The Skin I Live In (AKA Trigger Warning Everything) w/ Amanda Meadows

Emily: Like anybody that has gender
dysphoria should have really solid

like content warning for this one.

Amanda: it's, yeah, it's real big.

It's a real big morning.

Emily: because I, really didn't do any
research before this and I just ended up

like being a little bit flattened by it.

Amanda: Same.

Emily: extreme aggravated sexual
assault, rape gender dysphoria.

Amanda: Everything is non consensual.

forced, you know, medical torture.


Emily: Medical abuse,

Amanda: yeah.

Emily: Manipulation,
psychological manipulating,

gaslighting, the whole gamut.

Amanda: thing.


Emily: and specifically,
like, the sex scenes are very

very graphic which is, yes,

Amanda: In their intensity.


Emily: nothing, yeah, like you
said, Amanda, there's nothing

like consensual going on.

Amanda: Yeah.

it feels like a, true like, what
if you went into the most guttural,

visceral version of a man versus
nature sort of story where man is

forcing bludgeoning this type of frail
femininity that doesn't exist and

trying to create it in people that it
didn't exist in and destroying them.

So yeah, there's just a, there's a lot
about misogyny that's so, like, baked in.

It's like misogyny, transmisogyny
Gosh, I don't even know.

There are moments where I'm like,
what, why do we spend so much time

in this wedding with that singer?

You know, how come she's the only woman
who gets to sing of pain and sorrow

and it's in the lyrics of a song and
she's the only black person in the

movie and it's the only real performance
by anyone who speaks who's black?

And so it's just like that in that
context of like, Spanish film.

There's weirdness there for me.

Oh boy.

Emily: Let's talk, let's get
this movie talk over with.

Amanda: Yes.

Jeremy: Good evening and welcome to
Progressively Horrified, the podcast

where we hold horror to progressive
standards it never agreed to.

Tonight we're talking about The Skin
I Live In and this movie contains

substantial amounts of rape, forced
surgery, kidnapping, torture, gender

dysphoria, and, and any and everything
you could possibly be warned about.

There's not gonna be any jump scares in
this, but it might give you nightmares.

I am your host Jeremy Whitley,
and with me tonight I have a

panel of cinephiles and Cenobites.

Ben's got the night off tonight,
so let me start by introducing

the cinnamon roll of Cinebites.

My co host, Emily Martin.

How are you tonight, Emily?

Emily: I have two words.

Oofa, doofa.

I will be elaborating,

Jeremy: that's definitely
the place to start.

And our guest tonight, the editor
of Knee Deep and Orcs in Space

and podcaster Amanda Meadows.

Amanda, thanks for joining us.

Amanda: Thanks for having me.

I'm excited to be progressively
horrified with you about how

progressively horrifying all the
gender violence in this movie is.

Jeremy: Yeah, we started you
off with a real like softball

one, just sort of right across

Amanda: Yeah, ease me in.

Jeremy: about.

Emily: Yeah.

Amanda: Not too much.

Emily: Yeah, I mean, my first movie
with the podcast was the Babadook.

So, you know, I understand.

Amanda: Into the deep end.


Emily: Exactly.

I'm just really glad that I can talk
to you all about it because otherwise I

would just be still staring at the wall.

Amanda: Mm.

Mm hmm.

Jeremy: is, I think, most like the time
we had tea on and just happened to watch

a French movie about having sex with cars.

And, almost,

Emily: that movie was whimsical
compared to this film.

Jeremy: it's still horrible.


Emily: Yeah.


Amanda: Wait,

is that the third?

Are you talking about
the third cars movie?

Is that what we're talking about?

Because that, that
scared the shit outta me.

Emily: A last No.

Like, I mean, I don't know if I
would've preferred to watch the third

cars movie, but we're talking about
which is a movie about a woman who has

car fetish and she like fucks a car

Jeremy: impregnated by a car

Amanda: Nick.


Jeremy: a metal baby.


Amanda: Oh shit.

Jeremy: murder and She also decides
to try to change her identity.

So she changes her face by breaking
it on the sink, by smashing

her head into it several times.

It's, it's a rough film.

This one is also rough though.

Amanda: Woo.

That is wild.

I'm trying to imagine what the
insemination process is like.

I like, but.


Yeah, I just, I'm imagining just like,
or poppin out a little die cast model

of a 1996 Dodge Viper or something.

Emily: I'm gonna go ahead and spoil
the movie for everybody right now since

I'd rather, I honestly rather talk
about Teton than, the skin I live in,

because at least it has the fantasy
element of having a baby with a car.

Amanda: Yeah.

I'm, I'm entertained by this.

Talking about a movie I haven't seen.

Emily: Well, so, like, she did not
give birth to a Volkswagen Beetle.

I really, really wish she
did, like a small one,

Amanda: It would, oh, that'd be

Emily: it was a baby with like a
weird metal spine, and I was like,

Jeremy: Like a Bluetooth spine.

Emily: yeah, it had like a Bluetooth
spine, and I'm thinking, like, there's

so many opportunities, like, you
could have gone full Tetsuo the Iron

Man with this, but, except Anyway,
let's talk about the documentary.

Amanda: Like, why not
just make the baby cute?

It's just, it would be scarier if it was
super, like, a shockingly cute car baby.

That's, that's pretty fun.

Jeremy: This is a Transformers
origin story, you know,

Amanda: Yeah.

Emily: yeah, if it was like a tiny
bumblebee, like, or like, even if it

was The fuck is the name of car in Cars?

It's my,

I'm too traumatized.

Amanda: The little cars.

Emily: Lightning McQueen.

If it was a little Lightning McQueen.

Ka chow.


Amanda: I love it.

Jeremy: Okay, so this film that we're
actually talking about, The Skin I Live

In, is directed by, Pedro Almodovar.

It is written by Pedro Almodovar
and Agustina Almodovar.

And I think based on a book by Thierry
Jarquet which is, called Tarantula.

It is French.

And if combined Spanish filmmaking
and French literature, and this

is, this is what you end up with.

It stars Antonio Banderas Elena Naya,
Jan Cornett, and returning, Marisa

Paredes, our, Favorite horny grandma
from Devil's Backbone that one was a good

one okay, so I would not put trying
to recap this on anybody else, so I'm

gonna, I'm gonna try and do it, and uh,

Amanda: Bless you.

Jeremy: looking at the screen
when this movie starts, cause

it starts moving fast, and...

Uh, You just gotta hold on as you go.

We're in Toledo in 2012, which this
movie came out in 2011, so I guess

he set it a year in the future.

We're, we're at the El Siguro, which is
like a group of country houses outside

of Toledo where they have, like, these
big houses and smaller houses where

the, you know, servants live that
service these sort of vacation houses.

We, we meet a woman wearing a full
body jumpsuit, skin suit thing who's

working on strange sculptures with
bits of cloth and clay only, she's

only able to receive things via a dumb
waiter from the kitchen, including

drinks and food that she's getting that
we, we see are being drugged, they're

putting medication into it from pills.

But she is not allowed to receive
things like scissors or needles,

and we'll find out why soon.

She is looked after by a housekeeper
named Marilia, who does not go

back and forth to the room, just
sends the stuff by the dumbwaiter.

And she has a closet full of cut
up clothes that she doesn't wear.

She mostly just shreds and uses
to make sculptures and things.

We then sort of cut away from all this
to a plastic surgeon whose name we

learn later on is Robert who is talking
about giving facial replacement surgery

to people with traumatic injuries.

He's one of the few doctors
who's successfully done this.

There's a whole sort of shady
exchange at a maternal hospital

where he gets some blood.

And he goes back to his private
underground lab under his house

and, and studies the bag of blood.

Then he goes and brings opium to
Vera, the woman in the, the suit.

She has uh, attempted to kill herself
by paper cutting herself to death.

She has sliced her wrists and cut
up her chest in several places.

He rushes her to his underground
operating theater and saves her life.

He's happy about this.

She does not seem quite so happy about it.

he's really fascinated by how
nice and soft her skin is.

Boy, it's the beginning of a
long train of things that are

going to happen in this movie.

He's also running some underground
tests on animal blood, which we'll learn

is because he's Trying to do some uh,
transhuman DNA stuff, some real Dr.

Zhivago bits to help make tougher
skin that does not burn and uh,

does not get bit by mosquitoes.

He's calling the skin Gal, which he says
is the name of his wife who died in a

horrible fire or had horrible burns.

More on that later.

He's told by the, the doctors there
that, hey uh, all this stuff is very

illegal and he should not be doing
anything where he alters human DNA to

make skin using pigs which is a thing
he has to be told it's a, it's a no no.

We then get to see him sitting
in his room and watching Vera

in the next room on a camera.

uh, he got some real
creepy business going on.

He tells Vera that she's, she's
now complete and he doesn't

know what to do with her.

she says she wants to live as equals and,
do stuff and be allowed out of her room.

Says that she knows that he
watches her and likes her.

He's not sure what to do and
Marilia is very against it.

She has some serious problems with
Vera, especially considering that

all of the extensive plastic surgery
that uh, He has done on Vera uh, has

now made her look like Gal, his dead
wife pre all the getting burned.

Marilla is in favor of straight up
euthanizing this woman, it would appear.

She is, just wants her gotten rid of.

Instead he decides to send
home all the servants.

The servants leave, and this is where...

If you'll believe it, things get weird
because a man dressed as a tiger shows

up to the uh, gate of this estate, turns
out that he is Marilia's son, Zika.

He aggressively pushes his way in despite
her saying she can't have visitors.

He is obviously a bad guy from the get go
he's got some mean looking facial scars.

Turns out, he is on the run from the
law because he robbed a bank, and

also, they don't seem to know this
yet, but murdered a employee of the

bank who was supposed to turn off the
cameras, but didn't do so successfully.

Emily: I want to mention that,
that he is dressed as a tiger

because of Carnival I guess.

Jeremy: he is using it
as an excuse to get in,

Emily: Yes.

Jeremy: And, you know, talking about
celebrating Carnival with his mother,

but also he is on the run from a
law, the law, who I would imagine

is not looking for a tiger man

Emily: Yes.

He identifies himself with
a birthmark on his butt, so.

Jeremy: Yeah, he identifies himself
by mooning his mother over the camera.

Zika is awful.

he wants Robert to do surgery on his
face to make him not look like himself

anymore so that he can hide from the cops.

Marilia is like, there's no
way he's going to do that.

As soon as he knocks you out to
do that, he would just murder you.

And he's like, what if I kidnapped
you first and held you hostage?

He cares about you so much, mom.

