Ravenous | Crooked Media
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November 07, 2023
Ruined with Alison Leiby and Halle Kiefer

In This Episode

Halle and Alison kick off They Ate month with the frontiersman cannibals in Ravenous.







[theme music]: If scary movies give you dread. Keep you up late night in bed, here’s a podcast that will help you ease your mind. We’ll explain the plot real nicely then we’ll talk about what’s frightening, so you never have to have a spooky time. It’s Ruined.


Halle Kiefer: Oh, hello, everybody. Welcome to Ruined. I’m Halle. 


Alison Leiby: And I’m Alison. 


Halle Kiefer: And this is a podcast you hear in a horror movie just for you. Alison—


Alison Leiby: Just for all of you. 


Halle Kiefer: Alison, how are you doing? 


Alison Leiby: [gasps] How dare you ask me first.


Halle Kiefer: Oh no, I need you. I need a minute, for my brain to warm up.


Alison Leiby: Yes. I’ll. All right, I’ll. I’ll ramble here for a second. 


Halle Kiefer: Thank you. 


Alison Leiby: About how I’m doing. I’m fine. 


Halle Kiefer: Okay. Great.


Alison Leiby: I do. We’re in my favorite time of year food wise for at home snacking because we’re in good fall produce. So really good apples and grapes which I like. 


Halle Kiefer: Love an apple and grape absolutely. 


Alison Leiby: Apples and grapes and like having like a bag of clementines just like on the counter at all times. Just like, grab one. I mean, it’s just like. That I’m at my healthiest in October. And that’s it. [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: That’s interesting. Yeah, I do like the idea of the change of the seasons and how it changes how we eat. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. Just because, like, you know, we’re I’m very particu— Like I. My grape ranking is good red grapes, good green grapes, bad green grapes, bad red grapes. 


Halle Kiefer: What do you feel about a concord grape—


Alison Leiby: I like the concord grape, but, like, hard to find great ones all year. You know. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: I did have some concord grapes the other day—


Halle Kiefer: So fucking good. 


Alison Leiby: They’re so good. But for just like, day to day grocery grapes, that’s my ranking. And so we’re in good red grape season. 


Halle Kiefer: I’m going to have to check this out. I feel like I have been tending towards fruit that you could keep in the fridge for a really long time and won’t go bad right away. 


Alison Leiby: Mm mm. Tell me more.


Halle Kiefer: So yeah, my once again, like everything in my life. 


Alison Leiby: Apples and oranges. 


Halle Kiefer: Dictated by my nascent ADHD and not nascent. Nascent to me. So remember to always keep your produce on the door of the fridge. Guys, you’re never going to go wrong because then you get to see all of it. It’s very helpful. 


Alison Leiby: I feel like I never look at the door of my fridge. 


Halle Kiefer: See, I’m a condiment. I operate on a condiment hot sauce dip economy. So I’m constantly looking at the door. I’m constantly referencing what can I put on this to make it taste better? But—


Alison Leiby: Mm hmm. I see.


Halle Kiefer: I support you. It’s also—


Alison Leiby: I don’t keep my hot sauce in the fridge, so that’s just out. 


Halle Kiefer: I’m just. I have just so many bugs. Like, I’m just so paranoid. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Anything. You’re right. I probably would be fine. It would. They wouldn’t eat it, but. I don’t know.


Alison Leiby: It’s. Yeah, I know. It’s just like, the more food that’s out, the more chance there is for bugs. I get that. 


Halle Kiefer: Just using my hot sauce when I’m asleep. [laughter] Little sons of bitches. 


Alison Leiby: They’re in there putting it on their tiny, tiny chicken wings. 


Halle Kiefer: I hate them so much. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. Anyway, that’s what’s new with me. It’s fall produce and I’m excited. What? What is happening with you? 


Halle Kiefer: Literally just working. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And I’m trying to fit in some spooky season stuff. I have failed so far.


Alison Leiby: Oh yeah.


Halle Kiefer: But I really want to go somewhere. I was going to do, horror nights, but I haven’t been able to find people who are available to go. But I was like, is it so incredibly lame to go alone? 


Alison Leiby: I don’t know. 


Halle Kiefer: Is it is it is it it’s preferable to be scared with other people? Is it is off-putting to go alone. To be scared. I guess that’s my question. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. I mean. I guess it depends. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. Like so many things. You said it.


Alison Leiby: Like so many things, I have no answer. [laughter]


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. And speaking of things that we’ve said, we have not said this week’s, this month’s theme. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: And this, of course, is Thanksgiving. 


Alison Leiby: Yay. 


Halle Kiefer: And we’ve done family in the past. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: And I’m trying to think what the last one was. But we are going to do the theme this month is they ate. 


Alison Leiby: I love it. 


Halle Kiefer: So it’s both about you better believe it’s, of course, about cannibalism, but it’s also about performances just to be able to mix it up in which they ate. 


Alison Leiby: Mm hmm. 


Halle Kiefer: And I think that offers us a breadth of films. That we’re excited to dive into. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: But the first of what we’re doing is, of course, the movie that takes this very literally. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: And that, of course, is the 1999 film Ravenous. And it was directed by Antonia Bird, who did a phenomenal job. And I’m trying to think what else she has done. The movie Faith on that she was a producer, that’s a TV show. What am I even doing? I should have read her Wikipedia. [laughter] It’s it it’s a name I’m familiar with. And so I’m like, oh, I’ve heard of her. And I’m looking at her movies and I’m like I guess I’ve heard of her. Have I seen any single thing that she has done? No.


Alison Leiby: Well. Now you’ve seen this. 


Halle Kiefer: And it’s great. 


Alison Leiby: Great. 


Halle Kiefer: And I really enjoyed it. And it is a movie where it’s a period horror movie, which is not something that I particularly care for. 


Alison Leiby: Mm hmm. 


Halle Kiefer: Normally. But I think they really nail it—


Alison Leiby: Really? 


Halle Kiefer: Which part. 


Alison Leiby: That you don’t care for them normally? 


Halle Kiefer: Well, I think it’s like how you don’t like movies that are old. 


Alison Leiby: Uh huh. 


Halle Kiefer: Which I think is insane. Like, movies are set in the past—


Alison Leiby: No I don’t not like them, I find them less scary. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. That doesn’t mean I don’t like them. I probably like them more. 


Halle Kiefer: Oh, interesting. 


Alison Leiby: Cause they’re less scary. 


Halle Kiefer: Okay. Fair. Yes, you’re right. I am interpreting from your statement that they’re less scary, that you like them less, which isn’t the case.


Alison Leiby: Right. That’s the opposite. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, but I guess in this case, I simply am, like, watching this. I’m like, well, slavery was still legal, so I just don’t. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah it’s tough to—


Halle Kiefer: You know, where where, where are we going with this. 


Alison Leiby: Draw the line for horror? Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: This, of course, was set in the 1840s in California. And this is a riff on the famous Donner Party. And my friend Kamaria. Shout out to Kamaria’s in town. My college friend, she hadn’t heard of the Donner Party. 


Alison Leiby: Oh. 


Halle Kiefer: Are you familiar with the Donner Party? 


Alison Leiby: Yes, of course. 


Halle Kiefer: I feel like I swear to God, they taught us about it in school. Which looking back. It’s like, well, we had other things you could have been learning about. Why would they teach us that?


Alison Leiby: Yeah. I don’t know that I learned about it in school, though. Maybe I did. Where else would I have learned that it was like pre-internet. 


Halle Kiefer: I feel like cannibalism specifically because that’s of course, what this film is about. It does sort of trickle into society as one of these taboo things that, like. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: We’re both repulsed by and love to read about, to sort of understand why it happens. And of course, the Donner Party. Well, I don’t even want to get into specifics because it is horrible, but they famously due to an attempted a shortcut, essentially got stuck in the Sierra Nevada’s over the winter. 


Alison Leiby: Mm hmm. 


Halle Kiefer: And you just don’t want to do that. 


Alison Leiby: No. 


Halle Kiefer: The conclusion of that and I think the conclusion of this film is something similar. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Just don’t do any of this.


Alison Leiby: Just don’t do it. Don’t do anything. Do nothing. 


Halle Kiefer: We always like to have Alison watch the trailer. Alison, what do you think of the Ravenous trailer? 


Alison Leiby: What a cast. [laughter]


Halle Kiefer: Star studded. Guy Pearce. Robert Carlyle. Jeffrey Jones—


Alison Leiby: David Arquette. 


Halle Kiefer: David Arquette—


Alison Leiby: Dewey himself. 


Halle Kiefer: He he’s sort of doing a Dewey from Scream if it was the 1840s. 


Alison Leiby: I think that’s what he does. 


Halle Kiefer: It’s why you hire him. It’s why you hire him.


Alison Leiby: Yeah he’s great. Are there any women in this movie? 


Halle Kiefer: There is one woman. Yes. Thank you for clocking. 


Alison Leiby: It was like I was like, all right, bunch of men eating each other, I guess. 


Halle Kiefer: She is Sheila. Sorry. Sheila May Tousey. She is a Native American actress and she’s playing a Native American character. And she is the only woman and has a level of just exhaustion that I imagine this woman [laughter] would actually have with the events of this film. That is very funny. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: But she’s been in a ton of stuff. Again, none that I’ve seen, but we support her. And yeah, it is again, people that I wouldn’t normally or I guess Jeffrey Jones, didn’t he go to jail for child pornography? I’m sorry. 


Alison Leiby: I don’t know. 


