My Oscar Picks For 2023

I know, I know! Normally I don’t pay any attention to the Oscars but this year I will because why not?

I’ve actually seen a number of the movies that were nominated and most of the movies are easily accessible for me to view them. There are only about three movies that are not readily viewable but I still hold tremendous respect for either the actors or the directors so have no objections to their nominations. This is not a list of nominees, btw. (I have a link to that below.) This is a list of movies I’d love to win in their respective categories and why I chose them, along with which movies should have been included in that category but weren’t.

Will I watch the Oscars this year? I don’t know. Maybe. I didn’t watch last year’s much more spectacular episode, so it very much depends on how I feel or what I’m doing on the night in question. I hope there is not a repeat of what happened last year although Jimmy Kimmel is NOT a particularly funny man and I’m not looking forward to watching two or three hours of his horrible jokes. Don’t get me wrong, I like it when movies I like win awards, but I’m not that heavily invested and most years I just check to see who won after it’s all over.

Okay first up, the biggest snubs of last year:

Till – Neither the movie nor its Black female director was recognized by the Academy.

MEN – Should have been nominated in the Sound category. The movie sounds gorgeous and it’s also not too bad in the Original Score category.

The Woman King – Should have been nominated in the category of Best Picture and Gina Prince-Bythewood for Best Director (rather than the usual boys club we got for Director.)

Nope – Should have at least been nominated in the Sound, Editing, or Cinematography categories, or even for original Screenplay. Jordan Peele deserves some kind of recognition for this movie.

She Said – This should’ve been nominated for Best Screenplay and Maria Schrader should have gotten a nod in the Best Director category.

The Northman – This is another movie that could have been nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay or at least for its Cinematography.

Now, on to my favorites:

Best Picture

Everything Everywhere All At Once – I don’t think I can express just how meaningful this movie was for so many people and that needs to be recognized in some way. The cinematography was superb, the acting was phenomenal and the writing was incredible. I don’t think I’ve ever watched a movie that made me cry and laugh from one moment to the next and had some beautiful messages in it. I think this one will become one of those cult classics people talk about for decades.

Best Director

The Daniels for Everything Everywhere All At Once – They did an incredible job on this film. I love Spielberg, and he is who will probably win, but it is The Daniels who truly deserve to be recognized in some manner.

Best Actor

The Awards season has two major comeback actors, Brendan Fraser, and Ke Huy Quan. Ke is not nominated in this category but Fraser I feel deserves all the honors here. I am not as familiar with his action adventure and comedy work as I am with his dramatic works. I know him as an incredible dramatic actor who deserves recognition for his role in The Whale.

Best Actress

Michelle Yeoh – It’s not that the other actresses in this category don’t deserve this nomination but I’ve been following Michelle’s career since the early 90s when she starred in a movie with Maggie Cheung called The Heroic Trio. So yeah, I am a very long time fan of her work and I just want her to win this because it would be the culmination of a very very long journey for her.

Best Supporting Actor

Ke Huy Quan – Words cannot express how much everyone’s embrace and remembrance of this actor means to him, I think. I’m also surprised at the sheer outpouring of love and affection the world is showing for this actor. Also, I just want him to win because it would be an incredibly beautiful story of dreams fulfilled and I know his Oscar speech is gonna kill it!

Best Supporting Actress

Angela Bassett – I think she should win because Angela has been bringing her A-game since the beginning of her career and she deserves that recognition. Wakanda Forever is one of the first MCU films to be recognized in this category, and Basset just tore it up in her role as Queen Ramonda. That speech she gives at the beginning of the movie gave me chills.

Best Adapted Screenplay

Glass Onion – This is one of the most fun movies released last year. I was one of those people who was mad a Rian Johnson for what he did to the Star Wars franchise but I can forgive him for that after watching this movie. It’s just so much fun, filled with so many Easter eggs, messages, and layers, and yet it still manages to be light-hearted and not so deep it cannot be enjoyed in a superficial manner. This was just a well-written film.

