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Thumb Wrestling 059 // Brendan Steere ♥ Fifty Shades Darker

Let's assume that if you haven't seen – or read – the Fifty Shades series by this point, you're probably not gonna. Right? Well then, for the purpose of this episode, that's perfectly fine! As a result, the contents are spoiler proof. You can listen, whether you've seen Fifty Shades Darker or not. So now it's time to have some giggles with this crazy romance movie, about a toxic relationship!

Our guest on the show, director Brendan Steere, is very aware how not-good Darker is. But that makes him appreciate it even more. And maybe you understand why, once you hear that he's the director of VelociPastor, a movie he released three years ago, but that suddenly became a cult hit during the pandemic. A story about a priest who gets cursed, and starts to turn into a dinosaur. And then ninjas attack! It lovingly pokes fun at bad B-movies, in the same way Sharknado and Birdemic 2 do. All bad movies with a big wink, or circular comedies, as Brendan calls them.

When he sees a movie like Fifty Shades Darker, it just tickles him. The self-seriousness of Christian Grey, Dakota Johnson actually trying to make her role work, there being barely any real naughtiness in a supposedly sexy movie. Brendan just laughs. The glee is real, people! And that's more than reason enough to talk about Fifty Shades Darker.

We also discuss intentional badness in films, publishing as a wish-fulfilling career for fictional characters and the story how Brendan stole a copy of Twilight from his prom date.

Hey, you want to support this podcast? Visit our Patreon page!


  • Brendan's IMDb:

  • Trailer for The VelociPastor:

  • Brendan's article on 'circular comedies':

Extra links:

  • E.L. James' author blog:

  • 'A Lukewarm Defence of Fifty Shades Part 2: Things Go Downhill Very Quickly' on Folding Ideas:

  • Jenny Trout's blog, discussing the whole of the Fifty Shades trilogy of books:

  • Folding Ideas – 'Book Club Is A Theatrical Made-For-TV Movie: A Vlog':

  • The lie your character believes, explained in 'Logan vs. Children of Men — The End is in the Beginning' on Lessons from the Screenplay:

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