Aya vs. The Big Boys

AYA VS. THE BIG BOYS: AMERICAN PSYCHO + ALIEN

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“In space, no one can hear you scream… Especially not on Saturdays, which are, in fact, for the boys!!!” 

This week on AYA VS, THE BIG BOYS, a podcast about watching “boy movies” for the very first time, Kevin and Aya welcome the spookiest of all months in what has amounted to the most terrifying of all years! All October on the show, week after week, they’re covering the biggest boys of horror cinema. Aya’s a scaredy cat and has never seen some of the essentials… You know the drill.

Also, welcome to the end of the Patreon backlog and the beginning of Season 2! As much as we love constantly blowing up your podcast feed, we’re hitting you with one episode per week from here on out. We can’t thank our Patrons and Day One listeners enough: it’s your enthusiasm and words of encouragement that motivated us to make AYA VS. THE BIG BOYS a main feed attraction. We’re having a blast over here and we hope you are, too.

As always, the most direct way to support AYA VS. THE BIG BOYS is by supporting the Merry-Go-Round Patreon, but if money’s tight, we completely get it—the free option is rating, reviewing, and subscribing on whichever podcast service you fancy. Specifically, rating us Apple Podcasts is beyond helpful. Believe it or not, a simple click can help boost our visibility. One day, we will send Joe Rogan’s podcast out into the vacuum of space like a creepy crawly calamari: it’s not a dream, it’s a promise.

OK, folks, let’s talk about yuppie scum.

“I’d be having a meeting, and they’d want to know more about his childhood and his parents. It doesn’t matter if his mother was mean to him. I don’t care. He’s a monster.” –Mary Harron

Every one of AMERICAN PSYCHO’s deviation from Easton Ellis’ source material, namely Harron’s dearth of acceptance of Patrick Bateman as a teachable figure (both us learning from him, and him learning from anybody) is a stroke of genius, but it can reek of the non-productive, playing-with-your-own-shit nihilism that’s been put down on the podcast before. The comic leanings are brilliant, but it sharpens the axe-thrust of the senseless murders, all such vicious moments after pointing and laughing at sea urchin dumplings or some goofy shit that it almost feels like a breach of your trust. This is a hilarious movie, but at the expense of sometimes feeling a bit icky. The whole thing just looks so fucking off—a 1999 production that has the look of a 2000 DV cheapo and a peak-auteur 1977 motion picture. The color tones are putrid, churning your guts as if you shrunk down a Banana Republic to cyanide capsule scale and swallowed it dry. Who knows what it is: maybe the barren high-rise walls, catalogue-friendly loft furnishings, or the claustrophobic cinematography that keeps you trapped in the worst dinner parties of your life, the blue sky nary seen amidst the shadow-casting skyscrapers. Emanates that FIGHT CLUB energy, but somehow makes Fincher look hopeful.

On this episode of AYA VS. THE BIG BOYS, the duo dives into Aya’s very first viewing of AMERICAN PSYCHO, the podcast’s very first female-directed Big Boy, with special guest and Merry-Go-Round Editor-in-Chief CJ Simonson! He helps the team out in deciphering the subtext of AMERICAN PSYCHO’s iconic needle drops, the feminine gaze of wretched men, and just how badly they want to suck Reese Witherspoon’s co-

Alien Sigourney Weaver

While we’re on the topic of killer, reptilian ghouls, let’s talk about an all-time intergalactic classic.

It’s a horror classic and a certified blockbuster, but you can’t help but think of Rorschach and Rothko while watching 1979’s seminal ALIEN. The terrors you glean from it are both obvious and inferred, reflections of the viewer’s psyche and possible traumatic history while also presenting provocations for provocation’s sake. Psychosexual, but almost juvenile in its base presentation of sexuality: that alien’s head looks like a long penis, yes. And? Perhaps the “and” is an unendingly horrific visual trigger of non-verbalized repressed emotions for you. Perhaps it triggers a subliminal emotion that you can’t express but can taste in the back of your throat. It’s true of any piece of art, but ALIEN is sneakily seeking results. Aggressive, nearly oppressive, but at the same time? One of the most satisfying summer blockbusters you could ever ask for, a haunted house with STAR WARS production value, like, damn, what a fucking behemoth movie. Do not trust your parent-company-hired scientists, do not trust the contractual obligations guaranteeing your pay-day, and do not trust submissive workers willing to volunteer themselves for corporate sacrifice. The Xenomorph blends into the pipes of the hostile, gestating caverns of a mineral-mining freight cruiser, a senseless beast of industrialism hungry for blood, motivated solely by germination—fry that motherfucker up like some squid and tell your boss to suck a dick.

On this episode of AYA VS. THE BIG BOYS, the duo blasts off for Aya’s very first viewing of Ridley Scott’s ALIEN, with attempted insights on all the sapphic and phallic imagery, the gaslighting of Ripley, and just how badly they want to suck the Xenomorph’s co-

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Kevin Cookman
Kevin Cookman is a Film Editor for Merry-Go-Round Magazine. Deserted in a video store as an infant, Kevin was raised on Fulci, Tarantino, Kubrick, and Whoppers. Now he's a graduate of Chapman University who acts as editor for Merry-Go-Round on the side: what a success story.

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