In the not-too-distant future (next Sunday A.D.), there is a guy named Joel, not too different from the hosts of this week's episode, in that he has recently been reading The King In Yellow. Or rather, watching a filmed production of The King In Yellow - the only one known to remain. See, Joel has spent years in space aboard the Satellite of Love thanks to the evil Dr. Forrester and his dimwitted assistant, Frank, who regularly subject Joel to the worst films they can find, FOR SCIENCE. But thanks to Joel's ingenious creation of the riffing robots Tom Servo and Crow, he and his mechanical buddies have resisted all efforts from "the Mads" to drive them over the mental edge, blasting cheesy B-movies apart with an endless supply of jokes and turning legitimately terrible scripts into satirical sketch comedy, much to the Forrester's chagrin.
This movie is different, though. This is no poorly-acted financial flop featuring teenagers from outer space or a satanic Freddy Mercury. Since first coming to light via the short stories of Robert Chambers in 1895, The King In Yellow is a disturbing, sinister work of decadent nihilism that has a habit of driving those who read it into paranoia, delusion, sexual perversion, and violence. Its history is shrouded in the thick fog of the unknown; any knowledge of its origins and subsequent passage through the world has gone unrecorded, save for a few cases -- and the reliability of even those sources is questionable at best. Like the secret Lovecraftian horrors to which it provides humanity a brief, dreadful glimpse, it was never meant to be seen by mortal beings. Or, if it was, we must ask what sort of vile author would attempt to doom us all with such an act (well, two acts, actually).
Can Joel and the Bots use their wit and riffing abilities to withstand the sanity-destroying effects of a movie that is not just bad, but that inflicts supernatural damage to the psyche while also being bad? Or will Hastur the Unspeakable (shit, sorry) lead them like puppets into the bleak realm of the Hyades and dim Carcosa? Kris Newton of the Gameable Podcast and MegaDumbCast returns to Smash Fiction to help us find out, and folks, he has come prepared. The Yelling Sign is found, the dreaded name of Monster a Go-Go is invoked, and at least one of our regular hosts goes insane by the end of opening arguments. Not upon us, oh King, not upon us!
Far-Too-Late Disclaimer: Yeah, I'm afraid you definitely shouldn't have read that description, because while it may have seemed long-winded and banal, you now have no choice but to listen to this episode in full. We apologize for the impending insanity.