Danielle Explains

Legacy of Lies – Part 1

This week Danielle takes us to Maryland, or possibly England, in the Elizabeth Chandler teen novel from 2000, Legacy of Lies. Meet Megan, a teen whose whole personalty could be described in one word:...

Don’t Look Under the Bed

This week Danielle brings the tween horror with one of her favorite movies, the 1999 Disney Channel Original Movie: Don’t Look Under the Bed. When teen Francis Bacon (yes, seriously) wakes up one day to find all the clocks in her completely average town have been moved forward by hours, and all the neighborhood dogs coaxed on to the roofs of the houses, she knows she’s in for a weird day. Only the weirdness comes not from those events but from how all the adults instantly blame this innocent child for the hijinks. Oh also, she starts seeing a boy named Larry Houdini (yes, still seriously) that no one else can see, and who claims to be an imaginary friend, but not her imaginary friend. Francis being the logical sort, decides to tell just everyone around her about the invisibly boy and constantly ask if people can see the boy that only she can see. To no one’s surprise but her own, this does not work. Larry reveals that he was her brother’s imaginary friend until she recently (or not recently, the timeline makes very little sense) convinced her brother not to believe in imaginary friends so he could focus on his leukemia treatments. This movie is amazingly insane. Anyway, Larry is upset by that, but also reveals that the person framing Francis for all the pranks is the Boogeyman, or rater a particular Boogeyman (Boogeyperson?), who has a vendetta against Francis. Also, she can see Larry for no reason other than that he thinks “she needs him”. Eventually, Francis and Larry construct an anti-Boogey weapon called a Temporalfuge and some Boogey bait called Boogey Goo. Now Larry and Francis need to travel into Boogeyworld to try and save her brother by venturing under the bed, but Larry is struggling with an unwanted transformation. Hopefully, Larry and Francis can make it out of Boogeyworld alive, otherwise Larry may end up dressed as a Victorian lord speaking in rhyming couplets like the other Boogeyman. How has this movie not won all the awards?

Paradise Hills

This week Danielle brings the style with the 2019 sci-fi film Paradise Hills. Meet Uma (Emma Roberts), someone who wears a metal cage on her face for her wedding veil and sings creepy songs to her new husband for a toast. But to become this perfect bride, some months ago she was shipped off to an island reform school for headstrong upper class ladies (Uppers) called Paradise Hills. There she meets the very odd head of the school known as The Duchess (Milla Jovovich) and immediately starts just telling her all about her life and secret lovers even though she doesn’t trust anyone there. She also meets fellow “students” Chloe (Danielle Macdonald), Yu (Awkwafina), and famous singer Amarna (Eiza González), and despite their strong desire to escape one night, they all fall asleep instead and never speak of it again. Uma spends her weeks on the island wandering among the many rose gardens, eating meals of two asparagus and a glass of milk, and engaging in therapy with The Duchess. Eventually, Amarna graduates and is sent off the Island, and the next that Uma sees of her on TV Amarna seems to be a completely different person; spooky. Sam grows increasingly exasperated with a movie that seems more interested in making weird looking scenes than in making sense. To wit, one day Uma is strapped to a carousel horse and lifted high in the air and then shown a looping video of her arranged fiancé—whom she does not like—proclaiming how awesome he is for hours on end. Why this is done is utterly baffling, and made only more so when the movie’s big twist is revealed. Well, one of the big twists, because the ending is so totally bonkers it nearly breaks Sam. So join us for a movie that’s fun to watch and pretty to look at, but is perhaps the most-nonsensical media we’ve covered this year.

Night of the Crabs (Rerun)

This week Danielle and Sam are rerunning one of their favorite episodes about the 1976 pulp horror novel Night of the Crabs by Guy N. Smith. Enjoy!

When a pair of swimmers disappear off the coast of Wales it’s up to well-known botanist, and uncle to one of the missing swimmers, Cliff Davenport to uncover what happened. Why, exactly, it’s up to him is anyone’s guess, but Cliff quickly proves himself by uncovering crab tracks on the beach (is that a thing?) and concluding his nephew was murdered by sheep-sized crabs. Spoiler: Cliff is wrong, they are, in fact, cow-sized crabs; c’mon, Cliff, do better. Cliff is made to quickly forget the grief of his lost nephew in the arms of the nubile and newly divorced Pat, who is one-hundred percent on board with giant killer crabs, having seen crab tracks herself (no seriously, are crab tracks a thing?!). The two investigate and have sex in about equal measure, but it’s not until the nearby secret, but not too secret, military base is attacked by an army of giant, invincible crabs lead by, as dubbed by Cliff, the cunning King Crab, that anyone else takes notice. Cliff, now somehow a marine biologist, works with the department of defense to devise a plan to entomb the crabs in their underwater cave. This plan, predictably, fails spectacularly, and so many are killed by the enraged crab army Danielle had to give up keeping count. All Sam knows is that he has a new hero: All hail King Crab!