What if I threatened
to kill you, my mother?

And things just go from bad to
worse when he notices uh, the feeds

that are live from Vera's room.

He's sure that he knows who she
is and that she should be dead.

But he is gonna pursue this further his
mom pulls a gun on him and he wrestles

it away and then ties her up and sticks
a napkin in her mouth so that she can't

scream he manages to get the key and
open the girl's room, she uh, tries to

tackle her way out of the room and escape.

He holds her down and
brutally on screen rapes her.

There's a lot of hints as to,
like, who he thinks she is here.

Robert returns mid rape.

Marilia wants him to kill them both,
he just kills Zika and we get a wild

monologue from Marilia as Robert goes
off to dispose of Zika's body where we

learn that Zika and Robert are in fact
both Marilia's kids but Robert's the

son of the rich man she worked for and
the family just decided to go ahead

and claim him and give him a good life.

He's been served by the person
who's actually his mother his

whole life, and he has no idea.

Zika, in the meantime, who
was raised as her son started

transporting drugs as a child and
has never had any good life at all.

And then he came back 12 years ago
and ran away with Robert's wife.

They ran off, got in a horrible
car crash, and Zika left her to

burn in the car as he escaped.

She managed to survive.

Barely, horribly burned.

Robert brought her back and went
through extensive surgery and sat with

her and then tried to help her out.

He also got rid of all the
mirrors in the house so that she

couldn't see what she looked like.

Unfortunately, she hears her daughter
singing, is inspired to go to the window

and look out and sees her reflection in
the glass and then dives out of the top

floor of the house and commit suicide
literally feet from her daughter.

Some, on top of everything else,
that's, that's fucking rough, man.

Emily: Yeah mm hmm.

So just to, just to recap here.

We have very, very brutal on screen
rape and uh, the wife dying by

suicide after being burned and
her, daughter has witnessed it oh

yeah, and then the, tiger guy was
murdered, but we don't care about him.

Jeremy: yeah.

Amanda: Yep.


Jeremy: I'm curious, how were you guys
feeling at this point in the movie?

Because at this point in the movie,
it feels like things have gone off

the rails, and it will later on,
turn out that you have been safely,

securely within the rails at this
point, compared to where it is going.

Amanda: that point, I really felt like
oh shit, there's like still half of a

movie left, and I have no idea where
it's going, so I was a little unmoored,

and I also still had that like, that
lingering confusion of, okay, he thinks,

it's clear he thinks She's Robert's wife,
but why isn't she and trying to figure

out like what happened and how that
skin was used and just, oh, there's all

just so many questions at that point.

And I was not sure that I
was going to get an answer.

And also I was just like, oh boy,
the, the rape o meter at that

point was like already maxing out.


Emily: Yeah.

part of my whole like information
intake had shut down at that point.

Amanda: Yeah.

Emily: Um, So I was just like
there was like a, a layer of

mist between me and the film.

Which certainly like my, analytical brain
was still running crazy and I was very

much like, okay, what, what, Oh, but
this movie is like a million years long.

So, I'm here for the ride.

Let's go.

You know?

Jeremy: Yeah, I mean, I mean, at
that point, Robert comes back from

having disposed of the body Marilla
also throws the, just the nugget

of information that years later,
Robert's daughter followed her mother.

out the window looking for her mother.

And we'll come back to that.

Amanda: Yep.

Jeremy: Robert uh, after
returning, takes Vera back inside

and uh, they get ready to go...


But she is not ready because
she has literally been raped at

most hours before at this point.

Reasonable, I would say.

Like, the, the fact that they got to this
point at this point in the story, I was

like, what the fuck is wrong with Robert?

and we're gonna find out.

Emily: Yeah.

Jeremy: cause Marilia in her description
of her two sons says they have different

fathers, but they're both fucking insane.

Amanda: Yeah, the,

Jeremy: monsters.

Amanda: the housekeeper slash mother
slash keeper of all exposition.

Emily: Yeah.

Amanda: Yeah, like, she's,
she drops the wildest bombs

Jeremy: Yeah,

Amanda: at irregular points in the
movie and that was, that was a wild one.


Emily: God, she deserved better,

Jeremy: so it's funny.

funny is maybe not the word but as
I was watching this last night I

had seen it once already and I was
like including it on this list and

What happens in this next part?

is the like, thing I
remembered about the movie.

Because it is so much that
I had just forgotten about

all the rape in this movie.

Because as I was writing this in
my notes, I said, and here we go.

Six years earlier as, as they're
lying in bed uh, we get a flashback

through Robert, Robert and his daughter
at a wedding six years earlier.

And she is out and about for
the first time in a long time.

She has been in the hospital.

We're told she's actually
having a good time.

She seems to have a crush
on this boy that's there.

And, you know, Robert is, is
talking and chatting at the wedding.

And then uh, you notice that his
daughter is gone, so he goes looking

for her uh, in the teen sex garden
where all the teens are having sex.

I don't know if it's just that I don't
have, like, this size of a garden, but

I did not have any parties at my house
where, like, we had a garden where

all the teens just went and had sex
within, like, six feet of each other.

Emily: this is

Amanda: This, the most European part.


Jeremy: Yeah.

And Robert is like, hmm.

I guess, He continues down this path
and sees a guy take off in a scooter.

He sort of takes note of the
scooter and then he finds Norma's

clothes strewn around, finds
her, her shoes and her jacket.

And he finds Norma lying unconscious in
the middle of the garden and wakes her up.

She, she awakes and, and sees him and
starts screaming in absolute terror.

And we don't know exactly
what's happened yet.

Now we're back in the present we
pan over to Vera's face and we start

watching another story about a boy.

Uh, Who is decorating a uh,
show window mannequin as two

women debate over clothes.

One of the women working in there is sort
of his friend, lesbian shop attendant who

he won't stop hitting on and trying to
convince that she should do drugs just

so he'll fuck him, or she'll fuck him.

The other one is I, is his mom.

Emily: Super


Jeremy: he leaves here
to go to that same party.

Emily: I'm gonna stop you real quick.

Forgive me.

I just need you to know, audience,
that if you haven't seen this movie,

which, you know, if you have...

My heart goes out to you.

But the mannequin that he's decorating is
like a crazy wicker man straw sculpture.

Like, it is kind of nutty.

know, good for them for the, creativity
points, but he does seem a little bit

unhinged at first because of this weird
straw, effigy that he is decorating

and like, He keeps, like, groping
its breasts and, and then immediately

after, he's like, Hey, I know I'm
pissed off that you're not into me.

Can you, like, just take
this pill so you'd fuck me?

And Christine, who's the shop
attendant is just like, uh, so,

and then he goes to this party with
a wedding and his mom is there.

Jeremy: Yeah he's at the same party.

He is the, cute boy that Norma left with.

His name is Vincente.

And Vincente is quickly
stoned out of his mind.

He is doing drugs, popping pills
that we do not know what they are.

And he's chatting with with Norma
going out towards the sex garden.

And he makes reference to all the
drugs that he is on and asks her what

drugs she's on and she lists a series
of antidepressants and antipsychotics.

Which he does not pick up on that
she is not doing drugs to be high,

she is doing drugs to like level
out stuff that's going on with

Amanda: Yeah, exactly.

And then there's sort of this weird
rationalization thing that he does.

It's like, we should be together
because see, we're both weird.

We're both not quite right in the head.

And it was, it was so weird.

Emily: I mean, his, logic, I know
he was high, but his logic was,

paper, it wasn't even paper thin,
it was like, micro, like a fucking

circular protein whatever that is,

Amanda: yes.

Emily: about as thin as a DNA strand

Jeremy: Yeah, and it is a an awkward
series of things that happen here,

because it's like, he's definitely at
fault, but also, he is not aware of

a lot of shit that's going on at this
point and is a teenage, er, 20, teen or

20 something kid, it's hard to, I think
20 something is, stoned out of his mind.

Um, she is excited by this
prospect, takes off her shoes

and jacket and throws them down.

She did all that herself.

And they start making out and the
making out very quickly turns into

like awkward groping too much.

She's clearly uncomfortable
but not saying anything.

And then escalates
immediately to screaming.

As he is trying to go further with
what at this point is, is very clearly

in the, like, territory of rape.

Amanda: Yeah, at that, yeah, at
that point, he is assaulting her.


And he covers her mouth
when she starts screaming.

Emily: yeah.

Jeremy: and then she bites his
hand and then he slaps her hard

enough to knock her unconscious.

cleans her up a little bit,
puts her dress back on, and gets

on his scooter and rides off.

Which is when Robert sees him right
off and finds his, his daughter there.

And a few, a few days later, he's
back to life working at the women's

clothing store and does not realize
that Robert is stalking him.

Robert runs him off the road and
shoots him with a tranquilizer and

kidnaps him disposes of his his vehicle
Vincente wakes up chained up in a cave.

His mom goes to the police who are
like, yeah, we found his scooter off

of a sea cliff with no body, which
means he probably washed out at the

sea, and we've interviewed a lot of
people, and all of them were like,

he was talking about how much he
wanted to get the hell out of here, so

Amanda: Mm hmm.

Jeremy: dead or gone and nothing
nefarious has happened here she

is, understandably not convinced.

Robert goes to visit Norma in
the hospital and we get a truly

difficult scene of as soon as she
sees him, he, she completely starts

dissociating and hides in the closet.

The doctor is, It's clear with Robert
that like, because sort of like when

he woke her up and shook her awake, she
has associated him with the rape, and

it doesn't matter what anybody tells
her about what happened and shortly

thereafter uh, she commits suicide.

She jumps out the window of the hospital
which uh, Robert is not happy with.

He's on the verge of, of
murdering the doctor himself.

But he decides to take
that aggression elsewhere.

He goes down to the cave where
he has locked up Vincente

under his hospital there.

I don't know how many layers of
stuff under his house there are.

He shaves Vincente's head and knocks
him out and gets his uh, crack

private operating squad together.

Come do underground surgery.

When Vincente awakes, he discovers that
they have given him a vaginoplasty and

then Robert puts him through several more
surgeries, slowly turning him into Vera.

He tries to escape uh, several times,
tries to, kill himself Robert stops

him and, and brings him back at every
turn and is going through this whole

process that we've seen part of, of.

him like replacing skin and doing graphs
and giving uh, Vera breasts and fondling

and the one sort of respite she finds is
yoga and also writing things on the walls.

This is where he brings in
Marilia to watch over Vera.

And we're back at the present where he is.

Trying to sleep with the woman
he has Frankensteined from

a young man into this woman.