Best Original Screenplay

The Banshees of Inisherin – This movie definitely got me in my feels. I know I said other movies should have been nominated in this category but this is what we go so this is what I’m picking. I suppose I’m going to have to talk about this movie at some point because it’s a lot deeper than it at first appears, and its message, about two friends who have a falling out because one of them simply doesn’t want to be friends anymore, may not be as pessimistic as it seems.

Best Animated Feature Film

Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio – There’s nothing deep about my choice here. I haven’t even finished watching this movie. I just want Guillermo to win every award he gets nominated for because I love his work. This is an easy choice to make.

Best International Film

I haven’t watched any of the films in this category, so I have nothing to pick. I’ve only heard about a couple of them by rough description.

Best Documentary Feature

The only movie I heard of in this category was Fire of Love, which I have not seen, so I can’t actually pick anything. I would have preferred that the documentary, Use of Force, about police brutality in the US, be in the nominations, but I guess either no one saw it, it just didn’t get enough votes, or maybe it was just too damn depressing.

Best Film Editing

Everything Everywhere All At Once – Of course, I picked this film! And yes, it was very well edited.

Best Cinematography

I have such tremendous respect for all the movies in this category, I simply couldn’t pick just one of them. These are all beautiful-looking films that I have, unfortunately, only watched the trailers for. I hope to watch all of these before the Oscars air, and I want to see all of them, but the ones I’m most looking forward to right now are Bardo and Tar.

Best Costume Design

Ruth Carter – Black Panther: Wakanda Forever – Ruth Carter has won for the first film so why not give her this one too? Surely her costuming skills have not degraded since the first film? Bassett’s wardrobe in this movie was giving me life. We also got to see some nifty new costumes for the Dora Milaje. and the costumes for the Namor’s people (most especially Namora) were stupefyingly gorgeous! Ruth Carter is a fashion genius.

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever – Of course, Ruth Carter deserves this one too.

Best Music (Original Song)

Lift Me Up – Rihanna (Black Panther: Wakanda Forever)

Best Music (Original Score)

The Banshees of Inisherin – The music does a lot of work illuminating the mood of this film.

Best Sound

The Batman – This is one of my favorite scenes!

Best Visual Effects

This was another category where I couldn’t choose just one although I am leaning in the direction of either Avatar or Wakanda Forever, even though the other films they are up against are not slacking as far as imagination.

[There are a lot more categories than the ones I listed here, but wasn’t, because I wasn’t especially invested in the winner or didn’t know enough about the category to become invested.]

New Year New Baby

I have been thoroughly neglecting this blog but I have a very good reason.

On January 14th, my third niece was brought into the world (via cesarian) at 8 in the evening!

Her name is Tyler Chanel and she weighed 7 lbs/6 oz.

She is already quite vocal in making sure her needs are being met and she doesn’t like having her head touched or her swaddling removed!

I took a little time off to help my little sister prepare for the new baby. There have been all kinds of dramatic things happening in her life, which it’s not my place to mention here, but I’ve been preoccupied with supporting her through these wild events.

Right now she and the baby are doing okay. Momma is tired and a little sore because of the surgery but recovering (and fussing). She and the baby are eating well, resting well, and getting discharged from the hospital today. The brothers have things well in hand while I go to work, and I’ll be visiting the two of them later this week.

Well, that’s the news.

I’ll be back soon enough with plenty of trivia and articles about movies so stay tuned.

The Greatest Cinematic Moments On My TV This Year

(Even If Some of Them Were Not Movies)

Rather than do the typical Best of or Top Ten Movies of the Year list I’ve decided to talk about some of the greatest images that graced my TV this year (because I didn’t go to the movies much this year).

If you are a film and TV fanatic like me, then by the time you’re my age you will have amassed a ton of images that will sit with you and affect you for your entire life. I can’t list the number of movie and television scenes and images that have emotionally affected me in ways I’m still assessing today, and this year added another bunch of images that made me laugh, brought me to tears, terrified me, changed my thinking about the world and the people in it, or were sometimes just plain fun!