Halle Kiefer: Oh, God, I was gonna praise him. Yes, he did. 


Alison Leiby: Oh no. 


Halle Kiefer: He did. In 2003 he pleaded no contest to a charge of soliciting a minor to pose for nude photographs. 


Alison Leiby: Oy.


Halle Kiefer: Okay, great. Sorry, everyone he’s in this movie. Well, at least he was punished for his crime, I suppose. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. All right. 


Halle Kiefer: So we’ve got that going for us. 


Alison Leiby: Justice. 


Halle Kiefer: If there’s any other criminals on the cast that have yet to be revealed, we apologize in advance. For us talking about their good work in this. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, very. Again, also, stars studded. Like. Incredible. Would you be this guy? A horrible person, as it turns out. We also like to take a baseline. Scary. Alison. How scary do you find the concept of eating human flesh and loving it? 


Alison Leiby: Very. 


Halle Kiefer: Please expound. 


Alison Leiby: I don’t want to eat human flesh. I’d like to go on record and say that I have no interest. But I would be afraid that, like if I was in a position where it’s like, you will die if you don’t eat. I don’t know what you’d like—


Halle Kiefer: Oh, you’d have to. 


Alison Leiby: I could never kill someone to eat them. But if they were, you know. If we got a plate for the table. [laughs] 


Halle Kiefer: If someone else was cooking. 


Alison Leiby: If someone else was cooking, if they already died, and you’re like, well. 


Halle Kiefer: Well. Well, what are we supposed to do?


Halle Kiefer: And then what if that experience is so transformative, Alison it, it redirects the purpose of your life. 


Alison Leiby: I that I don’t like. 


Halle Kiefer: Yikes. 


Alison Leiby: Uh oh. 


Halle Kiefer: Uh oh.


Alison Leiby: This feels very male. Like men, like, have one interest at a time. [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: Well, I mean, there is something to this where they are explicitly making the connection between cannibalism and Manifest Destiny. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: You know, like the idea that we will, as white men consume all of North America and it is our right and our nature, and it’s for our own pleasure. And whatever else happens, fortunately. Do they get theirs, Alison.


Alison Leiby: Oh, I hope so. 


Halle Kiefer: And boy, do they. It also plays off the real life story of the Colorado cannibal Alferd Packer who survived sort of a Donner party type situation by eating five of his companions. 


Alison Leiby: Five people?


Halle Kiefer: After getting stuck in the San Juan mountains in the 1870s. Good Lord, that’s a lot of people Alison. 


Alison Leiby: That’s a lot. How long was he? 


Halle Kiefer: You know, and also the inspiration for the incredible musical Cannibal! The Musical.


Alison Leiby: Oh. 


Halle Kiefer: By the way, Trey Parker, and Matt Stone, the guys behind—


Alison Leiby: Oh, yes. 


Halle Kiefer: South Park. Was like an early work. My family had a VHS that we were obsessed with that movie. [laughs] Let’s see how long he was there. And Alferd Packer did get a sentenced to 40 years of, in prison after it looked like he did kill them to eat them. So I do agree that is the distinction. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Because he just can’t kill. Alison he ate five people between November 1873 and. February. Oh no no. April. Between November 1873 and then April 1874. So it’s the—


Alison Leiby: Okay. Months and months. 


Halle Kiefer: Months. 


Alison Leiby: It wasn’t like a long weekend. 


Halle Kiefer: No, thankfully. And I guess five over a batter of what is it, six months, I guess.


Alison Leiby: Yeah. It’s less than a person, a month. 


Halle Kiefer: Which seems even that seems like quite a bit of person. But. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Again, if you have nothing else to eat. 


Alison Leiby: If that’s the only food you can consume. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. Boy, I mean, he must’ve just been jacked. He must be like, Have you seen that tech guy who’s like—


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Oh, I like drink my son’s blood or something just to become a vampire? It’s like, cool, dude, you look insane. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah you look insane. [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: But um. 


Alison Leiby: You’re not fun to like the appeal of being like, I look like I’m in my twenties, but in my forties and I’m like, I assume you’re doing this for women. I don’t know who like want’s that.


Halle Kiefer: Like a lot of things. People do it for the idea of a woman. 


Alison Leiby: Yes, yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, like what a woman would want or what a man would want. And I think he’s a great example of like, well, maybe the woman you’ve invented in your head—


Alison Leiby: Yes, yes. 


Halle Kiefer: —who is also you. 


Alison Leiby: Right. Well, it’s like that weird theoretical thing of, like, I’m like doing everything. So a woman is attracted to me, and then it’s like, well, no one wants to go on a date, where the guy’s like, I’m just going to go to sleep at 7 p.m. and I just drink blood. And it’s like, well, that’s not fun. [laughter]


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, and also somebody pointed this out, which is true because the tech billionaire we’re talking about is that Bryan Johnson, he’s clearly on estrogen, like a low level, like he has I don’t know what you call it, an estrogenic look like he—


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: You know, his skin is and it’s one of those things where I think, like he looks younger, but for the rest of us, it just looks like he’s on estrogen.


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Which is totally fine. But it’s those aren’t the same thing. 


Alison Leiby: No, they are not. 


Halle Kiefer: But it’s like his brain was like, now I look younger. It’s like you look like a luminous man. Like he doesn’t—


Alison Leiby: He’s starting to look like the uncanny valley. 


Halle Kiefer: It is like he’s made decisions that don’t necessarily like what he’s going for, does not align with where his he is physically going. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: And so the gap becomes wider, wider between like, I look great. It’s like, well, you don’t look bad. 


Alison Leiby: Bad. 


Halle Kiefer: For what you’re going for, but you are you seem unaware of it. You know what I mean?


Alison Leiby: Yeah you’re kind of like no longer part of like what all of us are doing looks wise.


Halle Kiefer: His and the worst thing about I’m going to say this and this. 


Alison Leiby: Say it. 


Halle Kiefer: I don’t mean to indict this man any more than we have the hair dye. 


Alison Leiby: The hair. 


Halle Kiefer: The  hair. 


Alison Leiby: The color. 


Halle Kiefer: Is he does he must dye it himself. It looks like a wig. 


Alison Leiby: It’s a yeah, it’s—


Halle Kiefer: And not a good wig. It look’s like—


Alison Leiby: This is box dye. It’s like if you’re going to go. 


Halle Kiefer: Yes. 


Alison Leiby: To the extremes of like. Drinking or consuming blood and sleeping at strange and all the, like completely overhaul your lifestyle to look younger. Like go into a good salon. You’re rich. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah don’t just get a box of Clairol and do it in the airport bathroom. Like like your changing identities. Which is what it looks like. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: It looks so unnatural, so bad. He’s also styled it and cut it horribly. It’s I think he probably cuts his own hair.


Alison Leiby: Yeah. The styling I saw like a photo of him and it’s like—


Halle Kiefer: You know exactly what we’re talking about.


Alison Leiby: It’s the hair. The skin. And then he’s like. The clothing choices are certainly choices. And it’s just kind of a lot of look.


Halle Kiefer: I feel like you can meet that guy at a party and be like that. The man you meet is filled with a joie de vivre because or person that you’ve met that like they’re they’re going for this with intention to be like, stylistically liberatory or like I’m expressing myself and like, this makes sense to me rather than this is joyless. You can see that this guy isn’t even enjoying. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: He’s like. 


Alison Leiby: No. 


Halle Kiefer: I figured it versus—


Alison Leiby: This is a full time job. [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, like, and it’s like, that’s fine if you want to wear a little slutty tank top and, like, drink your dad’s blood or whatever the fuck [laughter] you’re doing. But at least look like you’re enjoying it. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: At least pretend.


Alison Leiby: Have some fun with it. 


Halle Kiefer: Put a smile. On your face, honey. Like, come on. Oh, well, you know what? Look. And as we age, too, eventually we’re, you know—


Alison Leiby: Withered crumbs.


Halle Kiefer: When my eyes grow out the fucking side of my head like, a fucking hammerhead shark. [laughter] It would be funny for me to look back and think of these criticisms. 


Alison Leiby: You’ll barely have to turn your head to look back. And I’ll just be a quarter turn. 


Halle Kiefer: Perfect. Um, yeah, I. So it does make sense. This is our modern version of cannibalism. Taking the blood from others to restore our vitality. And such as they do in the phenomenal movie Ravenous. And we’ll get into it, obviously. But one of the great things about it is it is there are decisions that are made that are make it a horror comedy, a dark comedy that—


Alison Leiby: David Arquette. 


Halle Kiefer: Absolutely. And there are a lot of the music choices are comedy, music choices. Which is insane, especially in the certain scenes where they—


Alison Leiby: That is really—


Halle Kiefer: That is not what I would have chosen.


Alison Leiby: Period. Horror. Cannibal movie. Comedy music choices is wild. [laughs] 


Halle Kiefer: There are certain songs where I’m like, you guys would have put like Yakety Sax under that shit [laughter] like where they’re like running around, but let us get into it before we start. Would you like to guess the twist in Ravenous, Alison? 


[voice over]: Guess the twist. 


Alison Leiby: So, like my loose guess is what’s happening is that— 


Halle Kiefer: You’re nothing but loose guesses. I’ll tell you that much. 


Alison Leiby: That like it is like an army fort or whatever. But I’m guessing, like the guy who started the cannibalism killed all of his soldiers and lied to the US Army about it. 


Halle Kiefer: Great. 


Alison Leiby: And then ate them. 


