Demolibertarian Man

Don’t ask about the three seashells, because Demolition Man is the Greatest Movie EVER!

Click on the movie poster or the title above to download our review of the film, featuring Rachel Pandich and Tom Pandich.

Review in a Nutshell: A stylish film that highlights the awkward transition from the pure absurdity of 80s American action films to the more self-aware output of the 90s, the humor in Demolition Man holds up much better than the fight choreography these days.


  1. Libertarians DO listen to your podcast, Paul.

    I didn’t take offense too much. They’re just jokes.

    On the other hand, you said something about being a secularized godless bleeding-heart liberal, as if that’s somehow not what libertarians are. (???) I’m a raving heathen. So is Penn Jillette. Okay, so there aren’t many of us,

    Also, we’re not opposed to empathy, even though we oppose nice-sounding things like price controls and “affordable” healthcare. But we oppose these things, because we don’t see them as being sustainable.

    We have similar gripes with Republicans. They want to tear down every bit of socialized tax-and-spend system in existence, but they don’t want to cut military spending.

    The funny thing is that Republicans think of libertarians as the hippies version of them, like we’ve only adopted the pro-freedom platform so we can sit in our mother’s basements and smoke weed all day.

    It’s almost like that was inserted into the movie, because the scraps are portrayed like dirty, smelling, uncivilized libertarians. On the other hand, the fact that they exist at all, I believe, is a commentary on the fascist state that has forgotten them and pushed them outside “civilized” society. It’s not a libertarian utopia to live in dirt and eat rats. I think the point was that they’ve been pushed there.

    Admittedly, the movie is way over the top in its portrayal of an overly politically correct state, but I don’t think that their commentary is too far off the mark, at least in principle. For example, political correctness being so far overreaching that it finds offense in things that aren’t really offensive, such as naughty words.

    And I’m casually reminded of an episode of DAPDX where they took a moment out of reviewing David The Gnome to bring a feminist perspective on the cartoon. (insert eyeroll)

    There might be some crazies in tinfoil hats, like Alex Jones, who think that we’re headed that way, but those people are not a good represention of what libertarianism is about. It has more to do with principles on fiscal policies and personal freedoms than it does with believing that aliens and sasquatch conspired with the Bush administration to cause 9/11.

    Yes, we know. Alex Jones is a loon.

  2. timeliebe says:

    So are Glenn Beck, Rand Paul, the Koch Brothers and Clarence Thomas, @TV’s Mr. O’Neil – who are essentially Far Right Christianists and Corporate Looters wrapping themselves in a DON’T TREAD ON ME FLAG while thumping a copy of ATLAS SHRUGGED like it was The Holy Bible. I would imagine the shade of Ayn Rand would look down from Atheist Paradise in horror on how her principles are practiced now – while Karl Marx pats her on the shoulder and murmurs, “This is what happens when you let bullying goyim interpret your work for you, Annie….”

    Having libertarian leanings myself, I’d say a large part of that element of DEMOLITION MAN comes from what Denis Leary says, which is straight early Eighties Idealistic Libtertarianism – and fit his own worldview at the time pretty closely. Most of the rest of the underground society would be closer to the misfits who’d be happy his philosophy was so hands-off, but otherwise aren’t nearly as happy basically living in the sewers cut off from the benefits of civilization as he is.

    The movie has severe third act problems thanks its inability to decide who’s worse – Dr. Cocteau or Simon Phoenix. Cocteau represents total order without any give, while Phoenix represents complete anarchy – freedom carried even further than Leary’s Edgar Friendly desires, or would even consider. I assume the movie thought it was arguing in favor of a balance between order and freedom by leaving the rebuilding of society in the hands of Friendly and Bob Gunton’s Chief Earle, only Earle hasn’t been anything but a one-note pissy bureaucrat completely in Cocteau’s pocket throughout the entire picture!

    I can only assume those creating the movie assumed that his tolerance of Lenina Huxley’s “atavistic tendencies” and decision to thaw Spartan in the first place are supposed to reassure us he’s more flexible than Cocteau was – but nothing in Gunton’s performance gave me, at least, any hope that he’d be capable of any compromise whatsoever. The person who should be rebuilding society with Friendly is Huxley, who shows the ideal balance between order and freedom – but since the movie ended up turning its most interesting character into Spartan’s prize for shattering p.c. World, that wasn’t going to happen.

  3. Paul, in answer to your query about old gunpowder, yes you can use it quite capably years later. A few weeks ago I went shooting at the range with my uncle, and we fired off 45 caliber ammunition rounds from 1962. They were a little smoky, but a friend later told me that was indicative of the rounds made at the time and had nothing to do with their actual age.

  4. Icompletethee says:

    The 3 seashells is a great joke.

  5. Solid MUldoon says:

    I’m so liberal I still think of myself as a hippie. I didn’t see anything at all liberal about the world of Demolition Man. Too much repression, man. A real liberal finds PC bullshit as offensive as the right wing does.

  6. The Moogle Master says:

    Would ever do a Greatest Movie Ever on Bolt? It’s my favorite.

  7. @ CultureCast-Z: What! That’s super awesome! I was always taught there was a half life of sorts. Learn something new every day. 🙂

  8. Nissl says:

    Good podcast, and nice to see this movie get some respect. A lot of my friends hated it for the cheesy elements but I always found it fun enough to watch when a rerun popped up on cable.

