Anyway, a lot of men have written to me to tell me I'm trash because of it. This is not a lie. If I was gonna lie about something, this would not be it. I got this last night:
I mean...hi. I'm a super average person, no shit. I write. I have a blog here, which I never visit because I'm writing or drinking or whatnot. I raise small humans, and two FANTASTIC Dogs, a fox terrier mix named Logan and a saucy ass chihuahua named Taco Potato. I'm married to a man who is like if David Duchovny and that guy from Midnight Express had an attractive baby together. It's pretty ok, I feel pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty good. But, nearly three years after publishing this completely (or should have been) inconsequential review of how much I dislike the film Rudy, a 1993 piece of actual shit starring the otherwise lovely Sean Astin as Rudy Ruettiger, a hapless kid who wants to play football for Notre Dame and eventually does, kind of, not really, a little bit.
Anyway, a lot of men have written to me to tell me I'm trash because of it. This is not a lie. If I was gonna lie about something, this would not be it. I got this last night:
Ok, so if this genius is too highbrow for you, also, let's break this message down: I'm a bad mom, too stupid to understand a children's movie, and possibly dangerous because I don't like a movie. I wish I could even say this was the worst thing anyone has ever said to me about my Rudy blog, and by worst I mean funniest, but ofc that plum goes to some other dude who once told me that I'm the reason "that women are basically useless." Me! Little Ole me! And really, folks, I'm shocked but not surprised.
I'm not gonna mince words here- I literally had to spend 4 dollars to buy my son the Toca Mystery House app so he'd give me 15 mins to write this and that's winding down fast, bitches. Here's what I hear again and again, other then I'm a miserable bitch, which, lol, yes, is true: People- men- believe I missed the point in my judgment of Rudy, because they believe that Rudy's story is a universal story for anyone who ever had a dream, for the underdog, for anyone willing to work and fight. Let me be real clear- Rudy is not a universal story. Rudy is a story for cis white middle class dudes who have a dream what feels reasonable to the majority of other cis white middle class dudes,ie sports or landing a hot babe or whatever. And if that sounds unfair then you've probably never lacked representation in the media or in popular culture. If you've decided that Rudy's story is default, it's because you believe *white male* to be society's default setting, and that's not my problem, only OH, IT FUCKING IS. I hated this movie, which was required viewing for my then 13 year old stepson by his I'm sure well meaning football coach, and just turned out to be steaming wet shit that benefited exactly no one on a larger scale, and only enforced stupid platitudinous garbage that has the rest of us rolling our eyes for all eternity. I don't care. Don't @ me, as the kiddies say. Go listen to Alex Jones, or whatever. What you doing up late reading 3 year old reviews of a 30 year old movie, anyway, damn.
Ugh, I know this is anticlimactic, but this is what I watched today so whatever. I'm not even gonna play: this reboot is trash on like every level. This movie is so bad that Rooney Mara, in her starring role as Nancy, looks are though she would rather shit on a crowded street while getting a root canal than be paid to act in it. This movie is perfect for anyone who ever saw the original Wes Craven classic and was like, ok, but I'd like it to be 50% more boring with 75% more child molestation.
So, anyway, the attractive 30 year old teens of Springwood are dying attractively in their dreams and eventually one of them is like, well, I'd like to not die so let's talk about it. All the students look like and are shot like as though they're in a bad CW series that lasts two weeks because even 12 year olds have standards. The survivors describe a burned man in a red and green sweater with knives on his fingers, and lol, we all understand that to be Freddy Kruger, as played by national treasure Robert England, but no, this Freddy is played by Jackie Earle Haley, a gifted actor known for playing serial killers, child molesters and Bad News Bears. Also, like 140 lbs. Also, like maybe 5'5". Also? Not scary.
The reboot tries to fuck with a lot of classic NOES scenes like Freddy coming through a wall and Freddy pulling Nancy under water during a bath and they all look terrible, with terrible CGI. Let's call it CRAPtical effects. After 3 deaths, finally, the parents of the remaining kids are like, oh, hey....this might something to do with that guy at your preschool who messed with you and who we eventually burned alive, now, who wants Snickerdoodles? Two of the parents of the Elm Street kids are played by Clancy Brown and Connie Britton, two working actors who...work regularly. So, it's like...did they lose a bet, or? Owe someone money, or?