She is now sort of living with
them as if they're family.

Marilia, understandably, does not
trust her, but also uh, she's, I

don't know at one point has to go
back to her old room to retrieve

food for him from the dumb waiter.

and uh, sees all the things that
remind her of her time there.

Apparently they've made a promise.

Robert has promised Vera that she
is free to go wherever she wanted

and do as she wants as long as
she promises not to leave him.

Maria is not okay with any of this.

Um, You know,

Emily: She shouldn't be.

Jeremy: yeah she's maybe more upset
about the parts that she should be

less upset about than stuff that she
should be really upset about, but...


His, his underground surgery team
is uh, taking this new lack of

underground surgery personally and
wants to blackmail him with what they

know about Vincente's disappearance.

Which is when Vera shows up and, and backs
Robert up, says everything that was done

to her was because she wanted it done,
and she's always been a woman inside they,

they go to have sex and uh, she can't
find the lube, she's apparently left it

down in a bag downstairs, goes down to
grab that in her purse, and just happens

to grab the gun while she's there, sees
the picture of Vincente missing in the

uh, newspaper kisses Vincente's picture.

she goes upstairs and uh, shoots Robert
and Marilia comes looking to see what's

happened and she shoots Marilia too.

She uh, then I guess walks out and grabs
a cab goes back to her mom's store.

Reintroduces herself to, to
Christine and it ends with Vera

telling the mom that she's Vincente.

Like, literally, to dark,

Emily: It's like this, this tear jerking
reu like, they're all reunited and it's

very emotional and then it's like, end.

Amanda: I literally
thought it was a mistake.

I thought I sat on the remote.

I actually went back

Emily: ha

Amanda: Like, I watched
earlier this afternoon too.

It's very fresh.

I was like, this isn't,
that ain't the end.

You don't end on that.

There's so much more to talk about.

What the fuck?

Where's the other half hour of horror?

Emily: yeah, like, Maria,
she deserves better.

I wanted her to get up.

I mean, I really wanted her to shoot Vera.

Like, if Maria has to die, then everyone
should die, because Maria is the only

innocent person in this whole situation.

Like, she's, doing the best with
what she got and she's, like, trying

to fight against this, and, like,
it's just a horrible, horrible

situation with the best that she has.

Amanda: at the same time though,
it's super confusing about the sort

of inside out power dynamic of,
you know, your, your mother never

telling you that they're your mother,
and always being their housekeeper.

And so there is this weird status thing
where it's very clear that she's invested

in maintaining this sort of masculine
innocence in these sons, especially

the legitimate one who's a doctor.

And she enables a lot of his worst
impulses leading up to that, you know,

she really just wanted to hide it which,
you know, is pretty common, uh, when,

you know, when that stuff happens, but
because she was never his legitimate

mother, it feels extra complex and gross.


Emily: yeah.

Well, I mean, because I was looking at
it from this perspective of her being

abused throughout her life and take it
for granted and things like that and and

I mean, it's, to be extreme, you could
call it a kind of Stockholm syndrome,

but I, I think that's a little bit
reductive compared to, like, some of the,

Relationships that caregivers develop
with kids that they've helped, you know,

Amanda: Mm hmm.

Emily: his actual mom.

Or, or it's like, or if she wasn't,
she wasn't in his life as his mother,

even though she was his bio mother.

Amanda: Exactly.

So she's like trying to mother
in the way that is accessible.

Yeah, it's it's and that's what makes it
just so like, oh boy, like you said, it's,

she's kind of the only one you hope gets
a little bit of something at the end,

a little bit of peace, but no, she dies
defending her son who's already dead.

Which sucks.

Emily: Yeah.

Well, I mean, also, like, she,
she was fully about to kill her

other son, her, like, tiger son.


Amanda: Mm hmm.

Emily: I mean, I think she would have
killed Antonio Banderas just as readily.

But, you know, she,

Amanda: things shook out

Emily: yeah, like, you know, and she
knew that the situation was fucked.

So, I don't know, I do think,
again, she is not completely,

like, I said, she's innocent, but,
you know, that's a comparison.

Jeremy: The most she says about
things being fucked is that, like,

if she had been here at the time,
she would not have been okay with the

fact that this man gave this person
that he has created his wife's face.

Like, I mean, yeah, that's
that's one, that's one of

many, one of many issues here.

Emily: Yeah,

Amanda: Yeah, exactly.

Emily: but she's also dealing with her
place as, like, a servant, you know,

and she is explicitly called a servant.

Um, you know, she does have.

A little bit of authority and that she
is the head of the servant staff a and B,

she's an older woman that he knows, but
he, he doesn't know that she's his mother.

And I don't think he ever finds


Jeremy: is,

Amanda: Yeah, I don't think so either.

Jeremy: previously.

She has been gone for several years
because he, I guess, just didn't

need a housekeeper when he wasn't.

keeping somebody hostage in his,

Emily: So he calls her back and calls
a bunch of other people back in to

help him out when he has a, hostage.

Which, like, it's not subtle, like,
they all know what's going on because

he's got huge ass LCD screens of her
ass, all over the fucking house so he

can watch her and, like, you know, the
zoom in on her skin and everything.

Jeremy: they Don't know what's going
on, but they know it's not okay.

Emily: yeah, yeah,

Jeremy: they do not know the
extent of the surgery and

everything that he has done here.

Emily: Just know that he has, like,
essentially a pet, captive woman

who he's constantly medicating
and, like, smoking opium with, and

that's, that is what is known, as far

Jeremy: you got your known
knowns and your known unknowns.

Emily: Yeah,

Jeremy: Your unknown unknowns do not
know that she came in as a, as a man.

Boy, it is, it is difficult to talk
about gender when talking about this

character as well because it's like,

Amanda: Very much.

Jeremy: yeah, she is, she is introduced
to the audience as, as Vera and we sort

of see the process of how we got there.


Amanda: so perverse.

You know, we're introduced in this false
way and and you, you can feel this tension

under the surface but you don't realize
how forced it is until you get further

in and that, that shit's agonizing.

Emily: yeah.

I mean, there's a, there's a sense of,
of rising disgust that, that continues

and it's a lot of it has to do with
the way that gender is weaponized.

Um, And I mean, it's really, really rough
because it, this is basically weaponizing

gender dysphoria and body dysmorphia.

Like, this is...

Amanda: Yep.

Emily: the main form of torture here,
this isn't like, the kind of, this

isn't like Saw, we're not getting
people with their mouth flayed open,

or, you know, like, there have been
explicitly sexual torture scenes in a

lot of movies, this is very meticulous.

it's so attentive and Antonio
Banderas character, his, he's mostly

kind of deadpan throughout it.

Amanda: Yeah, there's like a
focused, he has this focused look

in his eye, but he's also so stoic.

He doesn't show any real emotion other
than sort of like this consumptive

desire when he's trying to force a
woman to do something that she doesn't

want to do, whether it's recognized
him as his, as her father and come

to, or, you know, be my wife again.

Let's go back in time.

Emily: yeah.

And so there's, he's like putting all,
doing all this fucked up shit, but

it's all with this, like, this stoic
demeanor, which is more unsettling to me.

You know, when it's like a crazy
dude in a mask going, like, you

know, it's, it's a different beast.

Jeremy: Yeah, apparently like Pedro
Amadovar told him early on in the, in the

thing that like, after the first couple
days of working with Antonio Banderas on

here, that like, he needed to get rid of
all of his actor's tics and quirks, like,

he wanted this character to be, fiercely
deadpan and driven and serious rather

than any sort of, you know, he didn't
want him to read, I guess, as a soap

opera villain, because I will say, for as
like, well made as this movie is, as like,

well done as the acting and directing
and it is, it has some downright soap

operatic like twists and moments in it.

I think a lot of Pedro
Amadovar's stuff does.

Amanda: Yeah, it's like, it's like,
uh, a very, a type of misogyny

camp that he does very well.

And this is a very, a lot of this stuff,
you know, just tipped in a just slightly

askew could have gone extra big and
silly, but it's good that Antonio Banderas

kind of, honed in on just like this.

Blank stare, this like emotionless gaze it
makes you wonder how anesthetized by opium

he is when he makes, when he's working
versus when he's not working there's

this sort of blurring of lines of like
who is in reality and who is in delusion

And it only gets crazier as it goes on.

You, you realize how much he has
convinced himself to believe.

Emily: Yeah, I mean, he becomes fully
a victim of his own delusion at the

end, which is what causes him to lose
control of the situation and, you

know, trust his victim, which, I,

Amanda: He bought his
own fantasy for a second.

Emily: yeah, and which, there's so
many levels to that, and, like, he's

On one level, he is using Vicente
as a guinea pig, and there's the

medical torture element there.

Then he is sort of reversing the roles in
a way where he's like, okay, now you're,

you know, you treated women as an object.

Now you're an object
that I get to manipulate.

And you now have to feel what that is and
then it goes completely out of control.

It's like, okay, well, now, not only
are you, are you a woman out of control

of her own body, but you're also
still a guinea pig and I'm going to

make your skin so powerful that you
can't kill yourself, you know, like,

I've I'm trying to make your skin.

I'm taking this to the next level

and I'm continuing to, to, to experiment
on you as sort of like a a method of

dissociating himself from the fact
that he used his wife's face, you know,

Amanda: Yeah.

He's just externalizing all of it
onto this, this surgical object.

And that's, you know, it gets
real Frankenstein's monster

in some, in some parts.

I mean, down to like when you see you
know, what we're told is Vera just about

to enter the body stocking and it's
like, and you could see the seams and,

and there's just like, you know, it
calls up, you know, all of the movies,

it calls up like Metropolis, it calls
up all of the stuff that, that is like

cinematic history, but also like gender
history, which that's kind of cool,

you know, but I'm also just so fucking
horrified that I can't appreciate that.

Jeremy: I I just, I, I had to explain
to you guys that I, I had a breakdown

in the middle of Amanda Duck there

Emily: yeah, I was

Jeremy: I'm looking at my, I'm looking at
the IMDB page for for the skin I live in.

And scrolling halfway down, I hit the
mid page ad, and it's for KY Jelly.

Amanda: Oh,

Emily: What the

Amanda: God.


Emily: Jeremy.


Amanda: the machines, they
are learning and what they

are learning is great indeed.

Emily: a sweet algal, my dude.

Arrested pieces.

Jeremy: Oof.

Amanda: Heard you need to
loop up your test subject.

Jeremy: Lube,

Emily: yeah.

The, and like the detail about dilation,
which was like, also set as a like, the

way that they, they depicted it was this.