Ice Planet Barbarians – Part 2

This week Danielle brings the exciting conclusion of the 2015 freezing-hot erotic sci-fi Ruby Dixon novel Ice Planet Barbarians. When we last left off, a group of women and been kidnapped by aliens then abandoned on an ice planet (the title doesn’t lie) and while most of the women slowly freeze to death, one, named Georgie, goes off to find help but instead has a sexual liaison in a cave with a different blue horned alien named Vektal. Now that we’re all caught up, it’s time for Georgie to try and guide Vektal back to her dying friends. She does this by eating a bunch of raw meat (which is gross) and falling into an ice chasm full of giant fish-faced Sasquatch things (which are also gross), and engaging Vektal in more sexual activity (which is the grossest). Eventually, Vektal finds the frozen corpse of one of the other girls, but never mind her, this means there are more women that he can bring back to his tribe, which is conveniently experiencing a dearth of women and, also conveniently, all the human women are sexually compatible and interested in the aliens, a fact Sam finds nigh inconceivable. However, the women are overjoyed to see Georgie has brought help, and only slightly perturbed by the notion of her having freaky alien sex with the blue dude accompanying her. Georgie agrees to go back with Vektal to his village to retrieve supplies for the women so they can all move there. Off she and Vektal go to the spend the night in the cave of ancestors where there’s a crashed ship frozen in the ice. Georgie pushes a button and the ship’s computer of plot convenience springs to life! The computer explains a whole bunch of stuff about how the blue aliens came to this planet and how they live, but none of that really matters since this books deals with none of that (a fact Sam is greatly frustrated by). What does matter is that the computer can magically download modern “Earth English” to the aliens’ brains, and their language to Georgie’s brain. Oh and also the girls will need to have a parasitic worm implanted in them post-haste or they’ll die from the planet’s toxic atmosphere. After much trekking to the village and back with rescuers in tow, and more alien sex than is necessary, all the women have to make a very hard decision: Die immediately or get the parasitic worm shoved in their necks. Tough call. Anyway, the girls learn that the aliens that originally abducted them are headed back, and also Georgie is likely pregnant with Vektal’s giant alien hybrid baby, but that’s a horror show we sadly miss since the book ends immediately as soon as Georgie has her man. If you want to learn more (maybe), feel free to dive into the other 21 (again, not a typo) books in this series, but as for now, please enjoy Sam’s complete breakdown at the ending of this book.

Ice Planet Barbarians – Part 1

This week Danielle brings some steamy, sci-fi erotica with the 2015 Ruby Dixon novel Ice Planet Barbarians. Georgie is your average, nondescript 22-year-old woman who finds herself abducted by aliens and thrown in a cage with several other women on a spaceship. There are also some women in suspended animation tubes around the cargo hold the cage is in, but they don’t matter for this book, but if you’re curious you can dive into one of the other 21 (not a typo) books in this series. The aliens that have abducted Georgie are cliché little green men accompanied by a security detail of giant orange aliens. Neither of these alien species are particularly relevant because the ship starts having engine trouble and they decide to jettison the cargo pod of women onto a nearby planet to pick up later. Sam takes extreme umbrage with this plan, since some of the women die in the crash landing (and their deaths are entirely brushed aside), but if the aliens had merely left the cargo pod in orbit they wouldn’t have had any problems. After suffering an apparently inconsequential head injury, Georgie is nominated to go explore the barren ice planet in search of food or anything else useful. Georgie is immediately caught in a snare trap and blacks out. While out, a blue alien creature named Vektal finds her, and the symbiotic parasite that lives in him and controls his libido goes absolutely gaga for Georgie for reasons that are beyond comprehension. Vektal decides to take Georgie to a cave and just starts going to town on her. Georgie wakes up from her second recent bout of unconsciousness to this large, blue alien with his mouth just all over her and thinks “Yeah, I’m into this” and goes with it for a while. When Vektal gets a little too frisky, she pushes him off her and that’s when they decide to do a little round of basic introductions through the alien language barrier. Camped out in this cave with Vektal and Georgie is where we leave part one, what about the other dozen-plus women slowly freezing to death in the crashed cargo pod? They’re not nearly as important as Georgie getting her alien freak on.