Last year, my mother (a devoted Horror movie fanatic) passed away in hospice at the age of 71. Every image of every movie that she carried with her is gone but I can still feel close to her through the movies she watched. I have always used stories (in books, movies, and songs), as therapy and this past year was exceptionally therapeutic for me in dealing with my grief. What I was going through didn’t feel quite so bad because I didn’t feel as if I was going through some singular event that other people had not experienced. I was able to process my feelings while watching some pretty intense cinema or alleviate my anxiety with laughter, and I was able to share these feelings with you guys by writing about them in this space.

This year was an incredible year of cinematic (and musical) healing for me.

May the next year be even better!

Keep Moving Forward

1.Moon Knight (Season 1: Episode 6)

This is my all-time favorite television series for this year (with Interview with the Vampire being almost a tie). This series is full of some great moments that are just plain fun, like the moment when Stephen, having stumbled upon his own version of being the Moon Knight gets into a final battle with the show’s primary antagonist. Stephen’s clueless version of Moon Knight wears an actual 3 piece suit. In the middle of the final boss fight, Stephen and Mark are expertly switching control of their shared body between them. Stephen gets knocked down, immediately hops back up, and brushes the dirt off his still immaculately white suit!

That there is what’s known as “swag”, or “attitude”.

I identified with Mark and Stephen’s journey of personal unification because I’ve been on that journey myself. When I was little, being on the autism spectrum meant there was a clear division between my intellect and my emotions. Like Mark and Stephen, I’ve spent my life attempting to unify the two sides of my personality, to join them together to work for each other. This is not a journey I’m ever going to finish, I think, but I have made enormous headway, and one of the greatest cathartic moments in the series was when Mark and Stephen finally did so, thus proving that the whole really is greater than the parts.

All of the fight scenes in this show are fire, and change and evolve as the relationship between Mark and Stephen evolves, to reflect their characters. I can fault Disney for a lot of things, but stinting on Action scenes isn’t one of them. I can always count on the MCU to bring me the very best ultra-violence. The choreography for their shows and movies is insane and watching heroes kick ass (and doing so with style) has always been a cathartic experience for me. I can identify with the hero and express my badassery in a perfectly safe environment while in my bunny slippers, and this series was awesome for that.

2.Everything Everywhere All At Once

I can’t say watching this was a mistake because I had no idea what I was getting into when I first watched it. EEAAO is very one of the most profoundly moving, touching, and hilarious movies in a year full of great films. It stars Michelle Yeoh, so I suspected there might be some Kung Fu, but the movie has a wealth of lovely surprises. It is about the frayed relationship between an overworked first-generation immigrant named Evelyn, who runs a dry cleaner with her annoyingly upbeat husband Waymond, and their nihilistic disaffected daughter Joy, all while undergoing a tax audit, planning a work party, and hosting her disapproving father.

One of the greatest treats of this movie was the re-emergence of Ke Huy Quan, from his decades-long retirement from acting, and who I fondly remember as Short Round from the second Indiana Jones movie (and Data from The Goonies). I don’t even begin to understand why but Short Round was always one of my favorite childhood characters and his name just stuck with me over the years until eventually, it became a nickname for my Mom, who was a whole inch shorter than me, which made me obnoxiously smug. I cannot explain why I had so much joy at seeing him alive and well, and being happy about this role.

That said, despite identifying with all the characters, my absolute favorite is Ke Huy Quan’s Waymond, and it is his philosophy of life that neatly cleaved my brain because he explains so much about how I try to approach the world, and why, despite this being one of those mother/daughter relationship movies you would think I’d be overcome by (and I was) it is Waymond who most easily resonates with me. Where Joy has fallen into despair and wants to end it all, it is Waymond’s philosophy, the exact opposite, that ends up saving Joy and the rest of the world from the annihilation that is the Everything Bagel:

 Waymond: When I choose to see the good side of things, I’m not being naive. It is strategic and necessary. It’s how I’ve learned to survive through everything.