Halle Kiefer: Excellent work. All right, great. Let us begin ruining. Ravenous. We open with two excellent quotes. I would like to write a horror movie with that opens with three quotes, because I think comedy lives in the three, and then it’s just funny. So here are the two quotes we have with, He that fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. Friedrich Nietzsche, Nietzsche? His name is misspelled in the on the screen. And then—


Alison Leiby: Is that a choice or just a mistake?


Halle Kiefer: I think it was a mistake and I celebrate it. And the second quote is simply the word, the phrase, Eat me. And it is credited to Anonymous. Alison here we are in 1847 in California, and we open on our main character. John Boyd is a U.S. Army captain who is played by Guy Pearce, who is great in this film he has like no lines and it’s just him looking extremely distressed the entire time like he’s our in, so every time we cut to him he’s like— Oh no, it’s he’s great in this. So he’s receiving a military medal. Medal for bravery in the line of fire. It was during the Mexican-American War and he is there’s sort of a little fanfare, there’s a little ceremony. Everyone’s in their, you know, military garb. 


Alison Leiby: Costumes. 


Halle Kiefer: But he’s getting the eye from the little costumes. They look like little cute soldiers. [laughter] And the general, General Slauson is looking at John Boyd. And we sort of realize the general is is on to him. And we see John sitting with all the men afterwards and everyone’s eating a big, fat, bloody steak and there’s nothing else even on the plate. It’s just a huge steak. And he’s getting more and more nauseous looking at it. And he attempts to cut the steak, which is bloody. And we see him flash back to his dying comrade’s face. 


Alison Leiby: Oh no. 


Halle Kiefer: His blood covered face in the battlefield. And John leaps up from the table and runs outside to vomit. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: Which gives General Slauson an opportunity to confront him and basically says, I know the truth about you. You have these medals for bravery, but you are yourself a coward. And I’m not going to publicly expose you, but I will. I’m going to basically exile you. You’re going to be sent up to the mountains, to California’s Fort Spencer. And this is the idea is like this is like the last fort before people go over the mountains. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: So it’s just kind of like a refueling station or like I like as a way station. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Like there’s no. 


Alison Leiby: Transient. 


Halle Kiefer: There’s nothing around. Exactly. Yeah. And everyone’s passing through. And John who’s clearly cowed by this, accepts the reassignment. And we do see the mountains are gorgeous. It’s beautiful. And then like becomes it is a horror comedy that it’s so it’s a it’s shot very beautifully and seriously but then like the credits sort of zoom they like kind of ski in and out like there’s a little like skiing sound— [laughter]


Alison Leiby: Did they make this in PowerPoint? 


Halle Kiefer: It is a wild choice. It looks like it. And I did want to say that Antonia Bird was added as a director, like once they started filming. And I would be interested to know, like how much of this was supposed to be a full comedy, how much of this—


Alison Leiby: Yes. What was it pitched as? 


Halle Kiefer: Yes, that’s a great question. The original director was Milcho Manchevski, and they shot this and they shot this in Slovakia and Mexico. 


Alison Leiby: Oh. 


Halle Kiefer:  And apparently the original director got dismissed because he kept submitting more storyboards. And Fox 2000 didn’t want to do what he wanted to do, essentially. So three weeks into filming and I’m not clear whether it was more of a comedy or not, but I’ll tell you what, the comedy elements killed me every fucking time [laughter] because it’s so out of the blue. Every time it happens. [laughter] It also works shockingly. So we’re we’re finally at Fort Spencer again, you know, just sort of like what imagine it’s 1840. So everything’s made of wood. There’s like smoke coming out of a smokestack. Everyone’s drunk. Everyone has like raw faces and unwashed hair. And John arrives at the in Fort Spencer with the aid of Martha, who’s the there’s two Native American local people who work for the Fort. So it’s Martha and her brother George, and they act as guides in the area for the guys who work at the Fort. And when they arrive, there’s seemingly no one there. So Martha finds blankets for him. And this they all sleep in like a big, gigantic, like communal building where it’s like different rooms and then like a big room in the middle. Oh, yeah. And, you know, it fucking stinks in there. And there’s like a stable for the horses and an armory and like a smokehouse. So a bunch of different outbuildings but this is—


Alison Leiby: I imagine an outhouse somewhere because we’re pre plumbing.


Halle Kiefer: Oh, and there’s. And there’s a fucking outhouse. Absolutely. 


Alison Leiby: God, I mean, imagine, like, it’s like, gross enough that, like, there’s no plumbing, and you’re kind of like having a weird diet, throwing human meat in the mix. That’s got to be a disaster.


Halle Kiefer: Also. Back then, I mean, you’re drinking more alcohol than you’re drinking water.


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: So for me, I would just constantly have diarrhea. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, nonstop diarrhea. 


Halle Kiefer: And we see. For John, this is obviously a downsize. So he’s sort of pushing on the mattress, which is disgusting. And then he catches his eye in the mirror, there’s like a little mirror in the back of the door. We suddenly flashback to the battlefield. We see the truth. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: Which is that as his men screamed for help. Oh, sorry. They started calling him Boyd so I’m gonna switch to Boyd. But John Boyd. So I’m gonna say Boyd. Boyd laid down in the dirt and pretended to be dead to survive as his men were killed around him. The fog of war, Alison. 


Alison Leiby: I mean. 


Halle Kiefer: And we sort of realize that he is, in fact, a coward, that he allowed his men to die. And he did this. To. To live. But it did. It did work. So he finally meets with the head of the fort, which is Colonel Hart. Jeffrey Jones. He said oh, a war hero. They sent a war hero to reward you with some of our beautiful California sun. And meanwhile, of course, it’s freezing outside. He offers Boyd walnuts that Martha brought as a treat. And so but there he takes a gigantic book to smash the walnuts. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: So as he’s talking. He’s just smashing walnuts with a giant book which I love. [laughter] And he says, I’ll be honest. This place thrives on tedium. He says, Like I just said, like, we’re basically is a waystation for groups moving west. So when it’s winter, nobody comes. So because they come the spring, the summer fall and the winter is locked down because of all the snow. So the people who are here now, in addition, adding you, that’s who’s going to be here for the next 3 to 4 months. So it’s Boyd, Colonel Hart, who is speaking, Toffler, who is sort of our religious, religiously minded Christian private Major Knox, who is a full alcoholic, is just constantly drunk all the time. 


Alison Leiby: Cool. 


Halle Kiefer: Private Reich, who Hart describes as our soldier. And they cut to Reich and he’s standing shirtless in a freezing stream, screaming. And then they cut back. And Hart says, Maybe, steer clear of him. [laughter] And it’s just a perfect. You’re like, Oh, okay, he’s crazy. 


Alison Leiby: Got it. [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: And it’s played by Neal McDonough, who’s been in a million things. I always think of Minority Report. He was in Desperate Housewives. That’s where I first heard of him. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: I guess he was in The Arrow verse. Which, oh, is it? Yeah, Yellowstone. You know, bleach blond, like platinum blond. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. Yeah, yeah.


Halle Kiefer: And but it’s a very funny role for him. It’s such a funny shot to like cut to him screaming. And then there are George and Martha, who they live in, there are like a teepee, a sort of sort of creating a little distance between this, these them and these guys who all absolutely stink and have, like, herpes sores all over their faces. And then finally, Private Cleaves, who is a 1840 stoner played by David Arquette. [laughter] We see him smoking with George and just giggling. So the night everyone has dinner together in the main room and Hart goes, so did anyone do anything today. They all laughed cause they’re like, literally—


Alison Leiby: Nothing to do just—


Halle Kiefer: Just survive the winter. 


Alison Leiby: Just sitting around? 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. So the next day, a huge snowstorm sweeps over the camp. And it’s beautiful. And oh, I miss snow. I do wish—


Alison Leiby: Well. We don’t have it here either so.


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, well, yeah, I miss snow, I guess, from the past. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, I miss the concept of snow that I formerly knew before climate change got worse. 


Halle Kiefer: And so we hear the voiceover of, I guess after the incident where he played dead, Boyd had to talk to like a military, like an interrogator. And they’re like, What do you mean? He says, I froze behind enemy lines. While, my unit fought bravely, and we see him get picked up by Mexican soldiers, stacked in a pile of dead bodies. And so he’s literally underneath—


Alison Leiby: Oh my God. 


Halle Kiefer: What must be six or eight other dead bodies? And he says he only escapes when the blood of his commanding officer, which is pouring out of this guy’s broken open skull. 


Alison Leiby: Jesus Christ. 


Halle Kiefer: The blood poured directly into Boyd’s mouth, and that gave him the energy and the vitality to crawl out from the pile of corpses. And then finding getting a gun single handedly takes over the enemy command and wins. 


Alison Leiby: Mm mm. No. No.


Halle Kiefer: Now, the implication is that it’s getting the blood in his mouth made him able to kind of gave him a little bit of a superpower in—


Alison Leiby: Yeah, no, that’s not you can’t you cannot. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: Can’t keep going with that. 


Halle Kiefer: Not good. 


Alison Leiby: Line of thought. 


Halle Kiefer: But then once you know it, you know it Alison. Right? So back at the fort, we see that Martha in Private Cleaves they’re going on a three day trip to buy supplies before the winter really begins. So they’re getting salt, beans, meat and oil the four food groups. 


Alison Leiby: Oh. 


Halle Kiefer: And Hart warns Cleaves do not buy any loco weed because marijuana, I suppose. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And no women. And Cleaves is like well I’m obviously going to do buy both of those things. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. Yes.