So, yeah, this Freddy was a gardener at the preschool and everyone loved him, he was silly and wacky and spent way over an appropriate time limit with the children, all while wearing a remarkable toupee that I'm assuming didn't even fool the 3 year olds. The parents eventually go all vigilante on him, and chase him to a huge abandoned warehouse with I guess one entrance and exit and set the place on fire. And so he dies but he stays mad because he was young and still had a lot of kids to traumatize. The kids, after learning the story have for some reason convinced themselves that they lied to their parents about Kruger molesting them, and as they go off in search of the truth at the abandoned daycare, etc, with Kruger pursuing them through micro-naps, minutes long brain recharging while the napper doesn't know they're napping, it's all way more boring that you could ever imagine.
So, like, the two remaining kids, Nancy and some guy named Kyle who looks like a puffer fish that enjoys Panic! At the Disco, go to the old preschool and break in and it's like an old Blockbuster Video with like nine million copies of Oh Heavenly Dog still there, but not as cool. They find the underground sex dungeon where Freddy brought them and the rest of the victims. It's super gross. There are Polaroids. By the end of this you're like, mother fucker, burn his ass again. It turns out that Freddy is not stalking the kids as punishment to their parents for killing him, but because he's mad *that the kids told on him.*
So, Nance and The emo blowfish decide to do a real smart plan in which he keeps watch as she goes to sleep and pulls Freddy out so he can be killed in the flesh, which is just....ok, sound's stupid but you do you, kids. But then they both fall asleep, lol. Also, ugh, this Freddy is like 900% more sexual than he needs to be. The Robert England one wasn't perfect, whatever. He made dumb ass puns about the popular culture of the day, like "where's the beef?" or "I'm cuckoo for cocoa puffs," or whatever, but he didn't rub on Nancy and talk about how hot she was as a child. There's a scene in which Nancy is splayed on her bed, unable to move, wearing a replica of the dress Freddy loved her in as a child. I don't even have a joke for that, I'm just so uncomfortable rn.
So, Nancy manages to pull Kruger's perverted ass out of the dream and she and Kyle still struggle to kill him, a tiny man. Once dead, Nancy sets fire to the daycare. No body is found, though, shocker. And then you think it's over but when Nancy and her mom return home, Freddy appears in the mirror behind Mom and sticks his knife fingers through her eyes as Nancy screams. I mean, ok. At least it's a fucking ending.
Watching this 90 min movie felt like 90 hours, and rn I basically don't give af about Halloween, I just want to sit in the shower with a glass of wine. Oh, but candy. OK, Halloween is back on again, Happy Halloween!
What we've mostly learned in the past five days here, other than I have too much time on my hands, Is that, in the Creepshow universe, if you're a dick, you're getting your comeuppance. If you'll remember, in the prologue to the segments, Tom Adkins played a shitty porn loving dad who wants to keep his son, Billy (Joe Hill!) from reading horror comics so he doesn't grow up as a loser, aka writer, lol. I mean I added that last part but it's pretty obvious. Anyway, ofc he sent his son to his room, where the boy summons a laughing decorative skeleton from the 50% off section of Spirit Superstore.
So, the Creepshow Comic is picked up by two garbage men, one of them being legendary makeup artist Tom Savini, who exclaim excitedly over this delightful trash-find. See, Tom Adkins? Your son Billy could grow up to be a garbage man- that's steady fucking work, you elitist ass. They fawn over the stuff they can buy in the back ads, like X-ray specs and diet pills and whatever. Herbal Viagra, that was around then, right? Sadly, SOMEONE has already sent away for the REAL LIFE VOODOO DOLL. Lol, Tom Adkins, pack your shit.
Back in the house, Tom Adkins is complaining about his bad back- shocker. Then he leaps from his dad farting arm chair in agony, and we cut to little Billy murdering his father gleefully, what fun!
