool, which helps. A somewhat weak ending was meant to set up the Season 2 that won’t happen now, so show-runners should maybe rethink this instinct. –KH

Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool (Film, US, Stanley Nelson Jr., 2019) It could be argued that a documentary about Miles should be as boundary-shattering as the jazz styles he continually adopted and discarded, but the story of those shifts is already complicated enough. This straightahead American Masters biography does the right thing by adding interviews and archival footage to extensive passages from his autobiography.—RDL

Octopus (Nonfiction, Guy Lawson, 2012) Desperate to save his hedge fund after hidden losses turn it into a de facto Ponzi scheme, eccentric trader Sam Israel falls into the orbit of a notorious conspiracy theory figure who salts his promises of an unbeatable high-stakes investment with tales of CIA hit teams, Yamashita’s gold, alien autopsies, and the real Zapruder film. The dictum that there’s no better mark than a scammer achieves its ultimate Ouroboros form in a gobsmacking high finance crime story where everyone seems to have fallen for the con.—RDL

Only Murders in the Building Season 1 (Television, US, Hulu, Steve Martin & John Hoffman, 2022) A washed-up TV actor (Steve Martin), a failed Broadway producer (Martin Short), and a young decorator (Selena Gomez) bond over true-crime podcasts and then start one of their own when one of their neighbors turns up murdered. With less delightful stars, this comedy-mystery might be accused of meandering for the sake of meandering, but no time spent with our characters feels wasted or forced, not least because of the superb comic timing they share. The result could almost be a minor-key city symphony, maybe a building sonata? –KH

Total Blackout: The Tamborine Extended Cut (Standup, Netflix, Chris Rock, 2021) Rock re-cut his 2018 special from Bo Burnham’s original version, and that should almost be ‘nuff said right there. The new version focuses on race, sex, and Rock’s own failings as a husband, adding both grit and truth and leaving the Trump material behind as yesterday’s news. –KH

Good

Dickinson Season 2 (Television, US, Apple+, Alena Smith, 2021) As her inamorata (Ella Hunt) keeps her distance, Emily (Hailee Steinfeld) flirts with publication of her poems and experiences an omen of the coming Civil War. Anachronistic comedy bio loses a touch of momentum in season two, hitting the shoals of the old “let’s separate the lovers” move.—RDL

The Pirates: The Last Royal Treasure (Film, South Korea, Kim Jeong-Hoon, 2022) Virtuous pirate queen (Han Hyo-joo) teams with a bombastic yet annoyingly attractive bandit (Kang Ha-neul) to chase the looted treasure of the fallen Goryeo regime. Initially choppy storytelling redeemed by a fun final swashbuckling act.—RDL

Okay

International House (Film US, A. Edward Sutherland, 1931) Beer-guzzling gyrocopter pilot (W. C. Fields) crashes into a hotel in China where industrialists from around the world seek the patent on television, attracting the murderous ire of a Franco-Russian agent (Bela Lugosi.) That description leaves out much of the chaos of this nutty kitchen sink comedy, in which Jazz Age Kardashian precursor Peggy Hopkins Joyce is top-billed as herself and the McGuffin allows the dropping in of primordial music videos from Cab Calloway and Rudy Vallee.—RDL

Willy’s Wonderland (Film, US, Kevin Lewis, 2021) Murderous animatronic kid’s restaurant mascots get more than they bargained for when their human accomplices try to feed them an obsessively diligent traveler (Nicolas Cage.) Execution fails to live up to the premise, except when Cage is onscreen, giving it 110% in a wordless, self-referential role as every robot weasel’s worst nightmare..—RDL

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Episode 490: They Left the Irony Bridge Intact

April 1st, 2022 | Robin

In the Gaming Hut we lay out goals the GM should set for convention games and other one-shots.

The Command Hut looks at an invasion of a smaller power by a larger one that has somewhat fallen down the memory hole: the Sino-Vietnamese War of 1979.