Halle Kiefer: Come on, sir. So they head out. So they’re not here. Martha and Cleaves are not here for what’s about to happen. That night. We see Boyd look at his medal for bravery. And when Hart asked him, like, So what did you win that? Get that for? He says, Cowardice. Hart to his credit is like, do you want to go drink some of Knox’s liquor? Cause, like, he’s passed out, let’s just get drunk. 


Alison Leiby: All you can do. 


Halle Kiefer: They’re all kind of like in each other’s face. They’re already kind of like grousing each other. Like Toffler is writing a religious hymn on a little organ. And so Hart yells at him to shut up and asks him to go get ice in this kind of humiliating way. But they’re, you know, they’re sort of there is sort of like a warm camaraderie happening. Alison Boyd looks out the window and sees a figure staggering up to the fort. 


Alison Leiby: Oh, boy, you hate to see that. 


Halle Kiefer: Oh, yeah. No, in the middle of the night, the middle of a snowstorm. 


Alison Leiby: In the middle of nowhere—


Halle Kiefer: In the middle of fucking nowhere. 


Alison Leiby: Where did you come from? [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: And they find him, he passed out in the snow he has, you know, obviously has hypothermia. They drag him inside, they heat a bunch of water, they throw them in a tub, and everyone’s helping like to rub his limbs and revive him. And they put him in bed near the fire and they have Toffler monitor him. And it’s only Boyd who sees that. Underneath the coat. The man has his clothes. His shirt is stained with blood. The next day the man awakens and Toffler runs to get everybody. And Toffler tries to wake Major Knox but Major Knox is blind drunk so he doesn’t even get up. He’s like, Please don’t bother me. There’s nothing to do. So they gather around the man who is known as Colqhoun, and he says he was out there for three months, stuck in the mountains. And Hart says, Well, did you have food? 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And the man says, we didn’t. You should have seen me three months ago. And Reich kind of pushes him. He says, well yeah, but no one can live on no food for three months. 


Alison Leiby: Three months. 


Halle Kiefer: And Colqhoun says, I said there was no food. I, I didn’t say there was nothing to eat. And then Alison, he tells his story. 


Alison Leiby: It’s like everybody in this movie has eaten a person. [laughter]


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, a lot of that going around Alison. He and Colqhoun and six of his fellow, they call them migrants on Wikipedia which I think is an interesting way. I guess they were. 


Alison Leiby: Migrating. 


Halle Kiefer: I guess settlers. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, settlers. So they were they were working under their guide, Colonel Ives. And apparently Colonel Ives is the one that Colqhoun said pitched them on a newer, shorter route to get through the mountains quicker. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: Which is what happened at the Donner Party. They were trying a new route and needless to say, the route was a bust and they were stranded in a storm and had to hide in a cave. But then the storm didn’t pass it literally just winter started. So then they were just stuck there. There wasn’t even an opportunity to get off the mountain. He says over the next three months, they ate the oxen, the horses, even his own dog. And even that only lasted a month. I was like, Oh my God, and it is it’s seven people? So it wouldn’t be a lot of food you know. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah right and like, I would imagine you need like when it’s cold, you need more food?


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. That’s a great point.


Alison Leiby: I don’t know. [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: We’re not nutritionists, but it adds up to me. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: And he says after that they ate their belts, their shoes, they would dig roots out of the ground—


Alison Leiby: I don’t want to eat a belt.


Halle Kiefer: Well, you do. What are you going to eat? Nothing. They were also digging up roots out of the ground because, like, you know, there’s there’s not much nutrition in the roots. Like also the ground would be frozen. 


Alison Leiby: Right. What’s happening? 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. Alison, one, one of the men died, Jones and Colqhoun was out getting firewood. When he came back, he found the rest of the party cooking Jones’s legs. And he says, if I had been there, would I have stopped them? Because I’ll tell you. 


[clip of Robert Carlyle]: I stepped inside that cave, the smell of meat cooking I thanked the Lord. And then things got out of hand. 


Halle Kiefer: A line that is both so scary and so funny he goes. And then things got out of hand. [laughter] 


Alison Leiby: Then? 


Halle Kiefer: That’s such a funny way to describe cannibalism. 


Alison Leiby: Out of hand. [laughs] 


Halle Kiefer: Things getting out of hand. 


Alison Leiby: Out of hand is like you’re having like a chill wine night and somebody is like, should we just have a little bit of tequila? Like that’s out of hand? Like. 


Halle Kiefer: Yes. 


Alison Leiby: We ate one person. And then it got worse. 


Halle Kiefer: Like things got out of hand, he says. I ate sparingly. Others did not. And the meat only lasted a week. Alison. And then they were hungry again. Only this time the hunger was different. More severe and more intense. And Colonel Ives, the guide for the group. He couldn’t be satisfied. 


Alison Leiby: Oh no. 


Halle Kiefer: So he began to kill the members of the group. And everyone was so starving. They kind of like as long as he was doing it. I think the implication was like, well if Colonel Ives is doing it.


Alison Leiby: That I you know, it’s like he’s in charge. 


Halle Kiefer: I’m allowed to eat it. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: So in the end, it was the Colonel, it was Mrs. MacCready, the one woman with them. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And Colqhoun. He says I should have saved her. I should have gotten her out of there. But I was a coward, so I did the only thing I thought to do, which is I. I just ran away. 


Alison Leiby: I mean. 


Halle Kiefer: Because I knew it was going to be me or her and I— 


Alison Leiby: I didn’t want to get eaten. So. 


Halle Kiefer:  Yeah. And Hart says so wait, so this woman and this and this man, they’re still up on the mountain, right? He’s like, Yeah, I just left, so it’s like well, then we have to go try to rescue them. It’s our jobs. 


Alison Leiby: No, it’s not.


Halle Kiefer: I know, but Colonel Hart does take this very seriously, and it’s like, if he hadn’t, if he’d been like, yeah, they’re those motherfuckers are dead. Also. One of them is dead. The other one ate the other one obviously. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah right, right, she’s dead. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, but Hart, I mean, listen to his credits, like, if they’re still alive, we are obligated to. 


Alison Leiby: Sure. 


Halle Kiefer: To God and America to try to find them. And this, of course, will lead us down the primrose path to more cannibalism. [laughter] And they suit up. 


Alison Leiby: So much cannibalism, like the fact that it’s coming kind of from two ends. 


Halle Kiefer: Girl, it’s so much cannibalism in this movie [laughter] you don’t even know. But it’s really great. It is like, once the door is open. It’s like, well what are we going to do, not commit cannibalism? 


Alison Leiby: Right. Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: But they get suited up and they grab like, you know, their muskets and stuff and but George. [yawns] One of the Native American guides, stops them and shows them, of course, a scroll, because you love, you have to look at a scroll or an old— 


Alison Leiby: You have to look at a scroll. 


Halle Kiefer: —book and he points at it and he says he says this is like the, he he’s he says the word Ojibwe. So I’m assuming he’s saying that he’s Ojibwe. But he also maybe be saying this is a legend that is originated. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah yeah yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Then. But we also believe in it. But it’s the Wendigo, which we also talk during Antlers. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: If you want to go back and listen to that one. And so Hart sort of translating as he’s speaking, he says, and we see the illustration. It’s a man who is sort of transformed half into a beast who is eating another man. And basically the idea that and I think it’s like obviously it’s based on the taboo around eating human flesh is pretty strong across all cultures. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Big thumbs down for the most part on that. 


Alison Leiby: For the most part, not on board. 


Halle Kiefer: Outside of a very particular situation in which and one of those situations is someone’s already dead. You have to eat them. 


Alison Leiby: Survival. 


Halle Kiefer: I think we all kind of understand that that’s what happens. But the idea is like the myth says in this telling of it if a man eats another man’s flesh, he steals his essence, but then his hunger becomes insatiable. Like you become an animal, you lose your human nature. But then this. The more he is, the stronger he becomes. Which I feel like it shouldn’t work that way. 


Alison Leiby: It absolutely should not work that way. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. And Hart says, Well, your people don’t really do that anymore, do they? And George is like, No. Do white people eat the body of Christ on Sundays and Hart’s like that’s a fair point because that is also our legend. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: At least in Catholicism. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: That that is actually his body and that’s actually his blood. So it’s like we’re using we’re telling stories. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: To teach about the world. Unfortunately, in this movie, Alison. 


Alison Leiby: They’re real. 


Halle Kiefer: A little more real with at least with regards to eating the body and the blood. So they’re off and Knox stays behind, partly because he’s like, well, someone has to be there. And he’s like second in command and also he’s blind drunk. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: So we see him run past Hart, Hart tries to tell him like we’re leaving because this is happening and Knox just runs into the outhouse to vomit. So he doesn’t he’s not even, like, cognizant. 


Alison Leiby: I would just throw up on the ground. 


Halle Kiefer: But he probably did that so much that like you can’t do that anymore.


Alison Leiby: Okay, sure. 


Halle Kiefer: You at least have to go outside the fort. Hart gives Knox the keys to the arsenal and reminds him that Martha and Private Cleaves is are on the supply run. So they’ll be back two days. Hart and Boyd see that Colqhoun is also getting dressed. They’re like, are you going to come with, he’s like I have to. There’s literally no way you’d be able to find them. We were just in a cave in the mountains.


Alison Leiby: Right. That’s so, correct.


Halle Kiefer: How the fuck are you gonna get there. Yeah. So off they go, they’re climbing up the mountains and it is gorgeous. 


Alison Leiby: Of course. 