This is a philosophy I adopted because, like Joy, I’ve seen the opposite end of that spectrum and it’s not a philosophy that’s survivable. There were a lot of moments in this movie that made me cry because they just happened to hit me at the right time to affect me, like the conversations between Evelyn and Joy, but it was Evelyn’s conversation with an alternate universe Waymond that opened the floodgates and allowed me to mourn in a way I had not been able to in the wake of my mother’s death, (because I was still mostly in shock). This movie just showed up when I needed it.

Like all good mothers, my mom never liked seeing her children in distress, and I think she would be proud of how well I’m doing right now.

This is one of those movies that changes or reaffirms your thinking about the world, the people around you, and how you approach life.

Yeah, it’s one of those.

3.Men

I think a lot of people avoided watching this movie because of the title, but things are not as they seem. The title is provocative, but the movie isn’t about castigating men. It’s about one woman (Harper Marlowe) dealing with the particularly harrowing loss of just one man, and I’m convinced that most of it takes place solely within her own mind. In other words, the movie is a lot deeper than it looks.

One of the most interesting images is the only other actor in the movie, Rory Kinnear, has his face creepily (and sometimes unconvincingly) superimposed onto the bodies of all the other men in the movie, signifying that what’s being critiqued here are certain types of men and their behavior. That at base all of their behavior comes from one source, and are really just different manifestations of only one issue – misogyny.

There’s the husband who threatens suicide if she divorces him, and then hits her, the priest who blames her for his death, then makes a pass at her, the child who calls her a stupid bitch when she refuses what he wants, the cop who dismisses her concerns and later tries to assault her, and there’s the naked man who is symbolic of natural masculinity in the form of the mythic Green Man, who keeps trying to get into her house to do…what exactly? All of this is tied into images of the Green Man, the Earth Mother, Christianity, the cycles of nature, and the lies patriarchy has created about women.

My favorite scene however is just a touching and beautiful moment about a woman literally discovering her voice. Harper takes a walk in the countryside and comes to a large open tunnel. She spends a minute or two singing into the tunnel and listening as her voice boomerangs back to her. Her voice is high and pure and she takes an almost childlike delight in just making as much noise as she wants, in a public place, in a free and uninhibited manner. It just looked like she was having so muchf un, and every time I watch that scene I feel the urge to sing along with her.

The entire movie stops to accommodate this moment and I was as thoroughly delighted by it as Harper!

4.Thor: Love and Thunder

Sometimes, I love movies that everyone else likes to hate on, and you know what? I’m good with that. I love what I love for my own reasons, not theirs, and I stand by and will back up my reasons why I do, even though sometimes my reasons are just because I do. I know a lot of people hated this movie. I do not particularly care if they did or why because this movie just brought out the feels and the kid in me, and I needed that. I’ve watched this on Disney + multiple times and it brings out both the pathos and delight in me each time.

One of the more interesting aspects of this phase of the MCU is that much of it deals with mourning the deaths of loved ones and people’s response to mourning. From dealing with death badly in WandaVision, to how humanity dealt with the aftermath of The Blip in Falcon and the Winter Soldier, to the aftermath of Tony Stark’s death in Spiderman No Way Home to the death of Chadwick Boseman in Wakanda Forever, to this: Thor, mourning the loss of his entire family and homeworld and finding new love and purpose, against an antagonist who dealt with his loss through anger and revenge. Thor and Gor the Godslayer are mirror images of one another and each of them deals with loss in a way that heals or harms other people. Thor chooses to love while Gor chooses to kill.