Beloved Patreon backers such as Gabriel Rossman demanded that we address the escape of evil fox spirit Tamomo-n0-mae from the rock that imprisons her, occasioning a segment we call Ripped From the Headlines.

Finally the Consulting Occultist examines the esoteric influence on, and of, Swami Vivekananda, founder of yoga as we know it.

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!

Tell your friends, loved ones and deniable assets that The Esoterrorists Bundle has returned to the Bundle of Holding. Get Robin’s game of special agents against occult conspirators and a capacious dossier of support material in PDF until April 6th.

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.

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Ken and Robin Consume Media: Attica, Spencer, Power of the Dog, Cyrano

March 29th, 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

Attica (Film, US, Stanley Nelson Jr. & Traci A. Curry, 2021) Archival footage and participant interviews, including many with survivors who have not previously spoken of the incident, retells the step-by-step of the 1971 prison takeover and ensuing massacre of prisoners and hostages. Unflinching in its graphic depiction of the event’s aftermath, particularly the guards’ sadistic degradation of inmates when they retook control.—RDL

Spencer (Film, UK/US/Germany/Chile, Pablo Larraín, 2021) Ten years into her marriage to philandering cold fish Charles (Jack Farthing), Princess Diana (Kristen Stewart) shows up at Sandringham to submit to the many humiliations of Christmas weekend with the family. Crack-up drama veers at times into Polanskian psychological horror, powered by Stewart’s live-wire energy and Larraín’s knack for keeping the problems of the biopic out of his historical character studies.—RDL

Good

The Power of the Dog (Film, NZ/Greece/UK/US/Australia, Jane Campion, 2021) In 1925 Montana, artsy misfit Pete (Kodi Smit-McPhee) finds his mother’s (Kirsten Dunst) new cattle-ranch household nigh-intolerable, especially her sadistic brother-in-law Phil (Benedict Cumberbatch). This Western Gothic relies on increasing the intensity of fundamentally one-note characters rather than adding layers or dimensionality. Cinematographer Ari Wegner and composer Jonny Greenwood go all-out on that intensity, though, producing an exceptional sensorium. –KH

Okay

Cyrano (Film, US, Joe Wright, 2021) In 1640 Paris, an eloquent but disregarded guard commander (Peter Dinklage) helps a handsome subordinate (Kelvin Harrison Jr.) woo the woman (Haley Bennett) he loves. Casting Dinklage as Cyrano is a brilliant move; expecting him to carry a musical, not so much. Exactly one number, with Glen Hansard, Sam Amidon, and Scott Folan, features great singing.—RDL

Not Recommended

Nightmare Alley (Film, US, Guillermo del Toro, 2021) Man on the run Stanton Carlisle (Bradley Cooper) goes from carny to mentalist, and into a hell of his own making. Shifting from the moral and psychological spiral of the ‘47 version to a fairy tale about ignoring warnings, del Toro stands back in judgment of his protagonist and bids the audience to do the same. When a remake is more obvious than its predecessor, it shouldn’t also be longer. The production design does provide a beguiling environment for the viewer to prowl around in, though.—RDL

Incomplete

Dune (Film, US, Denis Villenueve, 2021) Scion of an interstellar warrior trading clan (Timothée  Chalamet) discovers his budding messiah status when his family is assigned a dangerous commodities monopoly on an even more dangerous desert planet. If you like the feeling that your wifi has cut out in the middle of streaming a five-hour mini-series, this visually absorbing effort is for you.—RDL

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Episode 489: Ideally a Themologue

March 25th, 2022 | Robin

In the Gaming Hut we look at that most elusive of GM skills: knowing when to shut up.

The smell of ancient newsprint pervades the Horror Hut as beloved Patreon backer Jamie Twine seeks the connection between the King and Yellow and his contemporary, early newspaper comics character the Yellow Kid.

Finally, the imminence of the Academy Awards ceremony means it’s time for our annual tradition, our Cinema Hut roundup of our favorite films of 2021.

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!