Halle Kiefer: I, of course, would not be able to do any of this. They’re like in heavy coats and robes going up these like snowy, just like the side of a hill and they arrive at this peak. It’s gorgeous. And Boyd, has the opportunity to sort of go to a side to talk to Colqhoun and be like, you know, about eating human flesh and drinking human blood. Did you feel like you were like physically changed? Did you feel like energized? And Colqhoun says, I do remember a certain virility. Just then Alison Toffler, a poor Christian bastard, slips and tumbles down the mountainside and lands on a bunch of rocks. And he’s alive, but he’s badly injured and they haul him up, he’s bleeding. It looks he’s broken his ribs and sets up camp and but everyone’s like, we’re going to bed down for the night and keep going tomorrow. [coughs] Excuse me. And as night descends, Alison, we hear Toffler screaming and he shouts, pointing at Colqhoun, who has literally, obviously has blood on his mouth. 


Alison Leiby: No. 


Halle Kiefer: Says, He was licking me, he was licking me. 


Alison Leiby: Licking?


Halle Kiefer: He was licking the blood that was oozing out of his wound. 


Alison Leiby: Ew.


Halle Kiefer: And Colqhoun’s like, No, no, no. It there’s been a misunderstanding. Literally. But there’s blood on his mouth. He’s like, No, no, actually, what was going on. Reich just fully assaults him like enraged. But Hart breaks it up and it says Reich you help Toffler get his bandages back on and Boyd George and sorry [coughs] Boyd and Hart confirm. Confront Colqhoun and Colqhoun’s like I’m so sorry I was asleep. I thought I was in a nightmare. And I woke up, but I found myself doing it. I just restrain me because I don’t think I could help this. 


Alison Leiby: Oh, my God. 


Halle Kiefer: It’s. This is bigger than me, please. And so the end up they tie his wrist and then. Reich. Has him like on a lead like a dog, and they’re walking up still trying to find the cave. And George takes Boyd aside and says. So Wendigo. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Bitch it’s the Wendigo. 


Alison Leiby: It’s the Wendigo. 


Halle Kiefer: Alison, I’m going to ask you now actually, because we’re things are about to go from bad to worse. 


Alison Leiby: Things are going to get out of hand? 


Halle Kiefer: Alison at this point in the movie, things are going to get a little out of hand. Alison, what would you do? 


[voice over]: What would you do? 


Alison Leiby: I’m going back to the fort. And then—


Halle Kiefer: Yeah are you allowed to do that? Like. Would you if you had trouble? What do you get, like, discharged? 


Alison Leiby: Right. I’m kind of—


Halle Kiefer: It’s not like oh I’m going to lose my health insurance. 


Alison Leiby: How do I defect from the U.S. Army so I don’t have to be part of this anymore? Like, that would be my number one. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: Like, I got to get like. I got to get out of here. Like I got to go. I’ll just go be a farmer somewhere and not be around many other people and forget all this ever happened. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. I feel like back then you could just walk away and assume a new identity, and no one’s going to really ask—


Alison Leiby: Right. There’s like, a digital footprint of who you are, like. Just leave. 


Halle Kiefer: No. 


Alison Leiby: No, you’re good to go. 




Halle Kiefer: The next day they walk on and they finally found find the cave. And as soon as Colqhoun sees it, he starts freaking out, screaming like, No, no, no, they’re going to kill me. Just the sight of the cave is sending him into like, a madness. And he starts, like, running around acting crazy, like making animal noises. So everyone’s like, Well, we’ll wait outside with him. And then Reich and Boyd, you go inside and check things out and see if anyone still lives in there. Inside, they find a trail of human blood. 


Alison Leiby: Cool. 


Halle Kiefer: Leading to Alison, a hole straight into the floor of the cave. 


Alison Leiby: No. [laughs] No.


Halle Kiefer: And Reich. Reich climbs down into it. 


Alison Leiby: Also, no. 


Halle Kiefer: Absolutely never, ever. 


Alison Leiby: No. [laughs] Also—


Halle Kiefer: And I would walk outside and just get shot in the head. 


Alison Leiby: To what end? 


Halle Kiefer: I guess, in case they’re down there. And they might have been, but they find a disgusting scene. It’s covered in bloody human bones, a rotting head with hair, clothes everywhere. And skeletons.


Alison Leiby: Head with hair. 


Halle Kiefer: Alison Reich turns and finds. All of the bodies have been hung up like butcher style and skeletonized and on one on one of them he sees. The shirt says Colonel Ives. Which means Colqhoun ate Colonel Ives. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. Okay, so he lied to them. 


Halle Kiefer: And Reich realizes he’s like, Wait a minute. This is the mother fucker that ate all these people. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. And now he’s looking for more people. 


Halle Kiefer: Exactly, so Reich screams. It’s a trap. And then excellent movie logic drops his lantern, which immediately bursts into fire, and it destroys all the evidence. [laughter] Like, it’s just. And I’m probably. I mean, there were so many fires back then. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: I mean, I’m sure that makes sense, but this is like, God damn it, Reich? Like, you had all this stuff lined up and then now you’re burning it all down. So of course, then he and Boyd run outside. And again, everyone’s outside watching Colqhoun, who’s, like, panting and starts clawing in the dirt like an animal and like, running around making animal noises. [clears throat] You know, George is like, I fucking told you. I fucking told you I fucking told you it’s the God damn Wendigo. 


Alison Leiby: Damn Wendigo. 


Halle Kiefer: And Reich and Boyd run out of the cave, right as Colqhoun grabs Hart’s knife and stabs Hart. 


Alison Leiby: Mm. 


Halle Kiefer: In the chest. 


Alison Leiby: Tough. 


Halle Kiefer: And George tries to this literally tries to throw a tomahawk. So we just tomahawk it at Colqhoun. Colqhoun. But then Colqhoun grabs Hart’s body to use as a human shield. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: And he is hit again. Colqhoun then grabs Hart’s gun and shoots George. So unfortunately, George has died. 


Alison Leiby: All right. That’s sad. 


Halle Kiefer: Toffler, who was injured and can’t run, closes his eyes in terror and Colqhoun goes to fire at him. But the gun is empty. And he pulls the knife, the knife out of Hart’s body, and he turns to Toffler with a smile on his face. And Colqhoun tells Toffler, run. And this is when the music kicks in. 


Alison Leiby: Oh, my God. Stop. [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: It’s. It might as well be Yakety Sax. It is like comedy running like. [music plays] It’s very it both works and also is the craziest God damn choice like no horror. I just would have a hard time imagining that unless you’re in a broader comedy. But it works like the tone is a hard one to nail. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And you wouldn’t think it would work, but it really does. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And I don’t know, maybe it was like, Oh, it’s too dark too soon because there’s a bunch of other stuff. Like we’re still I mean, this is barely into the second act. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Like, maybe, like, maybe like, well, we can’t have it be so intense too soon, but it’s such a jarring choice. Boyd over to Colonel Hart, but he is, of course, dying, and Reich says, Leave him. We have to save Toffler. Hart’s already dead. And so they abandon him and, while, they chase this motherfucker through the forest. And unfortunately, they do find Toffler. Ah, poor little Toffler. But his torso has been ripped open. It looks like a human being has been eating it. 


Alison Leiby: Gnawing it. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. And this enrages them and Reich says, Let’s go kill that bastard. But Boyd is still a coward. This is what we’re still seeing. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: It’s like he’s like, um, I have to go back. I would. He says I’m going to go back. Where it’s like again. That’s where we’re at. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: At least if we know we were to say it, it would be like, you know, I’m a coward. I’m not gonna do that. 


Alison Leiby: Right. Yes, exactly. Not a decorated war hero. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, come on. But Reich snarls find him like he’s not accepting any of this. Unfortunately. Alison, eating Toffler has given Colqhoun like, it’s not super strength. He’s just like, strength. Like the like the strong. A strong man on his best day makes sense. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Like, rather than what he is, which is a man who almost died in the mountains. But now he’s, like, so invigorated and he takes the knife he pulled out of Hart’s body and he throws it into Reich’s chest. And not only does it stab Reich in the chest, he flies off a cliff. 


Alison Leiby: [laughs] Well, like, that’s not helpful for Colqhoun, who can’t eat him. 


Halle Kiefer: Well, you’d think so. But he’s got you know, he’s got a one track mind, like you said. Yeah, he’s. He has an enthusiasm for consuming human flesh. So finally on the top of this cliff it’s just Boyd and Colqhoun. And Boyd is able to shoot Colqhoun at point blank range, and he collapses only to sit up. 


Alison Leiby: What? 


Halle Kiefer: Mouth, mouthful of blood and smile. This I mean to be fair he was shot in the shoulder. But like, it would definitely take you down. 


Alison Leiby: Especially if, like. You are someone who had been like, starving in the w—


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: Like, you know, it’s like, I guess the laws of cannibalism are changing a little bit of the reality here, but like, yeah, you wouldn’t be like, up and laughing. 


Halle Kiefer: Exactly. And so I think we’re to think cannibalism does provide him a get a level of vitality and he backs Boyd up against the cliff face. And Boyd, faced with the decision, a choice between being eaten and jumping, Alison he just fucking jumps off a cliff. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And that I do that because that’s not cowardice. I admire that.


Alison Leiby: No. I admire that. I respect that. 


Halle Kiefer: I wouldn’t be able. I would be too scared. 


Alison Leiby: I think so too. But. 