That's it, that's the end, Tom Adkins either dies there or is continuously physically assaulted by his son when he least expects it, there's no way of knowing, although I feel most of us would agree that the former is a better deal. Billy really has the potential to make his dad's life miserable - he can like drop his dad's pants in the middle of a big meeting, or drop his pants in the middle of church, or many many other pants dropping opportunities. Not to mention all the wang stabbing that could happen. When you really think about it, death was the kindest thing imaginable for Tom Adkins. Lol, I hope Billy kept that fucker alive for *years.*
In this day and age, the fact that George Romero made "They're Creeping up On You" the coup de grace in his horror anthology Creepshow seems more of a curiosity than anything. Ofc, as a kid, it made sense to me, that after dead fathers returning from the grave to demand cake and crates filled with murderous ice baboons, that the most worthy foe might be a flesh and blood man- old, white, mean, racist as the day is long- although now it's just like, oh, lol, is he the new nominee for the Supreme Court, or....?
E.G. Marshall plays Upton Pratt, the aforementioned mean old white racist, who is also a germaphobe; he lives in a hermetically sealed apartment high above New York City, where all he does is kill bugs, yell at ppl on the phone and do lengthy monologues about how how you have to keep your eye on the ball, and the early bird gets the worm, how to get your whites their whitest, etc. And he wears a bathrobe and rubber gloves and has a special machine for sucking away his old Kleenexes. Shockingly, he lives alone, because I guess no one is good enough to even deal with his weird old man hotness. Typical.
Anyway, there's a bad thunderstorm and the building loses power, but not Pratt's apartment because he's rich enough to have a back up generator to run his old man jukebox, food processor for grinding breakfast cereal down to a fine paste (yum,) and his nine million fax machines. Not satisfied with screaming at one employee and causing another to kill himself, he also takes on the emotional labor of demeaning the Black apartment worker trying to deal with the blackout and Pratt's increasingly racist tirades about bugs.
As the widow of the employee who killed himself calls up to admonish Pratt, he starts to notice roaches- first one or two, and then like a fuckton. And they're everywhere. In his food processor, in the can, in his fax machines. I mean, I'm not trying to impress anyone when I say that I've never lived in a place with an infestation of cockroaches, but I'm also not a rich ass white dude in a bathrobe. I mean....oh shit, is this a fucking metaphor? For old white dinosaurs treating ppl (especially POC) like cockroaches and then having them rise up and destroy him with their numbers? Fuck.
Welp. You learn something new everyday- even if the catalyst is a hungover epiphany as you're writing in your unpopular blog about things no one but you could ever possibly care about. Tbh, Romero has always mixed social horrors in with monsters, zombies, etc, and, well, Stephen King was probably pretty high during this period of time. But it makes you think- what other social commentary was hidden in Creepshow? Maybe the Crate was like about the Cola Wars, or something. And Maybe Jordy Verrill was supposed to be Gerald Ford or some such. One thing's for sure, I will never watch this segment the same way again! (Note: author will forget everything in this blog within 15 minutes; will eat Lil Debbies and watch Netflix, and take a two hour depression nap, followed by a three hour depression nap.
Can we all just gather enough as a country to admit that Adrienne Barbeau is a goddess? And deserves all the work and accolades she can handle? I mention this because her character in the fourth segment of Creepshow, Wilma "Billie" Northrup is a fairly maligned character in 80's horror, and, personally, I feel unfairly. The segment starts at a college mixer where we meet "our heroes" professors Dexter Stanley (Fritz Weaver) and Henry Northrup (a wan and waifish Hal Holbrook), the emasculated husband of Billie. From the very beginning, we are shown that Prof. Stanley is abusing his power by preying on young, female students under the guise of helping them with their schoolwork, and his best buddy Henry thinks that's adorable. Oh, but he sure hates his hot ass wife, who drinks and talks loudly and dresses in tank tops like the Whore of Babylon. Oh, and lol he has a lot of elaborate fantasies about shooting her in the head in public places and being applauded for it. Which is totally fine and not inappropriate for someone working in a school, ofc.