Tell your friends, loved ones and deniable assets that The Esoterrorists Bundle has returned to the Bundle of Holding. Get Robin’s game of special agents against occult conspirators and a capacious dossier of support material in PDF until April 6th.

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.

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Ken and Robin Consume Media: Star Trek: Discovery, Spider-Man, The Rescue and Satanic Frog Gods

March 22nd, 2022 | Robin

Recommended

Nobody (Film, US, Ilya Naishuller, 2021) A late-night break-in triggers nobody Hutch Mansell (Bob Odenkirk) to go looking for trouble. He finds it on a bus, unleashing a classical, even layered, fight scene. Almost deconstructed revenge thriller becomes nearly operatic at times, though Odenkirk’s humanity prevents complete departure into Wickian sturm-und-drang. Excessive needle drops typify Naishuller’s occasional try-too-hard-ness, but at bottom it’s good clean blunt-traumatic fun. –KH

The Rescue (Film, US, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin, 2021) Armed with computer animation, studio recreations, direct to camera interviews and a trove of previously unseen Thai navy footage, this documentary tick-tocks the harrowing 2018 rescue of a kid’s soccer team from a flooded cavern network. The unifying psychodynamics of the cave diving hobby supply the emotional throughline for a step-by-step of a process even hairier and more astounding than contemporary news accounts could convey.—RDL

Sleep Tight (Film, Spain, Jaume Balagueró, 2011) Anhedonic concierge (Luis Tosar) uses his access to the apartments in his building to covertly stalk a young woman (Marta Etura.) Disturbing psychological thriller told as a slow burn character study of its deviant antagonist.—RDL

Spider-Man: No Way Home (Film, US, Jon Watts, 2021) Peter Parker (Tom Holland) destabilizes the multiverse by messing with Dr. Strange’s (Benedict Cumberbatch) spell to make the world forget his secret identity, bringing denizens of other Spider-realities to dimension MCU. What on paper ought to be a cynical, derivative fan service mishmosh instead delivers momentum, a sprightly attitude, and poignant moments, all stemming from a deep and detailed love of all things Spidey. As I always say, magic makes plots work.—RDL

Star Trek: Discovery Season 4 (Television, US, Paramount+, 2020-2021) Newly comfortable in her far-future captain’s chair, Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) leads the effort to understand a planet-smashing spatial anomaly. Four seasons in, the show now feels fully like Trek—this time dialing up the therapeutic thread of Roddenberry’s original TNG conception, updated from 80s self-actualization to today’s questions of trauma and representation.—RDL

Bizarrely Compelling

Psychomania (Film, UK, Don Sharp, 1973) Biker gang leader Tommy (Nicky Henson) pries the secret of resurrection out of his mediumistic mother (Beryl Reid) and her butler Shadwell (George Sanders) who may or may not be Satan. Is this film Good, Actually? No. Did it make George Sanders commit suicide immediately after filming it? Probably not. Could we at any time take the grins off our face while watching the feckless Living Dead biker gang somewhat terrorize Walton-on-Thames? We could not. Standing stones, burial mounds, Satanic frog gods, weaksauce motorcycles, and a hippie song by Chopped Meat? Yes, to all of that. –KH

Okay

Hit! (Film, US, Sidney J. Furie, 1973) Determined CIA operative (Billy Dee Williams) responds to his daughter’s overdose death by assembling an unlikely team for a rogue operation to wipe out the top leaders of the Marseille heroin ring. From its American New Wave realist vibe to a string of striking chase and murder sequences, this is effective on a cinematic level, but on the textual level full of “wait, what?” moments that grow in absurdity the more you think about them. Not the least of which is the central proposition that exterminating a single cartel would appreciably help American addicts.—RDL

Not Recommended

Behind the Crimson Blind (Fiction, John Dickson Carr, 1952) Sir Henry Merrivale helps the police in Tangier solve the mystery of the burglar Iron Chest, in a novel that tells you two things: Carr really wanted to write off his stay in Tangier, and he was getting almost as tired of Merrivale as I am. The local color and a bit of the detection work, but for my money this may be Carr’s worst novel even before the leaden ethnic humor really kicks in. –KH