Wonder Woman 1984 – Part 2

This week Danielle brings the conclusion of the 2020 film Wonder Woman 1984. When we last left our heroes they had just returned from a magical invisible jet flight to Egypt and had determined the best course of action was to either get everyone to unwish their wishes, or to kill Maxwell Lord, who had wished himself to become the magic citrine, lest we forget. Speaking of Max, he’s slowly unraveling mentally and physically, and finagles meeting with the President where he declares he’s a sovereign nation unto himself. Also, the President lets slip that they have a magic satellite thing that has a beam which will override the screen of any device the beam touches. And if you think the term “touches” is used there figuratively, boy would this magic wishing-citrine-now-human like to have words with you. While Diana as Wonder Woman shows up to stop Max, Barbara is there to foil her plans because she is also power hungry and won’t give up her wish-granted superhuman powers. Wonder Woman is defeated because her powers are waning due to her own wish to have her beau Steve back, who now inhabits the body of another man whom they have no regard for, and which is still totally not okay. While Max and Barbara fly to the satellite control island, Diana lets Steve go and renounces her wish (finally) and then lassos a jet plane to get her home. She also lassos lightening to travel, but this is a concept so astoundingly dumb that Sam refuses to acknowledge it’s a thing. Anyway, after Diana grabs some magic armor of a long dead (but not really dead because comic books) Amazonian warrior, she chases after Max and Barbara for a showdown on Satellite Control Island. Max has been broadcasting to the entire wold enticing them to wish using the magic of him touching them through a satellite beam video feed (seriously, how the wishes work in this movie is something beyond mortal comprehension). Chaos engulfs the Earth as wishes are granted willy-nilly, but before Diana can get to Max she must first fight Barbara, who has been transformed into a cheetah woman via the magic of the script says so. If you think their showdown is intense, wait until you hear how Diana defeats Max: Via the superpower of a very compelling, moralizing speech.

Wonder Woman 1984 – Part 1

This week Danielle brings the superhero craziness with the 2020 film Wonder Woman 1984. If you didn’t see the first Wonder Woman film, don’t worry, neither did Sam, and Danielle barely remembers it, so no context needed! Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) is your average working 80s girl, only she’s really an immortal Amazonian from Themyscira who is still pining for Steve (Chris Pine), the love of her life and a pilot who died in World War 1. When a botched robbery brings a mysterious citrine in to the Smithsonian where Diana works with her mousy new friend Barbara Minerva (Kristen Wiig), things start to go awry. While holding the stone, both Diana and Barbara make wishes in their heads and then a magic wind blows, foreshadowing the granting of their wishes. Barbara wished to be strong and beautiful like Diana, but Diana’s wish is a surprise for later. That’s when Maxwell Lord (Pedro Pascal) rolls in, he’s the head of an oil company/Ponzi scheme who has just made a large donation to the museum, which seems to grant him carte blanche to just touch evidence, like the citrine, in an FBI investigation. He invites them all to a gala that night in his honor and Barbara is instantly taken with him and agrees while Diana declines. That night at the gala, Diana is now suspicious of Max and shows up anyway, and is immediately sexually harassed by every guy in there, since all men in this world are completely terrible. She brushes them off, but then one of them says a phrase that Steve once said to her, and Diana realizes her wish came true: Steve is back! Only, Steve is not himself, his consciousness has been shoved into the body of another man. What happened to the mind of the man whose body this was originally? Who cares, certainly not our supposed “heroes” Diana and Steve, who immediately drop everything to go have sex in that poor, possessed man’s home with his unable-to-consent body. Meanwhile, Max Lord (seriously, that name) has initiated a make-out session with Barbara in order to steal the citrine. With the citrine safely in his castle/home, Max does something absolutely bonkers and wishes to become the wishing stone. It might be reasonable to take a moment here to discuss the rules of the magic citrine, but the rules for this wishing stone are so arbitrary and crazy you’re just going to have to listen to all our rants to get it, there’s too much to include here. Maxwell then starts coercing others into wishing things that benefit him while touching him, and then also taking something from them in exchange for the “wish”, and if that’s confusing, get used to it. Anyway, Max jets off to Egypt while Diana and Steve, now back on the case, follow him in the dumbest way imaginable. This movie is so long, and chock-a-block full of nonsense, that Danielle has to end it there before Sam gets so angry at the inconsistent wishing rules and dumb Wonder Woman lasso tricks that he quits the podcast entirely.