Later, a janitor loses a quarter under the stairs and locates a crate marked Arctic Exhibition June 19, 1834, which he drags out with the help of Dexter because I guess that quarter was worth dying for. They decide to open the thing with a crowbar in a random lab and it turns out to be a kind of fuzzy baboon type creature and it's hungry af. So it chows down on the janitor while a cowardly Dexter runs like a thief in the night.
He comes upon a grad student who thinks he's either drunk or crazy, but whom he still convinces to go downstairs to the crate of doom because I'm sure this doughy unarmed kid can do more against a prehistoric murderous baboon than, say, the police. Oh, wait, no, he gets devoured as well. Live and learn.
Again failing to notify the police, Dex instead runs to Henry's house, where Henry has pathetically arranged his chess set for just such a situation. Wilma is out, at some casino or bar or specialized bitch classes, or whatever the movie wants us to think. Dexter tells Henry his crazy ass ape stories, and, being a good friend, Henry's first thought is to drug Dexter and write a long letter to lure Wilma down to the school to be eaten. The story he concocts is that Dexter raped a young female student and she's now cowering beneath the stairs and won't come out. Apparently this story is not difficult to believe, but, sure, Wilma is the real enemy here, why not? While Wilma is on her way, Henry cleans up the lab spic and span from the other two kills. The killer baboon thing, it seems, has pushed its own crate back under the stairs and just wants to go the eff back to sleep after its huge meal, which I can respect. Who among us has not slept for 200 hundred years in a crate beneath some stairs after a trip to Arby's?
So, Wilma shows up at the lab like, ok, where's the victim of sexual predator Dexter's latest attack? And Henry is so excited that he's going to witness his wife being eaten alive that he busts out laughing, and Wilma is like, dude, what the fuck? And the baboon thing is chilling or taking a dump or whatever and it's not killing Wilma fast enough for Henry so he starts pushing her violently up against the crate like KILL MY WIFE! KILL MY WIFE! Understandably, she's not ok with this, and gets one last chance to tell him that he's not a man and bad in bed before the creature comes out like WELL, ACTUALLY and finally kills her to the childish delight of Henry.
After cleaning up the blood and gore of his wife's horrible death, Henry tosses the crate into a quarry (brushes off hands) and heads back to his place to play chess with Dexter, who is just coming out of his drugged stupor. I mean, real talk, wimpy, cowardly Henry disposed of the crate and creature by himself? No help, nothing? Ok, I mean, I guess at this point where we're asked to applaud two terrible men for their terrible behavior, we can suspend disbelief in wondering how an old man got a thousand plus lbs out of the college into a car and out into a quarry with no issues.
As they play their first game of wife-less chess, Dexter is like, wow, I wonder if that prehistoric thing that lasted for hundreds of years without food can survive being drowned in a crate and Henry is all, LOL. The cut scene, ofc, is the murderous baboon breaking out of its crate and being super pissed off, so, anyway, that's how that worked out, glad you can enjoy more free time together, Henry and Dexter.
TBH, the real mystery here is why Wilma ever wanted to be married to Henry, and also why didn't just fucking roll with it. Did he think he was gonna do better? Than ADRIENNE BARBEAU? So now, in the brief lull before the prehistoric baboon thing takes over the world, we have two old dirty bastards on campus, and that is horror that you can take to the bank....THE HORROR BANK.
The third vignette in George Romero's 1982 horror classic is "Something to Tide You Over," starring a very young Ted Danson as hot ass sugar baby Harry Wentworth, and a very serious Leslie Nielsen, as rich as hell tech guy Richard Vickers. Richard finds out that Harry has been banging is wife, Becky, and he's tried of being a white-haired cuck in a bathrobe, so he decides to kill them both in like the most bizarre, longest, weirdest way ever. But whatever, rich ppl have time for this, I guess.
So, anyway, Richard owns a secluded beach property and he somehow talks his wife and Harry, on separate parts of the beach, into digging holes and allowing themselves to be buried in sand up to their necks. He plans on leaving them there while the tide comes in, with the creepy instructions that they can live through it if they can hold their breaths for long enough. Is this even true? I mean, no, I'm gonna say no, but maybe those Myth Busters can figure it out. Or The Impractical Jokers or something. They're always pretty close to death, anyway. Also, Richard, that sick fuck, sets up a TV from 1968 on the beach next to Harry so that Harry can watch his lover die. Rude!