Like, horror scenario when,

Amanda: it was kind of like, like, I guess
in all of our equivalent to you know, a

prison sex joke or something where it's
just very clear, like, ha ha, got you.

Now you are the one being penetrated.

And that sort of yeah.

Like one dimensional gender
disgust that that comes from

this like toxic masculine ideal.

And and, you know, it also it's
just, you know, bringing up content

warning again for the intense trans
misogyny and medical torture of it all.

But like, you know, giving him, giving
Vicente a vaginoplasty and also, being

the doctor who is like molding and
shaping it and the way that the dilator

almost feels like it was maybe to his
specifications because I've seen medical

dilators for real people who are going.

through that dilation process.

And they don't look like that.

Um, They, you know, they
were a little too pointy.

They were too long from the beginning.

Like they should be a lot.

There was just a lot there that
was like, oh yeah, very much

like, horror punishment coded.


Emily: they were essentially dildos,
like, that's what he was, you know,

they were supposed to be phallic.

You know, because they're like, they
had a head and everything and I'm like.

Amanda: Yeah.

Emily: It's.

not, that's not what
real dilators are due.

Amanda: Yeah, it's like he made
a mold of his own ding dong and

was just like, you, I'm, I'm
building you to my specifications.

Emily: yeah.

Jeremy: the way he is presenting things
that he intends as torture, as medical

aid, and, like, in that section in
particular, that he is, he is doing it

in such a way that he is not like...

Yeah, here, I'm gonna,
we're gonna fuck you up.

This is gonna be terrible.

It's like, here's what
you need to get used to.

Here's, you know, how, here's some
notes on the, you know, treatment

and care of your vagina, basically.

Amanda: does, you know, parallel
the way cis women are talked

to by doctors in a lot of ways.

And you know, we still have like
majority male gynecologists and

obstetricians, I think, in the world, so.

That, you know, that really, like, I felt
the echoes of that, like, I've been told

by a male doctor certain things that are
normal about certain birth control that

certainly weren't, you know what I mean?

And, you know, being led down the
wrong path and actually being harmed

by their medical advice, because they
made a wild assumption that was not.

Based in women's bodies, but what they
think women's bodies should be able

to withstand in order to please them.

And so that, you know, that, that,
you know, made it extra pointy.

Emily: Yeah.

So to

Amanda: The dilators were very pointy.

Emily: Yeah.

It was, it was a little evocative of the
the vibrator that was utilized by early

doctors to treat quote unquote hysteria.

Amanda: Yes.

Emily: Which is like, you
know, I don't know if that was

I assume that was on purpose

Amanda: It's a lot of willful
misunderstanding, a lot of willful

ignorance, a lot of kayfabe, I
think, and a lot of the ways that

we, like, made up those medical
terms, it's like a lot of folks

Emily: Oh, yeah.

Amanda: doing when they were doing
it, but we all had to call it

this which, oh boy, very funny.

Emily: Yeah.

It is.

It is also.

Oh, I was just going to say his demeanor
is very, like, Joseph Mengele kind

of like, sort of detached interest
and his subject who is a human being.

Amanda: Yes, yeah, that detached sort of
contemptuous surveillance, obsessive kind

of gaze on a, a female body and it, it
is very eugenics, like, just OG eugenics.

Jeremy: Yeah.

I'm, I'm curious where
you guys land on this.

Obviously, this is, this
movie's 12 years old.

This has been a very long 12 years as
far as How far the trans movement has

come, like, people's understanding of
of all of that, and I, you know, it's

based on a book that's even older.

How do we, like, where do we land?

I think, that was my biggest problem
coming out of watching this movie the

first time, is I was like, I have no
idea how to, like, handle this movie.

Like, and the way it relates to trans
people in the world you know, this, this

movie in which you know, forcibly changing
somebody's sex is, is like, projected

as, you know, torture and revenge
and this and how any of that relates

to the real world and people dealing
with, with, you know, these sorts of

surgeries and things in their real lives.

Amanda: Yeah, the, the, the questions
about bodily autonomy in a patriarchy

are really interesting, but they're
half asked and half and half answered.

But like, which is like kind of part
for the course, for the time for that,

for for, for this director, for Spanish
film . And and also, yeah, like in 2012

gosh, like, People were playing single
ladies at their weddings and having gender

revealed parties and, you know, people
weren't really thinking about trans folks

in the way that they were three years ago,
certainly not the way they are now, where

everyone's talking about it, but it's in
this much crazier heightened circumstance.

I, I think I'm trying to not focus on
the transmisogyny as much and try to

think about like what he's saying about
women and femininity and the type of

femininity that these men are craving.

And I think that's what so much of what's
happening is the, the projection of, we

know how much we, extract and abuse women.

What, what, but what if we could keep
them soft and supple and they could

still feel good while we do harm to them?

They won't show it.

You know, what if we can make a woman
that doesn't show the scars of what

What if I didn't have to see the results
of my actions in, in relation to women

and yeah, like just that braided in with
just, it just all of the non consensual

sexual activity and assault and just sort
of idle threats and The way women are

shut down and locked away and controlled
for their own good and that being the

ultimate punishment to this man who just
happened to hurt the wrong girl Is to

then become to become a person who, you
know, sort of symbolizes the most trauma,

the most feminine trauma in his life.

And you know what that says.

Jeremy: daughter before, right?


Amanda: Oh, definitely.


Emily: well, I think, okay, so in
that sense, we have this statement

here that is that the worst
thing you could do to somebody to

torture them is make them a woman.

And, you know, essentially the
worst thing you could do to a man

is, you know, to torture him for
sexual assault is make him a woman.

Now, when we, when we really like look
at that, There's some elements there

that I think, you know, there may have
been, and if I would be a little bit

more on board with this, if I knew
if I was more confident that this was

intended, but there is a little bit of,
like, the, the how the turn of tables

where the you know, you have the, the.

The outcome of this be like, okay, you
get to see how your behavior affects

somebody because now it is you who is.

Being treated this way.

And there's a, there is
some meaning to that.

There, there is something to be
taken away from that in terms

of a, like, feminist message.

It's not strong enough in this
movie for me to really, like, take

that home, but I do feel like in
that horror and in the, the, just.

Visceral disgust that I felt about
a lot of what was going on in this

movie and how it was depicted.

Um, you know, I do think that there
are you know, maybe accidentally we are

Landing on how fucking horrible it feels
to have your gender decided for you.

And that is something that a lot
of trans people can relate to.


You know, I think, is it
necessary for a trans person to

go through it to watch this movie?


Amanda: Please, no.

Emily: yeah, like, this is something,
like, you know, you, you know, like,

it's, it's like, if you know, I have
PTSD about a car crash and then I watch

Crash, you know, like, I don't have
to experience how horrible that is.

You know, I'm not, I'm not
like giving myself any extra,

anything extra with that.

Other than trying to, you know,
there's a lot of complex things going

on with, with trauma, of course, you

Amanda: of course.

But the level of body horror here
is just not, it's existential.

It's like to the, to the core of
who someone is and how that's just

not compatible with the way, you
know, if you've got powerful enough

men around you, they're, they're
going to do what they want and

they're going to try to control it.

What the results of that looks
like and that, that manipulation

is just so disgusting.

Jeremy: this is a, this is a real, like,
magic eye picture of a movie, which, like,

depending on the angle you're looking
at it, like, you can be looking at it

one second and be like, this is actually
incredibly feminist, and then you look

at it from a slightly different angle
and you're like, Actually, not at all.

Amanda: Yeah.

I think this is like, just
neg, it's negative feminism.

It's just so, it's so aggro in its toxic
masculinity, but it's all dressed in art.

And you


Jeremy: Amadovar's, like, intention,

Amanda: right.



Jeremy: does he, realize
how awful Robert is?

Like, does he realize all of this stuff
is, you know, it's like, if you look

at this movie as a, a Frankenstein
story rather than a Hollywood movie.

Count of Monte Cristo, it's a
completely different movie, looking

at the same events and the same, you
know, stuff that's on the screen.

It's just a, just a question of
like, the, you know, the, the lens

through which you're looking at it.


Emily: that there is, I feel like there is
some intention to, depicting how horrible

this is, that, that, that how awful Robert
is, how awful pretty much everybody is,

except, you know, Maria is, is leaps and
bounds less awful than everyone else,

you know, she's, she's, you know, the

Amanda: She has very little power,
so it's, yeah, there's not a lot of

harm she can do and even Vera, you
know, and Vicente knows that but,

you know, ultimately had to kill,
kill her anyway to protect, you know.

their ability to leave and go home
and actually reunite with his family.

Yeah, it's it's just so, so steeped.

In it's just so steeped in, like,
Entitlement, like, there is sort of

a, like, a presumptive entitlement to
women's labor that's already kind of

baked into the way that the settings are,
and You know, when early on when he's

talking to the other medical dude and
he's like, listen, I think all the time

about the implications and what wonderful
things you, we could do with this,

with this shit, this evil shit you're
cooking up, but you still can't do it.

And so like, even the people who are, who
don't want him to do it are like, Yeah,

we all like, we all secretly desire this.

We would love to do this.

But we just can't.

And you know, it kind of reminded me
of just, you know, when, when some

asshole in a, in a building says, Oh,
you can't say anything these days.

There was a bit of like, you know,
like, communal lament around like,

Oh, yeah, we can't pursue this.

Oh, how cool would it be?

Emily: Yeah, well, I feel like
that that was intentionally

or intentionally deplorable.

Like, I feel like there was an
intentional depiction of that

being deplorable behavior.

And I think the fact that the thing
that I'm going to point to that helps

me kind of, recognize the intention
Of the horror is the fact that all

of the, there's very little gore in

Amanda: Mm hmm.

Emily: There's very little body.

Like, the body horror is not depicted
through the same way that, like,

Cronenberg would be doing body horror
with, like, weird, you know, like,

prosthetics and stuff like that.

The body horror is, and even like the
burn victim, there was nothing over

the top about her, her burn scars.

Amanda: It's very thinly veiled, a lot
of implied off camera violence, yeah.

And like, I appreciate how it's
not as gratuitous, yeah, but

it's still like, ooh, that, what,
what, what does that choice mean?

Emily: I mean, it was,
but there was violence.

All of the violence was depicted as sex,

Amanda: Mm hmm.

Emily: all sexual violence, and it was
the way that Vera and Norma acted in

those scenes that really communicated
to me because there was something

very, very relatable for me about
they're sort of like, I, you know,

they're either they were just like,
I'm going to wait for this to be over.