Le Professional (Film, France, Georges Lautner, 1981) After two years in an African prison camp, a wily SDECE assassin (Jean-Paul Belmondo) escapes to Paris to exact revenge on both the dictator he was sent to kill and the ex-colleagues who sold him out. Loosey-goosey spy thriller with a decidedly French take on the weaselly superiors trope would rate an “Okay” rating if its 80s trashiness didn’t include a helping of blatant racism.—RDL

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Episode 488: The Da Vinci Code of Numbers

March 18th, 2022 | Robin

Among My Many Hats looks at Ken’s latest work of Cthulhoid essays, Tour de Lovecraft: the Destinations, available as of March 22nd from Atomic Overmind Press.

The Gaming Hut looks at ways you, the player, can find a way into a scenario when you don’t see a natural course of action.

Then Ken’s Bookshelf finishes its look at our hero’s epic recent raid on the shops of Florida and California, from mid 19th century New York City to the exciting world of human hybrids.

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.

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Ken and Robin Consume Media: CODA, Red Rocket, and the Superhuman Strength of W. C. Fields

March 15th, 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

CODA (Film, US, Sian Heder, 2021) The sole hearing member of a rough-hewn fishing family, a socially excluded high school student (Emilia Jones) is torn between loyalty to them and her dreams of a singing career. Sweet-natured, embracing indie drama with a strong supporting ensemble and a star-making role for Jones.—RDL

The Color of Lies (Film, France, Claude Chabrol, 1999) With his small Breton town already viewing him as the likely suspect in a child murder, a once-celebrated artist (Jacques Gamblin) finds himself under further pressure when a fatuous novelist (Antoine de Caunes) puts the moves on his wife (Sandrine Bonnaire.) Quietly incisive character observation hung on the framework of a murder story—which is admittedly a slightly longer way of saying “Chabrol film.”—RDL

Million Dollar Legs (Film, US, Edward F. Cline, 1932) To win the hand of his beloved (Susan Fleming), daughter of a Balkan nation’s preternaturally strong president (W. C. Fields), a cheery brush salesman (Jack Oakie) assembles a team of its superhuman citizens to enter the Los Angeles Olympics. Fast-paced comedy packed with surreal gags.—RDL

Palm Springs (Film, US, Max Barbakow, 2020) Super-chill wedding guest Nyles (Andy Samberg) has his infinity interrupted when sister of the bride Sarah (Cristin Milioti) joins him in his time-loop trap. Amiable comedy rings just enough changes on the time-loop setup, asks a couple of questions, and peaces out: what more could you want? J.K. Simmons? Okay, he’s in it, too. –KH

Red Rocket (Film, US, Sean Baker, 2021) Washed-up porn star Mikey Saber (Simon Rex) washes up in his hometown of Texas City in summer 2016. Drew Daniels’ sunny 70s 16mm cinematography and Baker’s non-exoticized Texas Citizens (including several non-actors) mash up Spielberg and Linklater for an entirely original, entirely classic look. Simon Rex’ charismatic, fast-talking performance as plausible sleazeball Mikey anchors a fresh con-artist story that never bores or even alienates the viewer. –KH

Good

Honey Cigar (Film, France, Kamir Aïnouz, 2020) In early 90s Paris, a college sophomore’s (Zoé Adjani) yearning for autonomy and sexual exploration hits the brick wall of her urbane Algerian parents’ overbearing, hypocritically traditional expectations for her. Memoir film favors authenticity over dramatic resolution.—RDL

Ladies’ Man (Film, US, Lothar Mendes, 1931) When he falls for a woman (Kay Francis) who sees through him, a melancholy gigolo (William Powell) decides to go straight, but a high-strung fling (Carole Lombard) has other ideas. From the cast and premise you might expect a screwball comedy, but this is a racy, downbeat melodrama.—RDL

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Film Cannister
Cartoon Rocket
d8
Flying Clock
Robin
Film Cannister