But my favorite scene has nothing to do with that part of the plot, and it was difficult choosing between this scene and any scene that involved Thor’s screaming goats, Tanngrisnir and Tanngnjóstr. There’s a scene in the movie where Thor is able to pass his powers to a group of frightened children to help them defeat the shadow enemies invoked by Gor, and that entire scene just gave me life! My favorite of all the children turned out to be the young Black boy who happens to be the son of Heimdall, The Bifrost Guardian. He has at least some of his father’s powers, but what was most admirable to me was his ability to step into a leadership role for the other children in the absence of the adults. I’m not normally into watching little kids engaging in acts of ultra-violence but Taika Waititi has a knack for making things that seem mildly subversive look like a great deal of fun. It doesn’t hurt that all the kids in the movie were the children of the staff on the set!

Oh, and the little girl with the laser-eye death bunny is the mood I’m carrying into 2023!

5. Interview With the Vampire (Season 1: Episode 7; The Thing Lay Still)

Interview with the Vampire was just voted by Vanity Fair as one of the best series on TV this year and I am here for it. This also showed up on my favorite TV series list too, because the show is simply wild. It’s crazy and beautiful, and sexy, and campy, gory, bloody, and brutal, but also deeply hilarious. Just when we thought the year was ending and there were no more high notes to be had, AMC handed us this beautiful gem of a series and we are all smitten.

Yes, they race-swapped Louis De Pont Du Lac from the books. He is now being played by Jacob Anderson (Greyworm in Game of Thrones), and he is (literally) killing it in this role. Anne Rice signed off on all this before she passed and her son Christopher (who is openly gay) also signed off on the rest, and those gay sensibilities show in the plot and themes. By changing the race of the character and making his sexuality explicit the writers have deepened the story considerably. Even moving the timeline to the early 1900s has made certain elements of the plot more interesting, since it’s now set during the Jazz age of the Jim Crow South. Also, changing Louis’s race has seemingly attracted a few straight Black male fans, which is not the demographic I first thought of when I heard this was getting made. They seem to really be enjoying the show too and good for them.

Sam Reid is also literally killing it as Lestat. In fact, he is so good he almost makes me forget the Tom Cruise version from the 1994 film. Almost. Reid so embodies this character though that fans are saying he is possessed by the spirit of Lestat, and when he and Jacob are onscreen together it’s like lightning, their chemistry is just that good. (It doesn’t hurt that they’re friends in real life.) Bailey Bass is an aged-up Claudia, and all those people who thought an older version of Claudia wouldn’t carry the same dramatic weight as someone much younger (in the books Claudia is about 6, which would be a logistical nightmare to film) well, those people were wrong. Claudia brings all the drama and hysteria of a teenage vampire to this role and she is great in it. And let’s not forget the award-winning playwright Eric Bogosian as Daniel, an older, less patient, and curmudgeonly version of the Daniel from the books, since this series is set 50 years after his first interview with Louis, which was never published.

For all the things that were changed, some things remain the same and that is the tumultuous relationship between Louis and Lestat. I’d say my favorite episode was the very first one in which the very closeted Louis meets and is successfully seduced by Lestat into becoming a vampire, but my favorite scene is the culmination of Louis’ season-long character arc in the final episode. He goes from being a deeply closeted gay Black man, unwilling to acknowledge it even to himself, to an out and proud gay Black man, and Lestat’s lover, at a grand New Orleans Ball, sharing a passionate kiss after inviting Lestat to a waltz, and something which thoroughly scandalizes their guests. It is one of the most beautiful scenes of the entire season, followed by one of the nastiest, goriest bloodbaths of the season.

This show was renewed for a second season before the first episode even aired, and I just don’t know what I’m going to do until it starts. The show is just really juicy and you have some idea of what’s coming in the future if you’ve read the books. The writers are doing everything right here. The writing is messy and florid and overdramatic, just like Anne Rice’s writing, and a lot of the dialogue is kept intact from her books. I hope the series lasts at least as long as Buffy, and it will be a miracle if it lasts as long as The Walking Dead, and I want to be right there until the end.

6. Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is one of the few Horror/Superhero movies out there and I loved it, especially since it’s directed by one of my all-time favorite directors, Sam Raimi, who included more than a few moments of sheer terror in his Spiderman trilogy of ten years ago. He kept that same energy here and there are more than a few of his favorite Horror movie tropes included in the imagery of this film, including a scene of The Scarlet Witch climbing out of a mirror, a multi-handed zombie version of Doctor Strange, and a scene where two wizards attack each other using musical notes. (Sam Raimi loves musicals so you know there was going to be a musical scene in here).

But above is one of my favorite scenes of Doctor Strange along with the young girl he’s trying to save getting blasted through multiple portals through other universes, paralleling a scene from the first movie where Strange gets blasted through different universes by the previous Sorceror Supreme, all of which look compellingly fun or nightmarish depending on which suit your fancy. There’s a world of dinosaurs, giant human bones, and cartoons, but the prettiest one is a world made of liquid crayons, I guess. ( And in a callback to something a character once said on Buffy the Vampire Slayer I think one of those universes was full of shrimp!)

Disney is finally starting to make movies that feel different from one another and include other genres, and this movie is a great parallel to Disney’s introduction of Horror themes and Supernatural creatures into the MCU this year in shows like Werewolf by Night and Moon Knight. I’m still going to call this the first MCU Horror movie because all of the tropes are right there. There are zombies, specters, jump scares, blood and gore (within reason), chase scenes from red-eyed phantoms, giant eyeball creatures, and a child in danger! If you liked the first Spiderman trilogy, and the Evil Dead movies, then check this out.

7. Love Death and Robots Season 3: Episode 4 (Tiny Zombie Apocalypse): Night of the Living Mini-Dead

This year’s Love Death and Robots season 3 was really strong this year, with some absolutely gorgeous animation based on Scifi Horror stories from my favorite writers, like Neal Asher, Michael Swanwick, Alan Baxter, and John Scalzi, in stories that range from poetic nightmares like Bad Traveling to comedies like Mason’s Rats, to tragically beautiful stories of conquest like Jibaro. I had several favorite episodes this year.

This one episode though is, hands down, one of the most hilarious zombie apocalypses I have ever seen. Yes, it’s even funnier than Shaun of the Dead, not just because it takes place in speeded-up miniature, but because of the incredible attention to detail in its homages to Night of the Living Dead, the Dawn of the Dead remake, Train to Busan’s and Peninsula’s fast zombies and Mad Max vehicles, an Attack on Titan shoutout, and Resident Evil mutated zombies. But my all-time favorite scene is the one with the tiny monks Kung fu-ing zombie ass at a mountaintop Shaolin Temple, echoing a scene from the book World War Z. In fact, I would watch an entire full-length movie that included all the scenes from this short.

It’s truly the attention to tiny details that had me rolling though, from the opening scene of the desecration at the cemetery (and how it sounds) which awakens the zombies, to the jogger who pushes her friend at the zombies only to be eaten and revived herself, to the Popemobile spewing gunfire while donuting outside The Vatican. And I love how the zombie apocalypse just goes from bad to worse with irradiated and mutated zombies spewing green fire.

Good lord! This needs to be a full-length film! I’d watch 90 minutes of this utter mayhem!

8. The Northman

The single biggest factor in people’s attraction to this movie was the trailer and the scene where a scantily clad Alexander Skarsgard reaches up, catches a thrown spear, and lobs it back to hit the thrower. I’m not gonna lie, that was what originally attracted me to the film as well, and thankfully, the movie proved to have as much substance as style. See! Not everything I watched this year was frivolous!

The Northman is based on the Scandinavian story which inspired Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Amleth watches as his father, a man he idolizes, is murdered by his uncle. His mother is seemingly kidnapped and he vows to avenge his father save his mother, and kill his uncle in that order. Amleth grows to adulthood, learns of his uncle’s location, and decides to implement this plan, while the audience heckles the screen to suggest that he could maybe let it go.