Or I don't know what's
going on because I'm, you

Amanda: You're held hostage, essentially.


Emily: yeah.

And then also like that, the
look especially during the

tiger guy, like, rape scene,

her, her look of just dissociation, like,
she was not, and there were so many, like.

Aggressive, like, breast
grabbing and stuff like that.

And the way that, like, each of those
things felt so, it did not feel sexy.


Amanda: None, not at

Emily: sex.

There was so much sex in the movie,
but all of it felt like there

was something bad going down.

Like, this was not, none
of it was good to look at.

None of it felt,

Amanda: Formy, depleting, just seedy,
you know, everything, just, yeah.

And you've, there's this
sort of endlessness to it.

You're just like, why is
this guy just hammering away?

You know, it's, it's punishing to watch.

Emily: yeah.

And so I think in that
case, yeah, yeah, yeah.

We have a little bit of understanding
of what that, what that is like for

an assault victim, you know, we're,
we're with the assault victims here.

Now, you know, if there's a
lot of decisions that would

have made this a lot better,

Amanda: Yeah,

Emily: you know, a little less, I
don't know, sympathy for Vicente.

You know, cause Vicente
was a piece of shit,

Amanda: yeah, we don't really get
to know what we're saving, you know,

what, what, what was redeemable about
Vicente before, how, how we know him

other than what the doctor did to him.

There's just sort of this feeling
of like, what is morality at all?

Emily: Yeah.

And, you know, there's, there is a little
bit of a I mean, there could be sort of

a projection of him being like, well, he
was this, just this, just a little guy.

He's just a little guy,
and he liked to make...

Weird mannequins, but he,
we, he was always seedy.

Like, he was trying to force his
lesbian co worker to have sex with him,

Amanda: Mm hmm.

Emily: To the extent
of trying to drug her,

Amanda: Mm hmm.

Emily: basically rape her.

And he's like, well, yeah, basically
telling her that it's like, well, if you

won't have, if you don't want me, then,
you know, why don't I just rape you?


Amanda: yeah.

There's a lot of like,

you know, a mixture of this person is
fucked up on whatever substances, but also

there's some undiagnosed medical, like,
mental health issue going on with Vicente

that we don't get to know or understand.

So, yeah, we don't, we
don't know who or why.

Emily: Yeah,

Amanda: It's worth, like,
you know, having that moment.

For him at the end.

Like, what did, what did it mean?

Emily: Yeah, like, for me, you
know, the rape by itself was like,

okay, you know, torture this guy.

This is, this is a, this is a a step
beyond, you know, like, the, the,

the, this extent of medical torture.

I do not enjoy this at all.

Like, you know,

Amanda: Mm

Emily: but, you know, thinking
about, like, I've, I'm very familiar

with thinking about, like, okay,
what's the most horrible thing

that can happen to a rapist?

And let's, let's explore
that with our imaginations.


And, you know, which is you know,
I think is part of coping, but

Amanda: hmm.

That's not what restorative
justice looks like, obviously.

And, and, and, like, most survivors,
you know, and like, as a survivor

myself, it's just, yeah, there's
so much work that's done in healing

yourself and, and remembering that the
boundaries and the, the forgiveness

and all of that are really for you.

And, you know, none of that involves the,
the assailant, you know, and yeah, the,

the sort of obsession with revenge is.

Just, you know, is coming from
the cishet male imagination.

Emily: Yeah.

And like this, this Vera becomes an almost
like a magical, unresistible sex object,

Amanda: Yes.

Emily: like, not even of her own
ability, like, she's not, she, you

know, she does choose with Robert,
she does choose to, like, weaponize

the intimacy to gain his trust,

Amanda: Yes.

Emily: which is, you know, like, it's
a survival tactic, it's an extreme

situation, but with the tiger guy like,
he sees her on a, on a shitty little

screen and starts licking it like he's
under some sort of spell and she isn't

doing anything, she's not doing anything
to do that, he's just a, you know, I

mean, he's a piece of shit, yes, He's a
piece of shit and a part, but the, the

fact that, like, Robert seems to have
made this, like, magical, unresistible

woman and then fucks her himself,

Amanda: Yes.

Emily: the initial intention, as
far as I could tell, was to, like,

punish this guy for being a rapist
and then, you know, and then, like,

but then he doesn't rape the guy.

, he waits until he, he doesn't even
like, he wants it to be consensual,

but there's consent is completely
out the window at this point.

Anyway, like, this

Amanda: He's trying to manufacture
the conditions and it's never working.

And so, yeah, I mean, the only way that,
like, Vicente is able to get out is by

leaning in and, you know, acting like
You know, Oh, if I protect him, then

he'll think, Oh, I finally flipped.

And, you know, and you could see how
they, they, like, Vicente also wanted

that to be the case with the tiger man.

There was like, it was like, let's go to
the garden, you know, and so there was

this moment of like, okay, I'm going to
withstand some amount of violence until

I can get to a place where I can run.

And like, and that's like, What more?

The feminine urge.

The feminine urge to calculate
exactly how many pain units you can

withstand just in enough time to
slip out the door and bolt into the

night which so many women have done.

And it's, it's, yeah, it's
real, it's real fucked.

Emily: And in a way, I mean, during this
conversation, I see how, like, there's

a really important kernel of truth to
the, the complexity of Surviving sexual

assault and determining, like, the,
the, the socially accepted quote unquote

definition of rape, you know, when you
are in a situation that is desperate

or that is involved so much abuse,

Amanda: Exactly.

And when it's been so normalized and sort
of like, sort of brought in to sort of

this institutional idea, like whether
it's marriage in a house with servants

removed from where people can see or the
structure and, you know, sort of, legal

Ways of like medical science and, and the
ways that medical science can cleverly

kind of strip you of your autonomy by, you
know, just by classifications and stuff.

Yeah, and just like how designed it
all is to make it that way for, you

know, you know, whether it's a literal
cage, whether they're actually tied

to the chair, or they just, they can't
leave because they're being watched.

Emily: Yeah, and so you have, like, all
of these things going on in this movie

and you know, there's only just, like,
a slip of hope that you can take away.

That message if it is even intended.

Amanda: It's just, you know, me and,
like, people who've read books trying

to, like, decipher and make sense of
what they're seeing by being, like,

yeah, just disappointed in the, the,
you know, Pedro's math, I guess.

Emily: yeah, yeah, the math is a great
and, you know, I still, like, had to

sit down and think about this movie
and I, like, I had to take a nap.

I had to, like, sit there and
just let myself let it happen.


Amanda: so funny, because there was a
moment, like, I was like, there's like

25 minutes until the podcast starts.

I wonder if I could, I wonder if I
could dissociate for a few minutes.

Emily: Yeah, no, I was, I was
technically like supposed to teach.

I have a Zoom class and
Brett taught it for me.

'cause I was like, you

Amanda: Aww.

Emily: I can't look at my, you know, my
wonderful, like, I can't sit here with

this, this thing that I just watched.

And then like, look at my wonderful,
you know, hopeful trans students and

not just like, burst into tears, being

Amanda: know.

Emily: I love you.

Don't let this happen.

Jeremy: On, on the front of like,
what, what is intended in it

and what isn't and everything.

I think it is worth noting that
Amadovar is gay and, you know,

is, did explicitly call this and
market this as a horror movie.

Not as a you know, drama, not as
any, any of the other, I mean, he's

done several drama comedy things.

And, you know, it was very explicit
about the fact that this was a horror

movie and you know, as a, he's, he,
he according to him was bi until

he turned 34 and now he's just gay.

You know, and then sure.

Amanda: he's figuring it out too.

Yeah, we all are.

You know, like, and, you know,
let's check in in another few years.

Jeremy: before this movie, you know, would
have been that, that switch over at 34.

But like, yeah, I think like,
oh, that so much of the intention

is, is explicitly there.

And I wonder how much.

I mean, I'm not gonna go read
Tarantula, but like, how much more

of that is sort of spelled out, or
if it is spelled out in the book,

Emily: Yeah.

I'm not seeing like I was doing a
lot of research about tarantula and

I didn't really see much about that.

Because the, the author is described to
be a quote unquote crime novel writer.

This is something completely, this is not
when I, when I watch this, I do not think

that, like, a crime novel, you know, like,
this isn't some silence of the lambs shit.

This is, you

Amanda: Yeah.

It shows you what people,
how people receive.

The, the content of the story, like,
you know, look, like the, a lot of the

critical responses to the movie sort of
frame it as a mellow drama or as like

more of like a thriller, like even some
weird off base men have called it an

erotic thriller, like, it's really clear
that they're, like, they don't maybe

even see it the way It was intended.

You know, they're not seeing it
as straight horror and it's like,

where, where else would it had
to have gone for you to really

use the H word in your review?

I don't, you know what I mean?

Emily: absolutely.

It's just like,

Jeremy: much more, much more a neurotic
thriller than an erotic thriller, like,

Amanda: Yeah.

Emily: want to remind
cishet dudes out there.

That if there's a titty
doesn't mean that it's erotic.

Amanda: Yay.

Emily: I just want you to

Amanda: Tap the sign one more time.

Emily: if there's a titty visible,
it doesn't mean it's erotic.

It doesn't mean that
you're supposed to get off.

And by, so I was writing notes
for this and I stopped right

after the, the second rape scene.

And I just wrote so many people
do horrible things to get off.

And you know, that's, that's not
shaming those people who are too, too,

for whom getting off is a wonderful
thing, but like, because, I mean,

Amanda: come on.

Emily: I've been asexual and yeah,
I've, I've, I should say I've identified

myself on this podcast as asexual but.

Like, the fact that it is, you know,
I think it does say something about

how sex is seen by a lot of people,
like, you know, how in Great and Toxic

Masculinity the equation of power and
sex as something that it is used to

dominate rather than something that
it is shared and I think that right

there is another element to this movie.

That I think is important in terms
of its horror narrative and, you

know, there's a lot of people out
there that would, you know, say

something like that is sex shaming.

No and I think that that, you know,
and like, that's on the other side

of, like, is this an erotic thriller
just because there's sex in it?

I feel like for a lot of us,
it's more horrifying because.

is weaponized and, you know, what is so
horrible about like, because again, not

a lot of not a lot of gore in this movie.

There's some blood, the, the
actual murder scenes are very, very

like, PG, like, it's a gunshot.

And so there's

Amanda: yeah, classic blood shots
and like blood slowly coming out

like the, you know, when, when Vera
attempts slicing her throat content

warning, sorry, and survives.

It's like, that was also pretty
graphic just, but it was still

also so dainty at the same time.