I mean, look at that thing, wtf. I'll bet it only gets the DuMont Network. I'll bet if you try to watch the news on that thing all the anchors are smoking. I'll bet if the ghost of Lucille Ball is haunting that thing, she still can't say the word "pregnant." It's old, is what I mean to say, super old. Anyway, the TV pisses out and the water gets closer. Poor Becky, who was buried further down the beach already sleeps with the fishes, and crazy old Richard has returned to his fancy 70's house which is filled with all the fancy 70's amenities, such as walk in shower and a wall of VCRs. He pours himself a drink settles in to watch his wife and her hairy paramour die. Of course, Harry looks dead in the camera and is like, lol, not today mother fucker, we fitting to come back as some kind of green ass sea monster looking things. That's paraphrasing but whatever.
The next day, Richard scopes the beach and only finds his hot technology, no bodies. But. He hears his name whispered menacingly in the wind so ofc he's like, well, time to go home and take a shower. Sidebar: if you were ever dreaming of watching Leslie Nielsen take a shower, this is the film segment for you. As he sensuously lathers his body, his state of the art 70's house fills with green smoke. Richard climbs sexily from the shower, limbs dripping, and throws on the same bathrobe you bought your dad for his 60th birthday when he was too old to keep acting like you weren't a constant disappointment. And he gets a gun, whatever. I mean, hey, spend a hundred grand on VCRs but don't get an alarm system. He's greeted by some green ass sea monster looking things, who are still deeply in love, thank you very much.
Richard tries to shoot them and then he tries to run, but that's not the way it works, ass. Instead of just killing him and ripping his head off or whatever, Sea Monsters Harry and Becky decide to be diplomatic af and just bury Richard up to his neck on the beach in the way he did them. LOL, one problem, Sea Monsters Harry and Becky: if your asses came back, so will he, and you'll have to deal with that for an eternity. Him talking about how he gets only the best vodka from Russian gangsters. Him talking about the time he met Tova Borgnine. Him going on and on about how VHS is superior to Beta. Good job. Shoulda just left his ass alive and let the IRS deal with him.
The second vignette in the 1982 George Romero classic Creepshow is "The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill, and, idk, I may not have the strength for this rn. It's a lot. It stars writer Stephen King in the titular role in a performance that can only be described as "Well, Stephen, we already got the funding to make this movie, so do whatever the fuck you want."
Jordy is a down-on-his-luck (southern?) yokel who witnesses a meteor strike down right on his property. Naturally, he jumps around being stupid about it. Ofc, he's wearing a flannel shirt and overalls to really drive home that he's not bright. The haircut was his own, though. He touches the meteor and it's hot so he screams and sucks his burned fingers to subtlety let the viewer know that IT'S HOT. Then he has an elaborate fantasy about jilting a local college professor out of 200 dollars to pay off his bank loans, which is....ok, literally nothing this man owns, owned or will ever own costs 200 dollars, so I guess he gambled that shit away or spent it on magic beans.
Anyway, Jordy pours a bucket of water on the meteor, splashing himself with a glowing green METEOR SHIT substance, and the meteor cracks in half. Dejected, he goes inside to drink and watch wrestling. Soon, though, he discovers that anywhere that the meteor met water- like a filthy fingers he can't seem to keep out of his mouth- weeds are sprouting. This sparks an elaborate fantasy about going to the doctor and having his fingers cut off with a butcher knife. Oh, Stephen King, always so prescient about the healthcare issues of today.
Faced with this life-changing predicament, Jordy drinks makes himself a giant Screwdriver, which he actually stirs with the empty vodka bottle. Same. Same af. When he wakes from his stupor, he's like seventy five percent plant, including his penis, which ofc we have to know about because comedy. And it itches. He draws himself a bath and then has an elaborate fantasy about his dead father telling him not to get in the water because "the water is what it wants." But, lol, Jordy doesn't have to listen to you, dead father hallucination! Sadly, he wakes the next morning as a big ass pile of weeds, locates a shotgun and shoots himself in the head. The end.
