POP ART: Episode 18, The Karate Kid/Let the Right One In

Howard Casner • August 16, 2021

“Wax on, wax off. Wax on, Wax off.” Feeling the world is ganging up on you? Feeling targeted in some way? Even bullied by those around you? Who would you rather have on your side? Mr. Miyagi or Eli? The perfect time for Episode 18 of Pop Art, the podcast where my guest chooses a movie from popular culture and I select a film from the more art/classic side of cinema with a connection to it. This time, my guest, film enthusiast and podcaster, Todd Liebenow (of The Forgotten Film and Walt Sent Me Podcasts) chose the Ralph Macchio/Pat Morita iconic coming of age martial arts classic, The Karate Kid, and I chose Swedish filmmaker Tomas Alfredson’s moody, atmospheric new take on vampire films, Let The Right One In, both about bullying.

And here we answer such questions as: How can you combine getting free labor while training someone for martial arts; who was the original choice for Mr. Miyagi; where the heck are the adults, for God’s sake; what does Let the Right One In bring to the vampire genre; what happens when you don’t invite a vampire in and they come in; and how are the issues of bullying dealt with and resolved in each movie, if they are indeed.