    Since you brought it up, Google’s projecting ~5 years for the self-driving cars. From what I’ve read they’re basically flawless in standard driving already but have problems with construction, police manually directing traffic, etc. Plus the unit costs ~$60k. Even with economies of scale that’s going to be tough to get down to a manageable level.

  9. I’ve always loved this movie! What I think really hooks me into the characters is that this feels like a Batman & Joker story. At least, Spartan, Phoenix, and especially their relationship with each other fits that mould.

  10. timeliebe says:

    Having gotten to hear the podcast after a few days (you usually post your show notes before I’m able to download it to my iPod, and I listen to them a day or so later as my wake-up alarm) – this “libertarianism” does not mean…what I think you three think it think it means. Spartan’s not a libertarian – he’s a (most likely unintentional) cartoon of a law&order conservative who believes in guts&guns, and far as the movie’s concerned that makes him The Hero.

    While it would have been nice if the movie had been sharp enough to see the satire in Spartan’s character, it’s pretty clear it doesn’t – it saves all its barbs for Fox News’ nightmare of Libburul Ammurika! I’ll bet DEMOLITION MAN is shown as required viewing at Newscorp “Nuwz Puppet” training….

  11. K-Money says:

    While it’s true that some conservatives that afraid of the world of Demolition Man, there are also some liberals that are legitimately afraid that the world of V for Vendetta will happen. So don’t be hating.

  12. timeliebe says:

    I wasn’t aware that was “hating”, K-Money – it was and remains my opinion on this movie.

  13. K-Money – Hi, don’t know if that was a response to the podcast as a whole or if it was to one of the other comments but if it was to the podcast I’ll say this: if we had watched and reviewed V then that would be brought up and we’d probably be making fun of the far left as we did with the right here in Demolition Man. But we didn’t watch V, we watched Demo.

    Tim – What I’m finding is that south of the Carolinas most people who identify as Libertarians are really Neo-Cons or other far right sections and they say they are Libertarians until social issues come up (gay marriage and the like). While people north of the Carolinas who claim to be Libertarian are closer to being moderate.The extreme survivalists that think zombie apocalypse will happen and who invest everything in gold and bitcoins are not included as moderates, of course (oh I wish I was joking. Like I said in the podcast, I have some far out folks in my family) Much like how many people in the south that are seen as far left are considered moderate in other parts of the US. It’s all about region and perspective. Also, I don’t recall us calling Spartan a Libertarian. Friendly is, but not Spartan. Now there was a question from FB that asked that and I think that’s the only time Spartan was equated with it.

    As always, so happy people listened and didn’t go “ugh, Rachel’s on this. Forget this podcast.”

  14. SomeVito says:

    I have to admit I rather enjoy the Pandich pair podcasting parallel to the person of Paul Chapman. I enjoy how they seem to be like 2 little devils perched on Paul’s shoulders coaxing him to be more glib and bold about his opinions on the films, although that may just be a result of Paul’s feeling on the films themselves. Demolotion Man is such a fun dumb movie, and I agree with you guys that one of its best aspects is the way the future world feels really developed with its little details.
    After listening in to your fun rants about liberals and conservatives, I think a fun film for you three to check out would be The Last Supper (1995). It’s about a group of liberal graduate students who accidentally kill a right wing nutso, then decide to keep killing right wing nutsos for the betterment of the world all Arsenic and Old Lace style. It’s got a decent main cast, with the most notable member being Cameron Diaz; with some great cameos/bit parts by Bill Paxton (shot his scenes on one weekend off during the filming of Apollo 13) and Ron Perlman (he totally steals the movie with his few scenes as a Rush Limbaugh right-wing pundit). The movies not perfect with a few jumps in logic here and there, but it’s fairly fun. While I’m not sure if I would actually classify the film as a horror, thriller, or dark comedy, it might also be a good film to cover and release during the Skin Crawling Comics anthology crowd funding period as a means of promotion, if some other more horror-y film is not already on deck.

  15. timeliebe says:

    Rachel Sez :: I don’t recall us calling Spartan a Libertarian. Friendly is, but not Spartan. ::

    Well, Rachel – it is right in the episode title. Also, seems the topic came up a fair bit, especially in the latter half of the podcast – though more from Paul than anybody else, I think.

    I’m always glad to hear you co-hosting the podcast – I often feel women co-hosts bring out Paul’s more critical and less fanboyish side.

  16. VichusSmith says:

    Andrew Breitbart is no longer with us. He lived a hard life, and had pictures of a Weiner on his cell phone.

  17. timeliebe says:

    Sadly, Breibart’s minions are still alive and sucking oxygen better people could use, VichusSmith. Jim Treacher, one of his so-called “reporters”, has taken to trolling “libburuls” on THE ONION’s AV Club Comments Thread – which would give me hope that he’d reduced to this, if I didn’t hang out there myself….

  18. VichusSmith says:

    Trolling Onion AV Club? That’s very lame. Jim Treacher might as well be as dead as Breitbart.

  19. timeliebe says:

    Me – I hang out there to rant about CASTLE, because I don’t understand how a show with a premise a chimpanzee could make work (“Nathan Fillion plays horndog mystery writer smitten with uptight but hot woman cop”) has so much trouble sealing the deal! 😀

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