And that's it, but, omg, I feel like so much more needs to be said about this section of the movie. It's just batshit. It's not only that you would watch it and doubt that Stephen King has ever met anyone from the south, you wonder if he's ever met *another human.* You can't look away, it's like all of his facial expressions are in a huge bar-fight. It's as though he invented a whole new concept called *Not-Dignity.* It's as though he looked in the mirror everyday of shooting and said, "today I will embarrass every person I've ever known." That being said, holy shit, if I got the chance, I could make this performance look like Anthony Hopkins in Remains of the Day.
As I've stated before, because I'm boring af an repeat myself constantly, Creepshow is one of the only nice memories I have of my dad: as a kid, my sister and I were allowed to rent one movie every weekend from Captain Video on Market and Castro in San Francisco, and for about a year my choice was Creepshow. And before you ask why not just buy the stupid movie, keep in mind this was the go-go 80's and VHS movies for some reason went for hundreds of dollars. Literally hundreds. I saved my babysitting money to put a *down payment* on the VHS of Pumpkinhead, ffs, and I'm surprised I didn't need a co-signer and a pint of blood to get out of there. Anyway, my dad watched Creepshow with me every weekend, sometimes twice, and that was fairly cool, but, tbh, I feel like seeing Tom Adkins as a shitty dad (to a young Joe Hill!!!) in the bumpers to the five tales of terror in the movie might have kept him honest for at least 90 mins.
So, beloved character actor Tom Adkins plays a dad yealling at his kid for reading a comic called Creepshow (can we acknowledge that this was meta before Dave Eggers created meta?) and Then the kid accuses his dad of looking at porn and gets slapped and sent to his room. Here we see him conjuring a skeleton wrapped in a pashmina and rubbing his hands together in delight. Ha-ha! Just a regular Sunday morning! And we segue into the first vignette, Father's Day.
On Father's Day, a rich ass family sit the hell around drinking and being really passive aggressive- again, nailed it, Creepshow. Years before, an evil rich fuck named Nathan Graham was killed by his spinster daughter on Father's Day, and not only do the rest of his family acknowledge this, they have an annual ham feast to celebrate it, which is cold blooded in only the way rich white people can be, real talk. The rest of the family is made up of Graham's granddaughter, Sylvia, his great grandchildren Richard and Cass, and Cass's hot ass husband, Hank, played by a young Ed Harris, who has hair and tight jeans and does a *remarkable* dance to a fake 70's sounding song where the only lyrics are DON'T LET GO again and again.
But then his mother in law, who obviously can't appreciate fine art, yells at them to stop. As they wait, Graham's murderous daughter, Bedeila, pulls up at the cemetery (which btw is right across the street, and if you buy a house right across the street from the cemetery, you will 100 percent be killed by zombies, wtf.) and goes to hang out at her father's grave with a bottle of wine, which is a hot thing to do, I'm sorry. Too bad my old man was cremated and shot into the sun or the ocean or whatnot. After, she yells at him for a while and then he drags ass out of the grave as a zombie, wanting to know where is his Father's Day Cake. First of all, parental fucking abuse from beyond the dead, no. Second, since when are we making cakes for dad's on Father's Day? That is arbitrary as shit. All I ever gave my dad was a Far Side gallery or fifty bucks, in which case he would give me the gift of five minutes of silence while he counted it.
The Zombie Nathan chokes Bedelia out and then goes off in search of more sweet, sweet blood. Luckily for him, the rest of his family have never seen a horror film and they keep wandering off alone looking for Bedelia so they can finally eat that goddamn ham.
Eventually, after Ed Harris, granddaughter Sylvia and the poor housekeeper who didn't even do shit get killed and sister and brother unpleasantness team Cass and Richard go looking for everyone to see what is the ham hold-up and Nathan busts the hell in with Sylvia's head on a platter covered in frosting and candles and he says, "IT'S FATHER'S DAY AND I GOT MY CAKE! HAPPY FATHER'S DAY!"
