Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Off The Wagon: UFO Special

Why do we think of flying saucers and little grey men when we think of aliens?

Inspired by too many late nights skywatching (and X-Files watching), special agents Cian and Chris get spooky once again as they tackle the topic of Unidentified Flying Objects. And as the age of fake news and conspiracy thinking is upon us, it's more important than ever to know why people continue to believe weird things!

Chris has been doing some field research and brings several sightings from the Cork area to our attention. Then Cian brings us down the rabbithole to discover the details of the very first true 'flying saucer' sighting as well as the first 'alien abduction' report to find out what we can learn from studying these cases. In between, we learn that the Victorian age had its own UFO-style 'phantom airship' hysteria. We round things off with a discussion about looking for alien civilisations and Dyson spheres.

Listen to the podcast here.


The Jan 2017 Dublin UFO.

The Flying Saucers Are Real by Donald Keyhoe. Early in the 'cast I mistakenly refer to him as 'Allen Keyhoe,' probably because I'm confusing him with J Allen Heynek, also a UFO researcher.

UFOs in 1556 seen in Basel, Switzerland

1929 cover by Frank R. Paul

Here's a video of the American white pelican. I've never been too impressed with the pelican theory as an explanation for Kenneth Arnold's sighting - I'd like to think that an experienced pilot would recognise a flock of birds when he sees one - but upon looking closely at the way he described the shape and movements of the objects he saw, I've got to wonder.

Kenneth Arnold with the objects he saw.

Our incidental music is by Purple Planet music. Other music: X-Files Theme by Mark Snow, Mulder & Scully by Catatonia.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Off The Wagon: Conan The Barbarian

WHAT IS BEST IN LIFE? The Off The Wagon podcast crew bring you the answer to this age-old question in this big-budget, large-cast, epic-length extravaganza of a review. It all began in the very early days of 2017, in the age before the oceans drank Atlantis, when four movie fans gathered in snowy Toronto to have a few beers and discuss 1982's Conan The Barbarian.

It soon became clear that this movie meant a lot to most of them, and the discussion took many an unexpected turn: the career of right-wing gun-nut director John 'Red Dawn' Milius, a comparison of the careers of both Schwartzennegar and Stallone, religion, philosophy, Niezche and Ronald Reagan. Whether or not you're a fan of Conan, there's much to enjoy here, as this seminal movie turned out to be ripe for more analysis than anyone thought possible!

The participants: Cian, Donal, Matt and James. Check out James' amazing band Villainest by clicking here!

Check out the podcast here.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Off The Wagon: KISS Special

Here we bring you a VERY special episode of Off The Wagon. Cian is reunited with his brother Donal in snowy Montreal to talk about the history of the band KISS. Donal has long been a card-carrying member of the KISS army, and Cian has had to live with the results of this obsession, so there's a lot to talk about! And the guys have come up with a special concept just for the occasion: instead of reviewing a book or movie, they each read two of the four KISS biographies (along with a few other books for good measure, as they just couldn't stop themselves) and now they discuss the story of the band's career through the often-conflicting lenses of the four members.

Even for those with no interest in the music, it's a fascinating trip into the world of four conflicting personalities who decided to dress in leather, paint their faces white, tour the world and fight bitterly with one another for over 30 years. These guys wrote awful things about one another on a regular basis, remember events differently and big themselves up in their books to a hilarious degree. Rock 'n roll excess, spectacle, terrible business and artistic decisions: there's something for everyone here, and as KISS would say themselves, you wanted the best, you got the best!

Get stuck into the podcast here!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Off The Wagon: Fatal Deviation

For the first time in a long time, Cian is joined in person for a podcast by messrs Ali and Tom to take down Ireland's first (and only?) homegrown martial arts movie, 1998's Fatal Deviation. There's no shortage of kicks, punches, Londis tarts, elderly gangsters or kung fu druids in this epic. A film made with considerable heart and effort. I think it's fair to say that not every punch landed, so to speak, but clearly everyone involved gave it their all. If you've ever wondered why winning a local fighting tournament would automatically give you control over a small Meath town ... well, you won't really find out exactly why this is. But when Jimmy Bennett goes head-to-head with unscrupulous drug runners in the fabled Bealtaine Tournament, he soon finds that there's everything to fight for!

Listen to the podcast here.

And, for the brave, find the movie here.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Off The Wagon Halloween Special

At last, it's time to gather round the campfire with Cian and Chris and get into the Halloween spirit! In this episode, our hosts share some of the finest true creepy stories they were able to gather from Cork and abroad. Many thanks to all of our friends who contributed their own personal tales of terror. Find out the truth about Clonakilty's terrifying 'creaky tree', discover what really scares our intrepid hosts, and travel with them on their own ghost-hunting escapades.

Listen to the podcast here.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Another Michael Crichton Podcast: Congo (1995)

Join Cian and Chris for (they finally have a title) 'We Need To Talk About Michael,' a podcast in which they watch the movie versions of Michael Crichton novels and compare them to the original books, if they can remember anything about them, at least.

This time around it's 1995's Congo, a tale of diamonds, killer apes, and sesame cake. Listen in to discover why you never want Jimmy Buffett to fly your plane, why Tim Curry should never play a Romanian, and whether a pound of sugar is more expensive than a primatologist.

Like the movie itself, this 'cast had something of a troubled birth. Recording issues plagued the episode, so Chris, being a tech wizard, used some supercomputer thinking machines to piece the audio back together. Though there are still some audial oddities throughout, the banter is worth listening to, so click below, journey in search of the lost city of Zinj with us, and STOP EATING MY SESAME CAKE.

Click here to listen to the podcast.

Click here to watch the trailer.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Off The Wagon Reviews: Name Of The Rose (1986)

If you've ever asked yourself, 'I wonder what Sherlock Holmes would have been like if he was a medieval monk played by Sean Connery,' then you've come to the right place! Cian and Eoghan don their robes to get medieval on 1986's The Name Of The Rose. Along the way, Cian gets schooled on historical matters and Eoghan learns the shocking truth that Hollywood likes to change the endings of your favourite books. Stay tuned for medieval murder mystery madness.

Listen to the podcast here.

Watch the trailer here.