The, the blood wasn't gratuitous.

There was no, like, Kill
Bill fountains going on.

Emily: yeah, and it wasn't even like,
that wasn't knife to skin either.

It was her, you know, and
even like, the, even the.

The, like I said, the scarring.

Super grotesque.

Amanda: Yeah, we don't see the
sort of horrifying immediate

aftermath, you know, where things
are really sticky and horrifying.

We see the like smoothed over several
months later version of the skin and even

that it's, you know, there's a little bit
of gauze low lighting, you know, there's

the curtain and the way that we play with
the natural light is still so minimal.


Emily: Yeah.

And you know, there's also the question
of if she had been told that this was

an issue, if she had been communicated
with about her, her state of being,

so she could actually, like, have
time to deal with it, you know, that's

another way that Robert fucked up,

Amanda: Yep.

Emily: is basically hiding this fact
because he was so intent on holding on

to the idea that she was a beautiful
wife and this was his beautiful house.

And where does that highway go to?

Jeremy: yeah, I think, like, saying on
the like, fucked up things about Robert,

I think it's talking about the way that
mental health is portrayed in this, we do

like, get his daughter's mental illness
explicitly as a bad thing that's happening

to him throughout most of the story.

Like, it doesn't deal with what

Amanda: women, my women are not normal.



Jeremy: Yeah.

And that's the, that's.

I think it has some moments, especially
where she's like talking about the, the

drugs that she's on you know, where you're
like, oh, it's kind of dealing with,

with mental illness in like a normal way,
but then like the, the way in which it

tips its hand from there is, is less.


Amanda: Yeah, there's not, it's, it's
about mental illness, but you know,

but not enough that we would ever see
anybody really heal or get any kind of.

Have their own arc that replicated
what, what, you know, dealing

with that trauma would look like.

It's all shorthand and,
you know, oh, and she died.

Jeremy: And you also did mention
that there is exactly, as far as

I can tell, one black woman with
a speaking part in this movie.

Emily: Yes.

Jeremy: no black men, no other non
white folks that I can think of.

Yeah, and she is explicitly
an entertainer, a singer.


is, she has an incredible voice

Amanda: Yeah, she does an incredible job.

I think it's the expression and
the passion with which she sings is

so much greater than what anybody
is feeling at the actual wedding.

She is trying to fill
this room with emotion.

And it's funny because like, like
you said, she's the only Black

person who speaks and it's singing
and it's in a performing context.

It's a, which means the
power's not really there.

The visibility is high and the power's
very low, but She's also like the lyrics

of the song from what I could pick up.

It was, there was, it was just like sort
of romantic ballads with some heartache

and pain that she needed to convey.

And she's the only woman who
really gets to do that freely.

And it's in this context of storytelling
in a vacuum that's detached from

everybody and is really for entertainment.

It's, it's like, yeah, it
was kind of interesting.

I don't know what to do with
that, but it's an observation.

Emily: Well, the, the band you know,
there was a lot of beautiful camera

work around the band and the, the
singers and how they were depicted.

However, it did echo to me
the same way that you get

these, you know, 1940s dramas.

Where you have a black band
and, you know, the only way that

people of color can be in this, in
this setting is as entertainers.

Amanda: Yeah.

Entertaining in a gig anonymously.

You know, these aren't credited people.

This isn't supposed to be a concert.

You know, this is a wedding.

So, yeah, it's, yeah, it's like, it's,
it's a very clear sort of just sort of a

fun statement on just the way of things.

Blackness operates in Spain,
is allowed to operate in Spain.

And as someone who is half Moroccan,
I'm pretty familiar with how

Spaniards act and they're not great.

Emily: yeah.

No, I mean, there's, there is certainly
a, a sense of exhibition going on here.

Like, these, these quaint ethnic
performers that we have, you

know, and that also is in the
cinematography, unfortunately.

Like, yes, it is beautiful, but
that's a little fetishy, if I

really want to get in there and

Amanda: So fetishy,

Emily: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Amanda: so fetishy.

There's, yeah, like, it's kind of weird
as we go on and see, like the, the way

we zoom into her face, the singer's
face just gets weirder and weirder.

And the angle's really high, and
then it's really low, and it's

like the lips are lipping, but
what does he think about that?

I, you know, I'm just so confused
emotionally, feeling kind of a little

queasy, the way you feel when you're
in a room surrounded by white people,

and they all expect you to do the
trick, and, and then shuffle off.

Jeremy: because there's so little
time spent with her, like, it's,

it's another one of those, does,
does Amadova realize what he's doing?

Like, he's, he's put her
performing at this wedding.

You know, this is not a concert.

This is like her and her band
playing some rich lady's wedding.

You know, and that's,

Amanda: Why do, why does this get the,
the, like, MTV unplugged treatment all

of a sudden in the middle of what's,
like, about to be a horrifying incident?

It's just like,

Emily: Yeah.

And I am so familiar with how, like,
a white storyteller will show that

and be like, but isn't it beautiful?

know, and it's absolutely fetishy.

Amanda: Yeah, I mean, it comes down
to autonomy and power again, right?

We want, we want to have these dollies
that we can control and can't speak

for ourselves, and whether that means
the way that that is imposed on white

women, where they need to look beaut
they need to have the most beautiful,

soft, supple skin, but it also needs
to be able to withstand a car accident.

You know, that I refused to save
my mistress from like, well, oh

boy, like that was also real fuck.

Yeah, it's it's just, it's very clear
and you can kind of see like, oh yeah,

black, you know, all, all the women
are white and all the blacks are men.

The classic, classic,

Jeremy: yeah, yeah.

So, I mean, it's worth noting
that singer's name was Buika.

She is apparently won
all, like tons of awards.

She's got a,

Amanda: she had like a global superstar.



Jeremy: she is

Emily: I've seen her before.

Jeremy: Buika.

She has she is from Spain.

But she's got a ton of like Latin
Grammys and all sorts of other awards.

She's also a poet, so, I it's

Amanda: yeah.

So that's an even more
interesting to use someone.


To use someone who is like already so
lauded and successful in what they do in

such a minor sort of set dressing role
but then shooting it like it's important.

Like it's a load bearing story moment
and it's all, yeah, it's like what

the fuck were we planning here?

Jeremy: I do wonder if they're just
like friends, like her and Inova or like

Amanda: And he just decided to get a
little indulgent with it and didn't

realize how it looked in the end.

I don't know.

Jeremy: Yeah,

Emily: it's just in that movie,
like, it's so, it's such whiplash

in that movie because we're,

Jeremy: straight between the rape scenes,

Emily: it's like,

Amanda: exactly.

It's horrifying, but it's like she
gets to sort of belt these notes and

meanwhile, you know, a teen is screaming
and being muffled and, you know, and

there's all this other wild, goofy sex
act shit happening in the garden that

is of varying levels of consent, oof.

Emily: no, you know, and in another
movie we would have, like, you know,

it could be some sort of much ado
about nothing, silly Bacchanal,

Jeremy: yeah, there's like Itamama
Tambien is going on in like the next,

the next part of the garden over.


Emily: yeah, yeah.

And, and, but it's, we all know because
we're watching this movie that it's

all, it's not even white eyes wide shut.

It's like beyond eyes wide shut.

It's like, you know, like, it's bad.

It's bad.

Amanda: it's very bad.

It's very bad.

Jeremy: one thing that this movie very
clearly has on its mind though, and

knows what it wants to say about his
class, I would say, is it's like, the

setting is very intentional, this like,
servant who, you know, has had to bear

her, her boss's son and then treat
him as the boss, not, you know, is not

telling him anything about where he
comes from or what she's been through.

And is continuing, continuing to just
bear the weight of like another awful man.

As she has been like brought
back after having been, I guess,

dismissed for several years because
he just didn't, didn't feel like

he needed her around anymore.

After his wife died, I guess.

But yeah, it's yeah, it, I, Almodovar
definitely knows what he wants to

say about class in there, and I
feel like that is and stuck right in

Amanda: Yeah.


And that's like a classic thing
with white, with white men.

They can like kind of talk
really concisely about class,

but only from one dimension.

It's never intersectional.

And it's like, you can't talk about
class without talking about how that's

used and how that's expressed in the
other isms you know, and it's like, you

always get robbed of a good analysis
because someone just literally didn't

see the whole, the whole problem.

So their extrapolation of what, how
they see the problem and how they

see people, you know, experiencing
it is you know, a little off.

It doesn't quite sit right, you know.

Emily: yeah, context is important.

And, you know, as this, this movie is so
complicated that, like, even, you know,

with a, with a director who has gone
through a lot more, if this is directed

by a woman, or if this is directed
by a trans, someone who's experienced

transition trans man or trans woman, you
know, or, or non binary person, I think it

would still be really difficult, you know,
there still probably would be blind spots.

Because it's so, like, I, I think
it comes from the source material.

The source material is
already pretty flawed.

And, you know, because it feels like we
are building on the statement that, you

know, in order to punish a rapist, you
turn them into a woman and rape them.

Amanda: yeah, and it's like, but then,
the way you treat them is so, like,

so, like, pretty similar to the way you
were treating someone that you loved,

that, a woman that you love, that you
end up slowly then suddenly Making,

making those two people the same person.

And you know, that's, it's, it's,
it says a lot about just the, the

consumptive desire from, from men of
feminine labor and energy and flesh

and yet being so uncomfortable with the
idea of having it for themselves that

they're trying to change it in some way.

Yeah, it's just, it's so gross.

So gross, guys.

Jeremy: and it's funny when you talk about
it, it just sounds like the most fucked up

episode of The Twilight Zone ever, like,

Emily: Yeah,

Amanda: Yeah, yeah.

Emily: I mean, it is really, I
mean, it reminded me a lot of

the, of the the surgery episode
where, you know, where they talk,

Jeremy: forced to be a
woman, like, really has,

Emily: yeah, but, and, but the other thing
is, and, and I think this is one of the

big things that we're missing here is
that Vicente doesn't really have an arc.

Amanda: No.


Emily: he just goes from fucked
up to being fucked up by somebody.

Like, he's Sucks.

And then, like, this thing happens to him

Amanda: even the character arcs
are suffering under the binary,

Emily: Yeah.

Amanda: Like, there's just no room for
the actual experience of it for Vicente.

We don't really get much other than this,
like, I need to get out and you know,

all that suppressed pain on her face.

Emily: And that's, I mean, like,
again, you know, that's the, that is,

can be, it can be argued that it's
implied within the horror, but it's

not really addressed ever, you know,

Amanda: Yeah, the script needed
another couple layers of that kind of

storytelling for how long it is, you know,
there's, it's not that deep, you know,

Jeremy: they were clearly
working towards the

reveal, and like, once they got,
once you get to the reveal...