Legend – Part 2

Danielle is here with the thrilling (confusing?) conclusion of the Jude Deveraux romance novel Legend. Kady is back from the 1870s and she’s determined to learn nothing from her time there. After suffering many more indignities at the hands of her fiancé and his mom, she finally grows a spine and dumps him after weeks of waffling. It’s at this point that a magical voice reminds her that, oh yeah, didn’t she have a quest to find the decedents of Ruth by some arbitrary deadline that’s now only three days away? So Kady books it to New York City where she has absolutely no trouble finding one C.T. Jordan, the descendant in question. He is a grown man who runs a non-specific business, wears all black, and loves playing with his knife and sword collection. Kady busts into his office uninvited and he is extremely unhappy to see her and is (justifiably) rude to her. So of course, Kady is totally into him since she has the best taste in men. It turns out that since Kady has found him in time Ruth has bequeathed her all the Jordan family fortune in a will from over a hundred years ago; something so nonsensical it breaks Sam’s brain slightly. Instead of taking the money and running, Kady is determined to head back to the Colorado town of Legend to find the time portal and somehow save Cole (her erstwhile kidnapper) from being killed as a child in a robbery. C.T. is rightly skeptical of her, but quickly loses all likability when he follows her to Legend and arranges for her to be shot at so she’ll agree to work with him so that he can get into her pants, despite that he already has a fiancé and that Kady already invited him along in the first place but he declined making all his subterfuge pointless. At this point, Sam needs a drink. Also, C.T. has two cousins in the now ghost town of Legend: one is a law student wearing nothing but overalls, and the other rides a motorcycle off-road on the mountains of Colorado, and C.T. kinda makes out with that one. All this leads to Kady sleeping with C.T. (just the best taste in men) before engaging in more time-travel shenanigans so poorly thought out as to defy explanation. All that really matters is that Kady learns a valuable lesson by the end of the book: What’s most important is that she can serve the men in her life. Seriously, she has the worst taste in men.

Legend – Part 1

This week Danielle whisks us to a world of romance and fantasy in the Jude Deveraux novel Legend. Meet Kady, your average successful, attractive professional chef with no sense of self-worth. She’s engaged to Gregory, an obvious misogynist and whose mother owns the restaurant where Kady works, so it’s a perfect match. Fortunately for Kady, she happens across an improbably large flour tin. Upon opening the tin Kady finds a perfectly sized wedding dress from over a hundred years ago along with shoes and accoutrements, all somehow stuffed into that flour tin without damage. Bafflingly to Sam, Kady immediately puts the dress which opens a portal which Kady immediately goes though. She now finds herself in 1870s Colorado and sees a man being hanged by three other people. Leaping to the unsubstantiated conclusion that she must save this man and the other three are evil, Kady, still in her poofy wedding dress fights them off and takes the unconscious, half-choked man down and then goes to bed. Kady wakes up to this strange man making out with her and just accepts his explanation that he thought she was angel. The man, Cole, immediately proposes marriage which Kady refuses (yay!) but after she can’t find a job in the nearby town she takes him up on his offer (boo!). This begins a portion of the book involving the obligatory long looks, breathless almost make outs, and Kady having several opportunities to return home, but feeling just too darn torn to go back through the portal because Cole is too dreamy. Even when Cole imprisons her in his estate, Kady decides to stay and cook a massive feast since apparently she can’t leave but does have complete control over his finances. Also, Kady has been dreaming of an Arabian man with a veiled face every week since she was a child, and you might think this would be important, but the only important thing Sam can focus on is how terrible Kady’s taste in men is and WHAT SIZE IS THAT FREAKING FLOUR TIN?

Be sure to check out I Drink Your Podcast, especially the Fish Tank episode featuring Danielle and Sam. You can find them on Twitter @IDYP_Podcast, Instagram @idyp_podcast, and listen wherever you get your podcasts.