Ok, first of all, thanks for the nice greeting? I mean, who tf was he talking to? Himself? And look, why is the cake Sylvia's head and not the head of Bedelia, who offed him in the first place? Also LOL where did he get frosting? Did his ass stand there waiting for ppl to show up while whipping up a nice buttercream? Lastly, candles, why? No, why? Again, there is no such thing as a father's day cake, and if there were, it would not have candles. That's just.....look, realism is very important to me. I need a minute. And a drink. Or two.
I can't really express to you in human words how much this movie means to me. That said; it's pretty messed up. It's like the weirdest, more trifling story-line attached to a major horror franchise ever; it's just bizarre. I mean, imagine if a movie used the title of Paranormal Activity to explain to you how You or a Loved One could benefit from a Fixed Mortgage, for 90 minutes. Like that, but, fine, with less hurtful Irish businessmen trying to kill children. But I digress...
At the heart of Halloween 3 is hunky doctor Tom Adkins. That's fucking right, Tom Adkins. He plays Dan Challis, a gruff man with a failed marriage and no time to spend with his two children. A man wanders into the emergency room clutching a Halloween mask and muttering that "we're all gonna die," but no one really pays any attention until another man sneaks in, pops out the patient's eyeballs with his thumbs, and them sets fire to himself in the parking lot. Challis, then, is vaguely invested. However. soon the patient's hot young daughter, Ellie, comes looking for answers and Challis is ON IT. It seems everything went afoul when Ellie's dad, before his death the owner of a popular toy store, traveled to Santa Mira, a small Northern California town, to replenish his Halloween mask stock from the world famous Silver Shamrock Factory, run by local Irish weirdo Conal Cochran. Challis, who doesn't have 10 minutes to spend with his own kids, takes off from work indefinitely to help Ellie crack the case.
Dan and Ellie hunker down in Santa Mira in a creepy ass hotel posing as newlyweds. The town is filled with creepy people staring at them and following them around and whispering about them, and because Challis and Ellie are white this is very strange to them.
They immediately encounter a luckless woman and equally luckless family who will eventually fall pray to Carol Cochran and his Celtic Evil plans to kill all the children of the world by using the magic of robots and also Stonehenge. Yes. Yes, all of this raises more questions than it answers, but none of it keeps Challis and Ellie from making sweet, sweet love. After, though, and maybe also after they've had a bit to eat, they get down to the business of solving the crime or whatever it is. Some guys in suits kidnap Ellie, and that's finally enough to coax Challis into clumsily breaking into the Silver Shamrock Factory, threatening an old woman that turns out to be a robot and getting captured, lol.
He meets the white haired Conal Cochran, who, for some fucking reason, is more than happy to explain his whole terrible plan to Challis in one beautiful monologue. Long story short: he wants all the kids for some sacrifice and is tricking them into watching "the big giveaway" on TV while wearing a Silver Shamrock mask, and then Stonehenge magic connects with a chip on the back on the mask to kill the child by turning its head into snakes and beetles. LOL, HAPPY HALLOWEEN.
Ofc, after explaining this all to Challis in glorious detail, he leaves Challis alive and wanders off to check on something else, like maybe chili or the new episode of BJ and The Bear. Challis gets free and climbs through and air duct to save Eliie, and then the two of them find the Stonehenge room, while Challis programs all the TVs in the room to play footage from "the big giveaway," they pour a cardboard box of mask chips down from a balcony, killing Cochran and his minions. Like, all of this happens, I'm not making it up. Pretty sure I wasn't drunk or hallucinating, either, but who even knows anymore. Also, everything is robots, basically, at this point.
On the ride back from Santa Mira, Ellie, in a shocking move, reveals herself to be a robot. After dispensing with Robot Ellie, Challis finds a gas station and makes calls to the THREE NETWORKS (so so pure) to get them to stop running The Big Giveaway. Two of them fall in line, but one of them, probably fucking NBC, doesn't understand the raw power of Tom Adkins, and they keep running it. On the gas station TV, with little trick or treaters watching, the screen blinks the jack o'lantern animation of deadly snake and bug magic as Challis screams STOP IT into the phone. I mean, please, don't stop the kids standing next to you from watching, or anything, but whatever. ///end film
I hate to be the one to tell you, but calling up television stations and screaming "STOP IT," doesn't work. I've tried. I tried during Joe Millionaire, I tried during the 2016 Election, and I try every week during The Walking Dead when someone has a clear shot at Negan and they don't just fucking shoot Negan. But, aside from that, I have more questions:
1. This takes place on the west coast. Have all the kids on the east coast already been turned into snakes and bugs, and was this not enough to get the big three stations to pull the content anyway?