It's like, they don't
really know what to do,

Emily: Yeah.

Amanda: now what?

Jeremy: like, they're going through almost
like day by day for a while, and like the

surgeries are going on and everything,
they're like, you're getting moment by

moment a lot of the stuff, and then, it's
like, and that's when he brought in Maria,

and now it's the present, it's like, when?

Like, but there's very, there's very
little, for how much time this movie

spends just shooting Vera stuff?

Like, very little concept of,
like, what is going on in her mind.

Emily: yeah, like, if there was, if one
of the things that we saw her doing was

slightly more specific to what was going
on with her, that wasn't just like her

being like, I'm staring at all of this
information and, you know, aimlessly

taking it in and regurgitating it, and
the only thing that I'm doing for myself

is sexually doing yoga at the camera, you

Amanda: Right.

And, and, you know, the, and just like
trying to use the whole, like, eye pencil

wall of counting and mantras and, and,
and nonsense, you know, like sort of

journal wall was like, had the potential
to be revealing, but didn't reveal much.

You know, that's like, yeah, I get,
The, the ways that, you know, she's

trying to self soothe and get to her
breath so that she doesn't completely

disintegrate, but and we get the opium
helps me forget, and it's like, but that,

is that really what addiction is like?

What like non consensual addiction,
you, you come, you, when you come to,

you're angry, even though you have
these withdrawals, and, you know,

there's all of this stuff that you
just don't see in in the way Veera

is being punished and tortured that
actually would better support his

argument if he, you know what I mean?

Emily: Well, and, and there's amongst
her wall writings, she says something

about how she needs to just breathe and

Amanda: Mm hmm,

Emily: said, I live and I breathe and
that was to me, that felt like an echo

of what Robert said about her vagina.

Amanda: mm hmm.

Emily: the most important
organ, this organ, you

Amanda: You need to breathe through it.


Emily: you need to, you need to treat
this, treat this orifice like it is

what you breathe through, essentially.

Like, you know, there's,
there's nothing more important

about you than this orifice,

Amanda: Mm hmm.

Mm hmm.

Mm hmm.

Emily: I mean, yeah, like, and you
mentioned that earlier, we were talking

about the reductiveness of that and,
like, the, the misogyny going on there.

And the fact that she echoes that
the way that she does doesn't really

feel indicative of anything to
me that is like, processing other

than just repeating what he said.

You know,

Amanda: Yeah, I agree.

Emily: You know, I think, like, if she
said something like I'm becoming this, I,

Amanda: hmm.

Emily: this is, I will accept this,
or I will do this thing, you know, or

like, all we get is random phrases,
dates and, like, interpretive artwork,

like, Etsy art of, like, women
with houses for heads, which, don't

Amanda: Yeah, it lacks, there's just,
yeah, it lacks the interiority you need in

order for us to feel anything deep enough
for us to really feel the pinch of horror.

And, you know, that could be
part of the reason why a lot of

critics at the time sort of...

Use the word melodrama.

Jeremy: I think it serves, unfortunately
I feel like a lot of the first half of

the movie is built to serve the mystery
and the twist, rather than the characters,

and at the expense of the characters.

Because you get

Amanda: very true.

Jeremy: you get a lot of stuff with Vera.

Like I said, she is on camera a lot
in the first half of the movie, but

they are so dedicated to not letting
you know what's going on until it's

time for the twist that like, you
don't really get a feeling for who

Vera is other than pretty, you know.

Amanda: Mm hmm.

Jeremy: just a lot of very zoomed
in images of her, her face and her

silhouette and things like that.

It's, it's.

Amanda: it's a lot.

Jeremy: I, I mean, I guess that leads
a lot into the our sort of big question

here, which is I feel like a really
tough one for this, but like, do you

recommend people watch this movie?

Amanda: No,

Emily: Yeah.

Amanda: I don't.

I think society has moved
past the need for this film.

Emily: Yeah.

Amanda: I don't know that it
would help anyone in their quest

to consume media that helps them
understand gender and sexual violence.

I don't think it does enough to
feel like you went through those

two hours for a good reason.

You know, especially if you're in the
alphabet mafia, you, you know, if you

are already weary of all the shit,
you know, the trans misogyny that's

in media already, you probably don't
need this, but if you're a weirdo

who's super into, body horror, who's
into maybe plastic surgery stuff.

If you are interested in, in questions
of, you know, what, what, you know,

male sexual punishment techniques look
like, I don't know, like, maybe there's

some content in there that you can
kind of turn into something useful,

but I don't, I don't recommend it.

I do not recommend it.

Emily: Yeah.

At that point I would just say
watch Dead Ringers instead.

Amanda: Right, yeah.

Watch a Ryan Murphy thing,
you know what I mean?

Like, we have enough white queer
making content about gender that's,

like, half baked and, you know,
pretty but ultimately kind of useless

for the people it's supposed to
be I don't know sympathizing with?

I don't even know if
you can use that word.

Jeremy: I, I would say, and, and this
is going to be sort of leading to my

recommendations to some extent as well,
is like, there are other Omidovar movies

that I would recommend people watch first.

They're not horror movies in the

Amanda: That part.

Jeremy: but there are other, like, there,
he has made lots of really good movies.

And I would say start with those, and
if you really like his style, then

eventually work your way to this movie.


Amanda: Yeah, that's a good point.

If you're a completionist, you
know, on the end, near the end,

after you've seen all the best ones,

Jeremy: the feeling that this movie evokes
the, the most to me is like watching

The Crying Game in the last few years.

Amanda: thank you.

Jeremy: where it's like, it was
well intentioned at the time.

But like, The Crying Game definitely is
like, It's like, it comes back around.

It's actually all okay

Amanda: Yeah,

Jeremy: she has a penis.

It's cool, man.

Amanda: Yeah, yeah.

It's just the good intentions are
fueled by a false premise, so it's

like the intentions are null, you know?

Jeremy: yeah.

It's, it's got, I mean, that is
again, like, Neil Jordan is a

writer and a filmmaker I really
like, but it's a different time.

Amanda: Yeah, this ain't
it, chief, you know?

Jeremy: he, at the time, he was
doing something really revolutionary.

But is not particularly, like,
good by the standards of, you know,

what we would like to see in trans
representation and stuff, like,

Amanda: Mm hmm.

Jeremy: know, it's not like, it's
not Ace Ventura, at least, but,

Amanda: like Eddie Murphy, you know, be
like someone who goes, you know what, that

shit, like, I realize how much people love
this, these specials, but the shit, a lot

of the shit I said was so homophobic and
transphobic and horrifying, I won't watch

it again, and, you know, I don't blame
you for not, you know, watching it either,

it's like kind of what he said to, to
fans like a year or two ago, I can't, I

can't remember, it's been, yeah, and, and
so like, You know, and he's always been

someone who's been rich just long enough
that you don't really know what's going

on in his daily life at any given moment.

It's very, he's very well protected, but
it's very, you know, especially after

he made the Dolomite film for Netflix,
you, you start realizing, okay, he's,

he's entering a period of his life where
he's coming to terms with his queerness.

And you know, and, and I
love when artists do that.

I don't know what the fuck I was on,
you know, when I made that, but I can, I

kind of understand how I was wrong now.

And, you know, I hope you'll support
me making things that aren't like that.

Emily: Yeah, I think it's important.

Like, I mean, I don't understand why more
people just can't be like, oh, I'm sorry.

I fucked up.

Amanda: Yeah.

Like that.

Emily: mean.


Jeremy: I was doing the best I could
with the information I had at the time.

Turns out I was fucked up.

Amanda: Yeah.

Turns out I had bad info.

I got that info from the barber
shop and you know, it wasn't good.

Emily: we're all gonna have
blind spots no matter what.

Like, it's just a thing that happens.

And that's where you
really just have to listen.

And not punish.

Like, I mean, you don't have to put
up with shit, you But I was gonna

say, like, if I recommended this
movie, it would be something more

close to punishment than anything.

But as this movie shows us, it's not,
like, the punishment isn't effective.

It's, the punishment loses all meaning if
it's not trying, like, if no connection

between it and the crime, you know?

Amanda: Exactly.

And, and, and that's also like,
kind of the thing the question

that comes up for me is like,
well, what, what is punishment?

Punishment is designed to
support a false condition, right?

And it's like we, what is a crime?

And in our society, the things
that are currently crimes are

inhumane for the most part.

So it's like the, and a lot of these
laws are made by men and they can

kind of slip and slide in and out
of culpability because adjudicate

how those laws are enforced.

So, yeah, it's just like, there's just a
lot of like, abdicating of responsibility

there, I think, of just like,
acknowledging how much power is being put

on these women, if there was just a little
bit more storytelling, like you guys said.

The emotional arcs just aren't supporting
what he's trying to say, and it's

because you can't justify punishment.

You can never justify sexual violence.

You can never justify punishment,
corporal punishment, for any reason.

There's always, there's always
going to be a bunch of horrible

unintended side effects of doing that.

Emily: yeah.

And, and, you know, there's
always going to be a disconnect.

It's not how you get someone to
understand what they've done wrong.

And that's the thing is that if I
were to recommend this movie, it

would be as like, as part of an essay.

Amanda: Mm hmm.

It's a part of a syllabus
where we're talking about some

real fucked up murky shit.


Emily: it's this talking about, like,
okay, so if you don't notice, this is

important and, you know, when you have,
when you need somebody to point to it.

I don't know if that's

Amanda: sometimes it's gonna be a
good reference point to illustrate

what certain horrors look like.


Emily: but I mean, you know, you
shouldn't, like, if the movie is about

that, you shouldn't need someone to
make a PowerPoint presentation about

how it's about that you know, to,
to convince anyone ever to watch it.

So, yeah, that's, that's how
I would recommend this movie

Jeremy: Yeah,

Amanda: yeah.

Very, very rare test scenarios.

Emily: Yeah, yeah, as part of maybe some
curriculum somewhere, you know, where

people have to discuss what's, you know,
basically, if you want to do a podcast

like this one and talk more about the
things we didn't talk about, watch it.

Amanda: Yeah, exactly.

You, you gotta be living life on hard
mode already, and if that's how, you

know, if you're like us, then great.

Emily: yeah,

Jeremy: With that said

Emily: for fun,

Jeremy: do you do you all have
anything you would recommend for

people coming off of this, or
anything that you just generally have

enjoyed that you want to recommend?

