Episode 23

Mystery Men (ft Andy from Geek Salad)

"When you doubt your powers, you give power to your doubts."


I'm joined by the mysterious and manly Andy from Geek Salad to discuss whoever smelled it dealt it, disco not being dead and clouds of radically fluctuating deviant chaotrons.


With a huge and established cast of great 90s comedians and character actors as the Six Very Nearly Dead Guys With a Temporary Reprieve, 1999's Mystery Men had everything going for it. It was smart, daft and funny, it commented on capitalism and superhero cynicism but also came out well before the superhero genre boomed. In many ways, it was a movie before its time. Roughly 15 years before its time.


It also had the unfortunate experience of coming out in the same day in America as The Sixth Sense, which dominated the box office, leaving Mystery Men feeling like the Invisible Boy at most cinemas. It also feels very reminiscent of Joel Schumacher's Batman movies, with a bright colour palette and vibrant neon CG cityscapes. Not the most pleasant comparison in the world to make, but a comparison it is.


In the modern era of superhero movies dominating the box office, as well as all the merchandising and branding, it's refreshing to see a movie tackle the "other guys" and the fact that they are just everyday normal people, trying their best to be exceptional and to do the right thing. Everyone loves an underdog story. These are the forking biggest underdogs. No need to Shovel it in your face. I don't want to make you Furious.


Will we ever find out if Lance Hunt and Captain Amazing are the same person? Lance Hunt wears glasses you see, and Captain Amazing doesn't, so it's really tricky to tell if those rumours are true....


Slight mistake in the episode: Janeane Garofalo's character is called Carol, not Karen! Ooops. Don't set Carmine the Bowler on me, please!


I would love to hear your thoughts on Mystery Men! You can get in touch on

Twitter @verbaldiorama

Instagram @verbaldiorama

Facebook @verbaldiorama

YouTube @verbaldiorama

Letterboxd @verbaldiorama


or you can email me general hellos, feedback or suggestions:

verbaldiorama [at] gmail [dot] com


You can rate or review the show in iTunes or at Apple Podcasts and I'd very much appreciate that!


My website is at https://verbaldiorama.com


Thanks to the following for their contributions to this episode:


Andy, from Geek Salad, obviously! He can be found over @geeksaladradio on Twitter and he's an absolute joy!


Twitter peeps

@BlkGirlsDoStuff

@capunderstands

@MoviesWork

@ThefilmB

@ContrarianPrime

@FilmbustersPaul

@trivia_chic

@LatteThunder

@FriendsNFlayers

@ColbsBulbs

@filmcellar

@Hoovalicious84

@Anotherfilmnerd


Instagram folk

@moviesatthematt


Theme Music: Verbal Diorama Theme Song

Music by Chloe Enticott - Compositions by Chloe Facebook

Lyrics by Chloe Enticott (and me!)


Production by Ellis Powell-Bevan of Ewenique Studios.



See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

About the Podcast

Show artwork for Verbal Diorama
Verbal Diorama
The podcast on the history and legacy of movies you know, and movies you don't.

About your host

Profile picture for Em .

Em .

Hi! I'm Em. I created Verbal Diorama in 2018, and launched the podcast in February 2019 to rapturous applause and acclaim.... from my cat Jess.

The modus operandi of Verbal Diorama is simple: movies are tough to make! The coming together of a team of people from all walks of life to make something to entertain, delight and educate us for 90+ mins is not an easy task, and yet so many succeed at it. That must be something to celebrate.

I'm here to do just that - to celebrate movies. Their history and legacy, and why they remain so special to so many of us.

I mostly host solo, but often you'll hear my cat Jess in the background (she's 17 years old, and very loud!).

I love podcasts and listen to many, but never my own.

I unashamedly love The Mummy (1999) and Grease 2. I'm still looking for a cool rider.