Halle Kiefer: Fortunately, he falls into the tree line and the trees sort of soften his landing and he hits the ground. What he does, he also hits Reich. Who is dying? He’s not totally dead. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: Slams into his body. And they both start tumbling down the mountain. 


Alison Leiby: Oh my God. 


Halle Kiefer: Like head over heels tumbling. And they eventually landed in fox den. So. Like a hole in the ground. They land and there’s all this, like, shrubbery hanging over. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: So. Reich gets caught upside down. But Boyd’s on the ground in the bottom of this hole, and Reich is dangling right over him, caught in tree branches and in his dying rage, Reich puts his hands on Boyd’s neck and tries to strangle him. But he’s too weak and he dies. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah well. 


Halle Kiefer: As if If that wasn’t bad enough, Alison. 


Alison Leiby: It’s pretty bad. 


Halle Kiefer: Colqhoun finds his way and comes down the mountain to try to eat both of these mother fuckers. 


Alison Leiby: I mean. This guy. I don’t like it.


Halle Kiefer: He’s never going to. Yeah, if I have two. Two dead bodies I could be eating. I’m going to find them. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: And he’s finding them by smells. 


Alison Leiby: What? 


Halle Kiefer: We hear him sniffing the air out. 


Alison Leiby: That’s so weird. 


Halle Kiefer: But because he sort of like. Like underneath the ground, like where he be able to smell like he is  sort of logistically hidden so Colqhoun can’t find them. And he walks by night, falls, and Boyd tries to move, but his leg is broken. And so badly is a classic Hollywood break where the bone is jutting to the skin. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. Yes. Yes.


Halle Kiefer: Back then, I’m like, that guy’s getting gangrene and dying. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah you are dead. 


Halle Kiefer: Like, best you could do is amputate. But there’s there’s. There’s not even a town there’s nowhere to go.


Alison Leiby: I don’t even know what you do now, when that happens. 


Halle Kiefer: I think we have antibiotics, but I think probably if you get gangrene, if you really have it, they might have to amputate as well. But so he puts a stick to bite on and then he jams the bone back into his leg, which I don’t think would work or like anything better. Back at the Fort Private, Cleaves and Martha come back. Don’t know any of this is going on. So it’s them and Knox, right? And so, like, they’re just like, setting things up, like getting firewood or whatever. But Martha could tell something is wrong, and I don’t want to imply that. I assume it’s some sort of Native American mysticism. But also, she’s an intuitive woman and they’ve been gone for a while. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: So but she definitely has this moment of looking in the mountains like—


Alison Leiby: Oh, boy, it’s right. It’s like you could tell things were like, what’s the best case scenario? 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, yeah yeah.


Alison Leiby: They find the cannibal? Like. 


Halle Kiefer: I know. Yeah. Right they have to like wrestle a cannibal. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: To the ground and bring him back to the fort. And then he’s going to be there until we take him to cannibal jail? 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: We see Colqhoun dragging the other men’s corpses. 


Alison Leiby: Oh boy. 


Halle Kiefer: Into the cave, laughing and sort of like, making, like, chittering animal noises still in the fox den.  Boyd is sort of talking to Reich’s corpse. And he was like, Do you mind if I take your coat? It’s going to be cold tonight. And he can sort of hear. Colqhoun’s laughter all around him. Meanwhile, we see Colqhoun like, having fun, like Colqhoun’s like his shirt’s all stained with blood. There’s a creek near the. Sorry, the cave is near a creek. 


Alison Leiby: Mm hmm. 


Halle Kiefer: It’s a creek and a cave. And he picks up a stone to skip it. And he. He picks up. He says nice. And then he skips it like he’s having the time of his life now that he’s like—


Alison Leiby: That is funny. 


Halle Kiefer: —cannibalizing. But Boyd’s in this hole. He says to Reich’s body because again I think he’s like moving through his cowardice. That’s his hero’s journey. So he says, Do I stay here or do I go down the hill? I don’t know what to do. I can’t. I don’t tell me what to do. And he sees, like, visions of the Wendigo scroll. And finally, Alison Boyd takes the knife out of Reich’s body. 


Alison Leiby: Oh boy. 


Halle Kiefer: And he starts cutting into him and eating the meat. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. I mean. 


Halle Kiefer: But yeah, at that point. 


Alison Leiby: What I like there is a crazed cannibal on the loose looking for you. You’re injured. You know that human blood and meat will. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: Energize you to perhaps escape. Like, I don’t know. I don’t know if I could ever do it, but I guess I get it. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. No, I would just freeze to death. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah same. 


Halle Kiefer: I can’t be out here also the idea of eating raw human meat. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: I mean, cooked is horrible but—


Alison Leiby: Raw is extra—


Halle Kiefer: —raw human meat just off of a guy you just met.


Alison Leiby: Some guy you just met. [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: But in the morning, we see Boyd emerge, and he looks worse for wear, but he looks a lot better than he did last night. And he staggers down the mountain and he makes it to the fort alive. And Knox tends to his wounds and puts him to bed with Boyd is plagued by restless dreams. And so he goes to Martha and says, How do you let’s say the Wendigo’s real, how do you stop it? And Martha says, you don’t. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: That’s not how it works. 


Alison Leiby: That’s it. 


Halle Kiefer: Not like there’s not like a magic trick. And this is like the analogy is what we’re talking about, like white American settlers. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: And Manifest Destiny. 


Alison Leiby: You’ll never be satiated. There’s never enough. There’s never you’re never like, oh, yes, I’m satisfied. I’ve reached the end. 


Halle Kiefer: Exactly. 


Alison Leiby: I have everything I need. Like, there’s the more and more and more and more and more. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. And I think I always just talk about this was my friend yesterday. Where like I think as people who don’t have, you know, we’re not billionaires. It’s like you always do think that there’s a certain amount of like there’s a limit where it’s like and there are certain rich people who, like, give away their money and they understand that. But for other people, just the having so much makes you want more. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. Accumulation.


Halle Kiefer: Like it’s, it shuts off that part of your. Yeah. So it’s like oh so then that makes us approach billionaires with or like rich people with a lack of awareness about what that is. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: You know. And she says the Wendigo only takes he never gives. To escape. The only way to escape the Wendigo is to die. 


Alison Leiby: Oh, God, I think I would just die at this point. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: There’s no like, what are you even living for? 


Halle Kiefer: Right. Or it’s one thing to be like I have to get home to my wife. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: Or like, I got a sick mother. 


Alison Leiby: Something. 


Halle Kiefer: Like, something to be like I have to do it. It’s like, nah, I’m just some guy and I keep eating human flesh. 


Alison Leiby: He’s also like just like living a lie as like a war hero. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: But actual coward. And who has nothing and you’re just like, in this awful place and eating people, like, just die. 


Halle Kiefer: To be fair, you do look like Guy Pearce. 


Alison Leiby: Good for him [laughs] that I don’t hate. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. So word is sent to General Slauson about everything that’s happened. And so Slauson and two of his officers come to Fort Spencer to sort of like, take everyone’s statement and they sit Boyd down and they’re like, okay, we found the cave. There is no sign of anyone. There’s no blood, no bones, nothing. Now we know there was a fire. 


Alison Leiby: Mm hmm. 


Halle Kiefer: So I think we’re to think everything was destroyed. So. But then, Boyd, can’t be like I saw. I don’t know how. I mean, I guess they would be destroyed was like, you know, all that evidence. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: No longer exists. And they say. And then you told us about the the Wendigo. We need facts, boy, not fairy tales. So and Slauson basically, is like I did you a solid of not publicly humiliating you. I sent you here. Yeah, it was exile. But also, it’s like you still have a reputation. You still have a job. I could have kicked you out for what you did. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: But you did take over that the Mexican army base, because somehow you figured, did that. But now you’re giving us this crazy story. I think when we first came here, you had a fever. You were really sick. Now, it’s not lying if you correct it, you’re just correcting that you were unwell, so maybe you got separated from your party up there. You don’t know what happens. Either ways I advise you to change your story like he really is trying to help him. Like don’t go on record. And of course, Boyd is stepping out of his cowardice into his heroism is like, No, I. I know what I saw. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Wendigo. Skeletons and generals, like, okay, dude. All right. Sure. Alison, to replace the late, great Colonel Hart, a new colonel has arrived, and we only see him from behind. But I think you know exactly who it’s going to be. And Mars and Cleaves see the new colonel. But they were on the supply run, so they did not. They weren’t there when all this was happening. 


Alison Leiby: Oh no. 


Halle Kiefer: So finally, General Slauson says there’s going to be a new interim colonel until we find someone to permanently replace Hart. Please welcome and meet your new colonel, Colonel Ives. Alison. It is, of course, Colqhoun. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Who, instead of having a big shaggy beard, is kind of like a very neat military mustache and goatee and, like, looks very like he looks incredible. 


Alison Leiby: I mean, how did he do that? 


Halle Kiefer: I guess he ate so many bodies that he can, like, shave. I don’t know.


Alison Leiby: [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: And Boyd does a classic [?] thing where he stands up in shock and then he just faints. He like collapses and Boyd tells Slauson that’s him. That’s Colqhoun if you don’t believe me, ask Knox. He was here the day that Colqhoun arrived. So they go to Knox. Knox says I was ill that day. He was blackout drunk. But he says I remember the guy that I remember had a beard. This guy. This guy doesn’t so. 