Amanda: I, the first thing that came
to mind for some reason is Megan.

Watch the, the, the, it's so funny
and it's like, that's a movie where

it's like, for horror fans, some
horror people didn't think it was

horror enough, but for me it was.

And it's funny as hell and has
something to say about femininity,

consumerism, friendship.

Even mother daughter relationships.

There's a lot going on under the
surface of something that's so

superficially already so funny
and cartoonish on the screen.

So, big, big yes to that.

I don't, watch a film by a trans person.

Just, yeah, let's, yeah, please.

Emily: Um, for, for recommendations,
I had all these, these notes that

are just showed me how many goddamn
people have made movies about,

like, what if a dude made a woman

Amanda: Oh, yeah, it's a lot.

Emily: yeah, for good or ill.


The, you don't, you can fall on one,
like, just, there's another one out there.

If you want something to compare
this to, I'm sure you'll,

you'll trip and fall on one.

What I will recommend then is
there is a podcast that I have

been really enjoying lately and
it's called Someplace Underneath.

It's primarily about true crime affecting
missing women and the, the treatment

of women it's, it's sort of like.

A little bit more focused and a little bit
more research based my favorite murder.

And it's actually part of the
last podcast on the left network.


Amanda: Oh, cool.

Emily: Yeah.

So, one of the hosts is Natalie
Jean, who is she's a stuntwoman.

She's been in Hollywood and stuff, but
she's also Henry Zabrowski's partner.

Who is the, one of the last, like the big,
you know, onscreen last podcast people.

And and her, she and Amber Nelson discuss
a lot of systemic abuse and missing women

and they do a lot to to try to, to deep
dive on these issues of women who are

missing or victims of abuse with, with
some very, like, visceral commentary and

very, you know, very It's the same way
that my favorite murder or like other

true crime shows can kind of present
something in a way that is true, but

also a little bit more palatable than,
you know, going on documenting reality

or some shit like that, you know, so,
and, and people that you can relate to.

So, as opposed to, you know, the true
crime, I can't stand true crime, like

TV documentaries, just for instance.

So it's, it's nice to, like, hear about
it from someone who is, who understands

the, the gravity of the situation
but it's a lot less, like, it's not

as fun as something like My Favorite
Murder, but it still is a, is a good

listen, so, you know, and they also

Amanda: I like that.

Emily: yeah, they give content warnings at
the top of every episode too, so, that's

Amanda: That's really good.

That's what I've been missing.

Like, I haven't really been able to get
into true crime podcasts for that reason.

And because it just sort of plays
the ball where it lays with how

we talk about victims already.

And it's always so focused on white women.

So it's like, there's kind of a sort of
jocularity to it that like turns me off.

But when folks really kind of put
some thought into like, okay, like,

This is what we're gonna talk about.

And, you know, having
some respect, you know,

Emily: yeah,

Amanda: for, you know, the, the,
the, the victims and acknowledging

the sort of culture of exploiting
women beyond the grave , you know?

Emily: yeah.

And then this is, this is, I mean,
there's still some jocularity to it,

but it's, it is a, a gallows you know,
acknowledgement of, of just how severe

the problem is, but they do talk,
they talk about the highway of tears.

They talk about the missing women of Peru.

They talk about trans women.

Amanda: That's great.


That sounds like my kind
of true Crime podcast then

Emily: so it's someplace underneath
and Neith is spelled N E I T H.

So check that out.

You know, and my favorite murder also has
some, you know, it's very, like, victim

supportive and, and, you know, or I should
say survivor supportive and also they've,

they've done a lot to, to promote, like,
women's mental health and things like

that, but I, I find that the someplace
underneath to be sort of a underrated.


Jeremy: I think as for me I mentioned
other other Pedro Almodovar movies.

I would definitely recommend
All About My Mother.

That's another Marisa Paredes joint.

She's great.

It's a really good movie.

That's that's one of his ones
that's actually won Oscars and

Golden Globes and all that stuff.

So definitely All About My Mother.

Also Talk to Her is another very good one.

It's another one of those,
like, here's the premise of the

film, but also there's a twist.

But the twist is not, you know, the
same as, as, as what we're getting here.

So definitely both those
two are worth checking out.

He has a pretty huge filmography.

He makes a lot of movies.

He writes almost all of the stuff.

That he does, either him
or him and his brother.

And then like, they even
produce some of their stuff.

One of the things I really love about
Oma Dovar's movies is, is everything is

very like things feel lived in to me.

I think this movie is a little bit
of an exception because everything is

supposed to be sort of like, clean.

In the way that it's presented,
but he has interesting worlds.

And the way that some of
these things are put together.

The other thing for me is I've been
playing, I guess sort of non stop

recently Death Stranding on my PS5.

Which is the weirdest fucking game.

It's so strange.

If you haven't played Death Stranding...

It is a game in which you play
Norman Reedus as the main character,

and there are several other actors
and actresses you'll mention.

I ran into Conan O'Brien in
the Wasteland the other day.

It's weird.

Amanda: That's great.

Jeremy: yeah, Conan

Emily: to FDLC?

Jeremy: He's, he's he is named the
Wandering MC in the in the game.


He shows up at one point wearing a, a seal
hat a hat that looks like he's a seal and

then he gives you the hat and then it's
very obviously Conan O'Brien after that.

Emily: A, like he's a seal,
like the animal, or that

Jeremy: like he's got a, like
it's a hat and it's a seal up here

on the top and just like has...

Straffs, it's very, the
game is very strange.

I, every time I've tried to describe
it to somebody, I'm just like, it's a

post apocalyptic game where basically
you pay, you play a mailman in this

world that's full of like, ghosts, so
people don't go outside because there's

these horrible ghosts and if they
attack people, they, you know, destroy

entire cities and stuff and there's
terrorists and there's guys that run

around trying to steal your package
and there's rain that makes you old.

Amanda: Oh, no.

I think I had a dream like that.

Emily: Yeah.

Jeremy: where, you know, if the, if the
rain, anything the rain touches gets

old incredibly quickly, including like,
when it starts raining, plants start

growing and then wilting all around
you as you're going through stuff.

Like, it's an incredibly specific
game to, like, it's interesting to me

how, sort of, little they care about
combat in it, but it is really about

transporting packages from one, like,
enclosed city to another, so there's,

like, a lot of work put into different
ways that you can transport packages

and a lot of the physics and stuff, and
it is a horror game, and it's a drama,

and it's, it's just incredibly weird.

So yeah, it's worth checking
out if you're into, again, weird

horror stuff as, as we are.

Yeah, it's called Death Stranding.

I think it's only on PSS
five, maybe PS four as well.

But it's a real weird one.

Well, let's I guess it's
time for us to wrap up here.

Amanda, would you like to let people
know where they can find you and

find out more about what you're up
to and what are you up to right now?

Amanda: Yeah, you know, I just,
I've lived in that, that, that

work from home remote life.

So, I'm, I'm a homebody.

I got transitions lenses.

You know, I don't go outside.

But I'm editing.

And yeah, you can find my
website, amandameadows card.

co, or I also have a link tree.

You can follow me on the app
formerly known as Twitter.

I still call it Twitter at Amandonium.

I'm on Instagram at MegaMander.

And yeah, you can get books that I've
edited in stores now, including Knee

Deep by Joe Flood which is a really cool
post apocalyptic sort of eco thriller.

And it all kind of centers on a teen girl
who needs to needs to get some truth out.

And and then the Orcs in Space
series, all three volumes are all out.

You get those two anywhere books are sold.

And, oh, I forgot to say, I don't
know if you saw on social media, but

today's my birthday, and I'm really
glad I got to spend it with you guys.

Emily: Oh, yeah.

I'm sorry.

You had to watch this
movie for it, but okay,

Amanda: It was, listen, again,
living life on hard mode.

I, I need, I need, I need
big hits to feel something.

So I loved it.

Emily: good.

I'm glad.

Jeremy: If this movie doesn't make
you feel something, then, then

Amanda: Yeah, a little itchy.

Emily: Yeah, I was I had like I
think this movie gave me acid reflux.


Jeremy: I, I, I literally just sat
in front of the TV until it turned

itself off after watching it.


Emily: I kind of did

too, but,

Jeremy: into the middle distance.

Emily: Amanda.

Happy birthday.

Amanda: Thank you.

Emily: next time we would
love to have you back.

And also next time, please
choose a movie or or tell us

like, you know, I don't know.

Did you choose a movie this time?

Jeremy: no, this

Amanda: Yeah, this was Jeremy.

Well, you know, it was, there were
a few options, but they were filling

out, they were filling out fast,
and this is the one we landed on.

And yeah, what a, what a wild initiation.

I'm looking forward to the next step.

Emily: I promise next time
it'll be some animation

Amanda: Ooh, that sounds great.

I love that.

Emily: I'll, we'll watch, like, anime.

I don't know.

Amanda: Yeah, listen, you can
say less, you already had me.

Emily: So much.

There's so much anime that
I can't watch memories.

There we go.

Amanda: Ooh, okay, yeah,

Emily: Yeah.

Amanda: all right, great.

Jeremy: Emily, you want to know people,
let people know where they can find you?

Emily: I also have a website, megamoth.

net, it's essentially a card, but has
all of the information you can find

me I'm also megamoth at bluesky the
mega underscore moth on Instagram

and various other places, so, check
me out, megamoth that is that's,

oh, and on Patreon, of course.

Amanda: Oh yeah, gotta
get on that Patreon.

Jeremy: Yeah.


I am still at jrome58 on Instagram and
Twitter on my website is jeremywhitley.

com and so is my, my
tumblr is jeremywhitley.


com and my blue sky is now jeremy whitley.

Cause I got in quick enough
to get it before all the other

Jeremy Whitley's showed up.

Amanda: Oh yeah.

Emily: Yes,

Jerk quillies.

Jeremy: yeah, F those dudes.

They're all real weird.

Amanda: The only normal Jeremy Whitley.

Jeremy: the closest thing they've
got, it's like me and there's a

hedge fund manager in Britain.

All the other ones are wild.


and Yeah, you can get my graphic
novel with Bree Indigo, The

Dog Knight at stores right now.

The second volume of School for
Extraterrestrial Girls, which I did with

Jamie Noguchi, is coming out in November.

And then we got just recently
announced The Cold Ever After from

Titan, which I did with Megan Wong,
is coming out in February, so you

can pre order that one now as well.

Amanda: Awesome.

Jeremy: Yeah well, we will have
Ben back here with us next time.

We're, we're doing some some
more Spanish language features.

So, uh, until next time, stay horrified.