2. Like were the ratings that good?
3. What did kids ever do to Conal Cochran anyway? And how is this, as he says, a joke or a prank? Turning kids' heads into bugs and snakes isn't funny. It's too bad he died before the Internet because he'd be right at home here.
4. How did Challis know how to program the computers to play the exact program to kill Cochran? Also how was he a doctor?
5. Not all cultures celebrate Halloween, and some religions find it controversial, also surely not everyone could afford these masks for their children- that leaves a lot of kids, Conal.
6. I feel like they'd need a bigger building to hold Stonehenge. Maybe they could store it in parts or something?
7. So, the secret of Stongehenge is that the Irish hate children?
IDK, now I forget what I was talking about. See this film, if only for the ColecoVison jack o'lantern opener that my angry husband angrily proclaimed to be the STUPIDEST THING he's ever seen. Keep in mind, we have been married 13 years, so that's a stupid that can't be missed.
As with most things, I arrived late to the series Hannibal, which ran from 2013 to 2015, and shared a very vague timeline with the actual books by Thomas Harris on which the characters and events were based. I devoured the series in full earlier this year, and was pretty amused by the author's take on Hannibal (the Cannibal) Lecter as the character's popularity grew: Red Dragon (He's a pretty evil guy.) The Silence of the Lambs (He's a bad guy but also very smart and has a soul.) Hannibal (Well, ok, he's not so bad as this child molester with no face who drinks martinis made from the tears of children.) Hannibal Rising (Look, THE NAZIS MADE HIM EAT HIS SISTER, WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM HIM?) The next step for me was obviously the beloved NBC show.
It's really good. I mean you have to kind of understand that investigator Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) and Hannibal (Mads Mikkelsen) are in love and all the things that they do in the show are just reactions to either receiving or being denied this love, but once you do that, man, it's a real blast.
There's a lot to love here, even outside the Hannibal/Will Graham thing. Like, from the minute we meet Hannibal, as a doctor helping the FBI, he's a creepy weirdo. Like, he's never not a creep; he talks weird shit and acts suspicious af and is always narrowing his eyes and tenting his fingers. Had he a mustache, he'd be twiddling it. In certain scenes he almost seems to be amazed to have gotten away with his terrible and elaborate murders. The characters around him, including Lawrence Fishburne as Jack Crawford, the head of Behavioral Sciences, walk grimly around with guns at their belts saying things like "we're so close to catching whoever is doing this!" while Hannibal stands there figuring out his menus.
Which is another thing- Hannibal eats people pretty constantly in the series. Like, people will go missing and then he'll throw a big dinner party for his friends filled with organ meats and no one suspects anything. They're all just like, "lol, I can't wait until the next Eyeball Bake at Hannibal's house."
Somethings are disappointing: Gross Tabloid Scumbag Freddy Lounds is now a beautiful woman in her thirties; the older forensic psychiatrist Alan Bloom is now a beautiful woman in her thirties- but even these small asides have been forgiven by the third season, when Hannibal is truly cracked open into the big telenovela pinata it is. To binge this series two years after it went off the air felt like a hidden joy, and upon completion I fed immediately to Twitter demanding that Netflix facilitate a meeting with creator Bryan Fuller to discuss a fourth season, not knowing ofc, that this meeting had happened in vain fully two years ago. If a fourth season never happens, though, i'll always have the memory of this strange and beautiful show, sometimes a hit, sometimes a miss, always shocking, brazenly original.
I'm Nadine Darling, author of SHE CAME FROM BEYOND! (Overlook Press) I write. I like to drink and watch movies! I've been published places and won awards and shit but wouldn't you rather hear what I have to say about BACKDRAFT???