Alison Leiby: But like that’s so—


Halle Kiefer: I know, but it’s the 1840s. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: I think people were like he didn’t have a beard it’s a different guy. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Hang him, unfortunately. And Boyd says, I shot Colqhoun when we were struggling, you know, on the on the cliff, I shot over the shoulder. So tell him to show you his shoulder. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: So then they have to invite Colonel Ives in who we all, of course, know is Colqhoun. 


Alison Leiby: Is Colqhoun. 


Halle Kiefer: And he says like, take a so he like has him, show one shoulder. And then the other shoulder. [laughter] And Alison, there are no bullet wounds. And the general and his men leave. Like, we’re going to we’re going to write up a full report and there’s apparently a rainstorm coming in. 


Alison Leiby: Oh, good. 


Halle Kiefer: So we’re to leave you and Colonel Ives’s capable hands, by which we mean we’re going to leave and leave you here with a cannibal. 


Alison Leiby: A cannibal as a babysitter. Yeah.


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. And so Boyd walks in to go talk to Cleaves and Martha, and then when he does, he finds Cleaves gossiping and basically Cleave’s, like, I think Boyd killed everyone up there. And now he’s saying, the new colonel did it. Like, I think he’s lost his goddamn marbles. And Boyd yells at them, and he takes, like, this gigantic cleaver they were cutting with. Next thing you know, we see Boyd stabbing Cleaves to death and then tearing out his heart to eat it. And when he looks at Cleaves’ dead body. Cleaves is laughing. But it’s just a daydream, Alison. It’s not real. It’s not real. [laughter] That night, they all sit together. Knox and Cleaves are playing chess while Knox gets drunk. Martha is whittling an arrowhead? Colonel Ives is reading, and a storm is sweeping in. Alison who will survive? 


[voice over]: Who will survive? 


Alison Leiby: Oh, boy. I’m going to guess they all die. And Colqhoun eats all of them and then is off. Doing his thing. 


Halle Kiefer: Great. Excellent, excellent guess. All right. 




Halle Kiefer: So everyone heads off to bed except Boyd, who is too paranoid and refuses to sleep. So he’s basically standing outside the main building holding the butcher knife from the kitchen. And Colonel Ives steps aside to smoke. And Colonel Ives says to Boyd, You know, I found your Reich up there or what was left of him. He knows that Boyd was cannibalizing him. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: He says, you know, before it all began, before I first found out I had tuberculosis, I had horrible migraines. And I had I was suicidal all the time. I was actually on my way to a sanatorium. Sanitarium? I was actually on my way to a sanitarium when our party had stranded. I was at my wits end. And then on the way there, some guy told me about the Wendigo, and I thought, well, you know what it’s worth a shot? 


Alison Leiby: It wasn’t a prescription. [laughs] Like.


Halle Kiefer: But he took it. He took it right to CBS. And he tells them, I ate five men in three months. My TB is gone. My suicidal thoughts are gone. I reached Denver that spring feeling happy, healthy and virile. And I was like, that is the most terrifying and depraved thing. 


Alison Leiby: I hate it. 


Halle Kiefer: Because it’s like it’s one thing to be like I’m a vampire because I can’t help it or I’m a werewolf because I’ve changed. It’s it’s out of my control. But the idea of like, I just feel so much better. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. Right? It’s like somebody being like I love Pilates.


Halle Kiefer: Yes. And that’s why I had to kill Gwyneth Paltrow. You know, it’s like, well, that’s not worth like, it’s like, you can’t do it. Just so you can better, you know? And then Boyd says, Well, did you eat the woman? Did you see her? And he says, Look, I don’t get it. You’ve already tried it. You know what it can do? You know the effects of it. Why are you resisting it? Is it morality? Morality, the last bastion of the coward? And Colonel Ives. I’m just going to call him Colonel Ives the rest of the— 


Alison Leiby: But we know it’s Colqhoun. Got it.


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. So Colonel Ives comes up to him, and Boyd slashes him with the knife, and it cuts Boyd’s hand. And this was like this is a little bit of a homoerotic moment where. Where Colonel Ives holds up his bleeding palm to Boyd’s face and sort of holds it under his nose and says, Do you smell that? And it’s sort of like it’s like taunting him with, like, I know exactly the reaction you’re having. And but again, Boyd is doing everything he can to fight the urge. So he tackles Colonel Ives and puts the knife to his throat. But then Martha stops him and says, If you die and Martha rushes over, puts her knife to Boyd’s throat says, if he dies, you die. 


Alison Leiby: Okay? 


Halle Kiefer: And I don’t know whether she’s just being moral or that’s literal. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: But either way, neither of them are dead. Everyone else rushes out and Knox. Of course, sees that it was Boyd who attacked first. So he tells Martha, get Cleaves and you two put Boyd under arrest. But here’s the thing. Alison. Cleaves is nowhere to be seen. So Martha has to go look for him. She’s wandering around. It’s nighttime, it’s windy, it’s disgusting. Out. She sees the door of the stables banging open. She goes thinking maybe he’s inside there. All of the horses have been killed and eaten. At a certain point in time. How much meat can a man physically eat?


Alison Leiby: Consume? Right.


Halle Kiefer: Why kill all the horses? Kill one of the horses.


Alison Leiby: At least then it stays fresh, when you want the next one, like. It just seems like not the plan. 


Halle Kiefer: Yes. 


Alison Leiby: Also, like I eat one steak and I’m like, good for a while. 


Halle Kiefer: Right also if horses work [yawns] excuse me, if the horse work—


Alison Leiby: They why are you eating people? 


Halle Kiefer: Why not just kill animals, then it’s not cannibalism. You’re just eating horse meat. 


Alison Leiby: Meat. It makes no sense.


Halle Kiefer: They don’t explain that. But she’s terrified. She runs back and she runs to the main building and she’s yelling through the window at Knox. Saying the horses are all dead. And when he runs over the window, he’s like, what? Blood starts to spatter on her face. 


Alison Leiby: From the roof. 


Halle Kiefer: And she looks up and Knox runs out and joins her they find Cleves dead, brutalized corpse on the roof of the building. So of course, Knox not knowing anything about all the cannibalism, he assumes that Boyd killed Cleaves, and so they chain up Boyd in his room. So he’s basically chained to his bed so he can’t leave. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. Now he’s just a prisoner. 


Halle Kiefer: Exactly. In the morning Knox asks Martha to. Like basically we need someone to walk on foot to the next fort, which is where General Slauson should be. So would you walk there? And she’s like, bye. Like, as soon—


Alison Leiby: Like that’s the journey I would like to be. I’m like, oh, I’ll run an errand if it gets me out of this absolute nightmare. 


Halle Kiefer: Absolutely. And as soon as she’s out of the picture, Colonel Ives, shuts the fort gate and puts down, like, a big log. Like a. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, yeah yeah.


Halle Kiefer: Like a gigantic version of a door lock. And they are locked in now. Right? 


Alison Leiby: Oh boy. 


Halle Kiefer: And we see Boyd chained up in his room, extremely vulnerable, you know, can’t do anything. And he’s calling for Major Knox over and over again to try to explain what’s going on. And as he does, Alison, we watch Colonel Ives make what looks to be a delicious stew.


Alison Leiby: No.


Halle Kiefer: Over the fire. 


Alison Leiby: Horse stew? 


Halle Kiefer: Not. 


Alison Leiby: Probably people. 


Halle Kiefer: Unfortunately. It is, of course, a human stew. 


Alison Leiby: People stew. 


Halle Kiefer: A cosmic gumbo. 


Alison Leiby: People stew, cosmic gumbo. [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: Knox enters and says, have you. Do you help me with that stew? And Ives says, No. Maybe later you can contribute. Right now it’s fine. And Knox also knows that, you know, my sword is missing his decorative sword. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Above the mantle is gone. Colonel Ives is like that’s the craziest God damn thing, I don’t even know. 


Alison Leiby: Where is it?


Halle Kiefer: And Boyd, meanwhile, he’s yelling like Knox. It’s him. He did this. He killed everybody. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: He killed Hart. And so Knox eventually just goes and shuts the door to Boyd’s room. And when Knox turns, we see his swords swing down and cut his head off. But it’s not Colonel Ives who did it. Because then we turn and see Colonel Ives, who has basically no expression, no reaction. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: Just seeing this. He’s stirring the pot of human stew. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah he’s focused on the culinary arts at this point. 


Halle Kiefer: Exactly. And Boyd hears the head slicing and calls for the door like Knox are you okay. And the door opens to reveal a very much still alive Colonel Hart. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: And Colonel Ives shouts over to them, I told you, my regiment had curative powers. So basically Boyd realizes that Hart survived through of course cannibalism. And he’s like, well, you killed Cleaves and the horses. And Hart says, You know, I thought I died in the mountains. I think I may have actually died, but that I woke up in the cave to Ives feeding me. And now I’ve never felt better. 


Alison Leiby: Oh, no. 


Halle Kiefer: And Boyd says, okay, so you guys are going to kill me and eat me. They say, No, it’s actually very lonely as a cannibal. We want you to join us. And will will live here. And when people come through, we won’t kill everyone. We will pick a few. And then anyone who disappears. Ah. They disappear to the mountains it’s extremely dangerous. And then this is what he also talks about, Manifest Destiny. He’s like, I, can you blame us? Can you blame us for any of this? This is out of our hands. 


Alison Leiby: He says—


[clip of Robert Carlyle]: This country is seeking to be whole, stretching out his arms and consuming all it can. And we merely follow. 


