So of course I had to listen to their new podcast, Alice Isn’t Dead. (Spoilers ahead.)
Alice Isn’t Dead was written by Joseph Fink and follows an unnamed truck driver who goes across the country in search of her missing wife, Alice. Along the way, she encounters many strange and disturbing things. This episode, “Omelet,” details her encounter with a non-human entity she calls the thistle man.
The narrator stops at a truck stop diner, where she encounters a man with yellow fingernails and a shirt with the word “thistle” printed on it, eating an omelet (hence the episode’s title). They look at each other for a moment, then he comes over to her and attempts to strike up a conversation, much to her chagrin. At one point in the conversation, he says “It’s dangerous out here,” to which she responds by asking if he means the state, country, or life in general:
“Did you come over here to explain death to me?”
He laughed. “Yes,” he said. “I came over here to explain death to you.”
He then takes another patron out of the diner, and proceeds to murder him in an extremely bloody fashion while she watches. The narrator then runs back to her truck, then proceeds to drive away as quickly as she can. After this, she continues to encounter him frequently, indicating that he’s following her.
One thing I noticed is that, while it is created by one of the people behind Welcome to Night Vale, this podcast isn’t very much like it. While Night Vale does have its creepier and darker moments, Alice is more just straight horror, with very little humor to be found. There is also the fact that the narrator frequently jumps between telling the story (which she seems to be recording for Alice) to describing things around her, talking about her cargo, or just talking about random things that have popped into her head. This has a very disorienting effect, which I’m thinking is the point.
There is also the music by Disparition, who produced the podcast and is also behind the theme and background music for Night Vale. I have always thought his music was somewhat reminiscent of some of the music Akira Yamaoka wrote for the Silent Hill games, and the comparison is especially apt here.
This was an excellent first episode, and it has me pretty much hooked. New episodes will be airing every other Tuesday until July 12, so the next episode should be up on March 22.
Alice Isn’t Dead is available on iTunes, Stitcher, and Libsyn.com, as well as other purveyors of fine podcasts.