03: Lurking in the Dark
“What would an ocean be without a monster lurking in the dark? It would be like sleep without dreams.” (Werner Herzog)
What do our conceptions of monsters and villains say about us? This episode, we chat about mythical beasts, ghosties, and our favorite villains in fiction, folklore, and real life. Find out who loves Cthulhu, who is still scared of Bloody Mary, and what our favorite Japanese yokai are.
A few of our favorite monsters:
Cthulhu, a Lovecraftian deity
Art from DaShadeE at DeviantArt
Kappa, a river-dwelling Japanese yokai
The Loch Ness Monster, cryptozoology superstar
Kodama (adorable forest spirit yokai, those pictured from Princess Mononoke)
Lampreys, real life monsters AKA jawless fish.
Rokurokubi, a super freaky female vampire yokai.
Tofu Kozo, MJ’s favorite yokai. Skip to 29:53 for her uncanny impression of this guy.
Some of our favorite villains:
HAL 9000, from 2001: A Space Odyssey
Rev. Harry Powell, from Night of the Hunter
Colonel Kurtz from Heart of Darkness
Cruella De Vil from 101 Dalmatians
If you liked this episode, you may be interested in:
+ H.P. Lovecraft: Tales (Library of America collection)
+ The H.P. Lovecraft Literary Podcast
+ Lafcadio Hearn: Kwaidan
+ “Rooting for Evil (with Paul Bloom),” Episode 55 of the Very Bad Wizards podcast.
YOKAI & ANIME
+ Natsume Yuujinchou (anime)
+ Mushishi (anime)
+ Bakemonogatari (anime)
+ Studio Ghibli films (anime*)
+ Space Dandy (anime)
+ Yokai Manga Volumes by Seigensha (collections of picture scrolls and ukiyo-e prints depicting youkai)
+ The Night Parade of One Hundred Demons by Michael Meyer (illustrated compendium of yokai lore in English)
+ Yokai Attack!: The Japanese Monster Survival Guide by Matt Alt and Hiroko Yoda
Join us next episode for a discussion of time travel in the movies – fate and determinism, grandfather paradoxes, parallel universes, and more.