Halle Kiefer: So it’s like, oh, we’ve already rationalized, rationalized it because we rationalized Manifest Destiny, which I did appreciate that they were using that as a metaphor. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Of like white man’s insatiable avarice. It’s like, yeah, that, that makes a lot of sense. And their plan is that Boyd will be there in the fort with them, and when spring comes, there’ll be a steady stream of people resettling—


Alison Leiby: And they can keep eating people forever. 


Halle Kiefer: Exactly. And he even said, eventually, we’d like to get General Slauson on board, because when you are a general, you could do whatever you want. So if he’s in our pocket, then we could be eating people nonstop, baby. And Ives says to Boyd, You’re already one of us. You just need to give in to it. And Boyd says I can’t. So I think this is his final stand, sort of like I am not a coward. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: I cannot do this. 


Alison Leiby: Not a coward. Not a coward.


Halle Kiefer: And Colonel Ives. Exactly. Colonel Ives nods his head and then stabs Boyd, Boyd in the torso and tells him, Don’t worry, it’s not fatal. Provided you take the necessary, necessary precautions. And he serves him up a bowl of human flesh stew. So then it’s literally, if you do not eat this right now, you will bleed out and die. 


Alison Leiby: I’d take that. I would just die. 


Halle Kiefer: I would see. I would eat the stew. I think at that point I would be so I would the pain of dying. Would be so scary. I would eat the stew.  But Boyd tries to fight it like the others two guys are just eating the stew like Oh, my God, this stew. This stew’s hitting. And and Boyd’s trying to fight, but he starts bleeding from his mouth and he’s, you know, he’s exhausted. And so finally Alison he picks up a spoon. And he eats. The next day Boyd looks great. I mean, he still looks horrible, but, like—


Alison Leiby: He’s upright.


Halle Kiefer: He’s not dying, you know, and they sort of have this this conversation with, like, Hart. He’s like, how do you do? Like how? Like when I met you, you seem like a moral man. Like you wanted to go help people on the mountain. And. Harts like, you know, I realize now it’s not about that. It’s about happiness and how to achieve it. And he screams at Boyd like, Don’t you understand? You’re too naive. You have to kill to live. And Boyd, basically we’re having like the Hart is like has succumbed to the argument and Boyd hasn’t. But Boyd is like, I’m going to kill Colonel Ives. I’m going to kill him and stop him. And Hart has a moment of realization, and he unlocks Boyd’s chains and he says, Take my knife. But before you go kill Ives, please kill me. You have to do it quickly. I can’t. You’re right. I can’t live like this. 


Alison Leiby: Well. 


Halle Kiefer: Like what we’ve already done is horrible. What? What he’s proposing, it’s like, Oh, so we’re serial killers. And so Boyd slit his throat. 


Alison Leiby: Okay, that’s nice. 


Halle Kiefer: And as the. Yeah, as the blood jets out of Harts, throat against the window, we see a shot of Ives looking in and seeing this and understanding. 


Alison Leiby: What’s happening. 


Halle Kiefer: That Boyd has prevailed and that now Boyd is going to come for him. And now basically, we see that in the far distance. Martha and the general and the reinforcements are coming, but it’s they’re still really far away. So it’s just a cat and mouse game between Boyd and Colonel Ives. And they’re kind of like hiding and, like, tracking each other, stalking each other through the fort. And a certain point, just for, like, cause he’s a diva Ives puts smears his forehead with a blood cross. 


Alison Leiby: Well. 


Halle Kiefer: In blood. 


Alison Leiby: He loves the pageantry of it. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. And then finally, he and Boyd just find each other. I don’t know if it’s like it’s the tool shed but it’s gigantic like it’s just some big, like, utility, like building, obviously made out of wood, and it’s filled with farm implements. So they’re just grabbing farm implements. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Like stabbing each other with pitchforks, like chopping at each other with cleavers. At one point, they’re just like grabbing a log from the fire and slamming it into each other. And finally, Boyd gets Ives on the ground and they’re choking each other. And Ives takes Knox’s sword and stabs it through Boyd’s body to the hilt through his back. So Boyd has been terribly injured. And in the brawling, they’ve, like, slammed into the supporting structures, which everything looks like it’s gonna fall apart anyways. And Boyd is able to get free, but the building itself falls on top of Ives. It still doesn’t stop him. He has cannibal strength and Ives finds Boyd and pulls the knife out of his back. So now now Boyd’s bleeding out. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: But they’re still grappling. And Boyd gets up and grabs him standing and shoves him backwards onto the ground on to something that I guess you can’t have this, fatal, fatal horror movie, fatal mistake. 20,592. Never, ever have a huge rusty bear trap—


Alison Leiby: Open.


Halle Kiefer: Open and ready to go. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: On any floor in a building where a human might be. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Alison. They fall into it and it closes on both of them. And now they’re trapped there. They physically can’t get out. And Ives says to him, if you die first, I’m definitely going to eat you. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah of course. 


Halle Kiefer: The question is, if I die first, what will you do? So the implication is like, if let’s say Ives dies, there is a world in which I think we’re to believe that Boyd could eat his body and then escape the bear trap. And just then Martha and the general arrived. But of course, the general goes to the main house, Martha, immediately. She knows something’s up, she’s trying to find like any living person. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: And in the house they can’t find anyone right away. But the general sure does smell that delicious stew. 


Alison Leiby: Oh no. 


Halle Kiefer: And we see him take a big old ladle of hot human stew Alison. 


Alison Leiby: No. 


Halle Kiefer: Oh, and he goes to town because that shit taste delicious. And honest to God watching this. My mouth was filled with saliva. [laughter] Like the stew. I know it was just normal stew. I want stew is what I’m saying. 


Alison Leiby: Always. 


Halle Kiefer: But watching this, watching someone eat cannibal stew, I’m like I really wish, it does look delicious. 


Alison Leiby: Savory. 


Halle Kiefer: Piping hot. And out in the shed in the bear trap, Ives dies first and we see Martha open the door and makes eye contact with Boyd and sees the men caught there and Alison she just closes the door and walks out of the fort and leaves. And Boyd again. We know what course he had to go on his hero’s journey. So we know what he’s going to do. He closes his eyes and he dies. And also, Martha already told him you the only way, the only escape is death—


Alison Leiby: And he’s doing the right thing by dying.


Halle Kiefer: Exactly. The end.


Alison Leiby: Wow. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, it’s a fun one. I really liked this movie. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah this was great. 


Halle Kiefer: Alison, what are some fatal mistakes you think they may have made in the movie, Ravenous.


[voice over]: Fatal mistakes. 


Alison Leiby: Well, the eating people. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, but what if you felt really good when you did it? 


Alison Leiby: I’m sure it did. In the context. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: Not like in reality. 


Halle Kiefer: Well, also in real life if you’re so starving I bet when you eat a person, you do feel a lot better. 


Alison Leiby: Right you’ve eaten, like, you have protein like something in you. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: That’s like generating energy. But yeah, I guess. Also like I would have like after, like. Being like Boyd’s like, first, you know, cowardly. Earlier experience of like, being stacked up with the other body, I’d be like, that’s what I leave the military. [laughter] Like, I don’t know, just go. Go live by yourself in the middle of the woods and defect because, like, you’re not going to get like, another good assignment [laughs] you know? 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, it’s interesting. I guess it’s like he’s so wounded by his own cowardice. Like, he. It’s almost like that was another sign of his cowardice. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Is that he will just go live in shame and sit in shame forever. And it is only by murdering a maniacal supervillain level cannibal that he was able to redeem himself. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: And I do think he did redeem himself. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: I think not believing in cannibalism. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Was a huge mistake. Could have stopped at least when the general showed up. But they’re like, we’re not obviously going to believe you. And other than that, I mean, yeah, I just everything about like, the idea of like, oh, I’m a cannibal. Just. I feel so much better. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: I love that. But there’s something about that that’s so, so much scarier than it’s like. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Out of my hands or something. And then finally, where would you place Ravenous on the spooky scales Alison?


[voice over]: A spooky scale. 


Alison Leiby: I think this is a four and a half. Like it was. I feel like there was a lot of fun and like the cannibalism and also a lot of blood makes it scary, but kind of a kooky film. 


Halle Kiefer: Yes, I agree. And the moments of comedy are perfect. But they do. They are not scary. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah exactly. 


Halle Kiefer: To hear that music and which, again, we will drop in the clip. It is. I was like, wow, okay. All right. I guess, you don’t want me to be scared right you want me to have the time of my life and I really did, I’m gonna say, I have to give this, I’m gonna give this a three. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Because there still are moments like where they’re in the cave. 


Alison Leiby: Totally. 


Halle Kiefer: And they find the skeletons and there is like the general griminess of the 1840s is disgusting. 


Alison Leiby: Yes, yes. 


Halle Kiefer: And off putting in a way that I find kind of scary. Um, yeah, but I think that that feels right, Alison. Thank you for doing this with me.


Alison Leiby: Thank you. Thank you for—


Halle Kiefer: Every week. 


Alison Leiby: —a fabulous theme for the month. They ate I mean, certainly in this film. They ate. 


Halle Kiefer: They ate. They ate.


Alison Leiby: I can’t wait to see what else we’ve got coming down the November movie pipeline. 


Halle Kiefer: Down, down, down the windpipe. 


Alison Leiby: Down the windpipe. 


Halle Kiefer: That’s not, that’s no how you eat. 


Alison Leiby: Human stuff.


Halle Kiefer: Until next time. 


Alison Leiby: Please. 


Halle Kiefer: Please do not. Do what you can to not eat each other. And until then. [both speaking] Keep it spooky everybody. Bye.