The movie is also about fate and destiny, and how that figures into the choices a person makes. Amleth is told several times by psychics that it is his destiny to avenge the destruction of his family but he is also challenged to give up his vendetta and settle down with his wife and children. He chooses his vendetta and although the motivation for his choice isn’t exactly wrong, at any point along his journey of revenge, he could have stopped and let his uncle live out his life in relative peace.

This movie turned out to have a surprising amount of depth. Surprising because I was expecting more flash than story, and I was expecting more of a Hamlet retread, and what I got was an exploration of the concepts of fate and destiny, and how much of a choice we have in what happens in our lives and the lives of others.

9. Nope

What can I say? This movie had all of my favorite things. ufos. blood, gore, excellent horsemanship, and two incredible lead characters, the brother and sister duo of Emerald and OJ Haywood, but my all-time favorite moment was when Emerald does this particular bike maneuver, called The Akira Slide. Since it was first seen in Katsuhiro Otomo’s 1988 anime film Akira this moment has been imitated and recreated in almost every animated series worth watching since!

The idea of a live-action Akira has been bruted around for over three decades and this scene is as close as we’ve come outside a few concept videos. In fact, Jordan Peele himself was slated to direct a live-action version but that fell through when he decided to devote his energy to his own projects. He said that an homage to the project he dropped seemed in order, though.

That’s it! Just a fun nostalgic moment in a great Horror movie that had me kicking up my bunny slippers!

(Note: I do not actually own a pair of bunny slippers.)

10. The Batman

I would not call this movie fun but I did enjoy it, and that kind of surprised me. I didn’t think anything was going to come close to being as good as Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy but this was a nice try and I liked it. I think this is a baby Batman in his first few years in Gotham and you can kind of see that in his fighting style, but this scene is the one that I found the most compelling. This is the audience’s first sight of The Batman and I loved the sound design of this scene.

The music, the ominous sound of his footsteps just before he fades out of the shadows, and the sound of rain in the background. The whole movie sounds great, which is not something I usually pay a whole lot of attention to, but I’ve started to pay attention since Villaneuve’s Dune did it so well. This was a superb introduction to this version of Batman, who has yet to learn that it’s not enough for him to just scare Gotham’s predators. He needs to protect the innocent too, something he begins to understand during the course of the movie.

Honorable Mentions

11. Wednesday Season 1: Episode 4 – Woe What a Night

I think this particular scene is definitely going to go down in history as iconic. For context, this is Wednesday Addams getting down on the dance floor at the new High School she was exiled to after she released predatory fish into the swimming pool at her last one. There was blood. I have always liked this particular character, especially the movie versions since she always represented things I have either actually said to people (I know right?!!) or wanted to say to people. I even liked the 1960s baby-girl version of her, and if you look really close you can see Jenna reproduce baby Wednesday’s iconic dance moves from the earlier TV series. Wednesday dances like she’s challenging her partner to a duel.

I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about this series. I was cautiously excited about it because it’s Tim Burton, who has made it clear that he feels about Black people the way I feel about finding a worm in my apple, and its teenagers being teenagers in a TV show. I’m not normally attracted to shows about teens but I will, on occasion, try them out and I actually liked this. It’s not a great show, but it is a lot of fun, not too deep, and worth a watch. The best thing about it is Jenna Ortega’s performance as Wednesday and her relationship with her bubbly roommate, Enid. From her demeanor, there is also the implication that Wednesday may also be queer, in which case people are already shipping her with Enid, and I’m cool with that. I did enjoy watching their friendship develop, since Wednesday is heavily, (and I do mean heavily), coded as autistic. She is touch averse, sensitive to bright colors, single-minded, and extremely focused, with a pronounced flattened affect, and I kind of liked that, since Autistic girls and women are rarely shown onscreen. There were a couple of times when something she said about how she sees the world resonated pretty sharply with me, and I had to pause and reflect.

But mostly the show was just good fun. I was initially put off that the only two Black characters in the series were assholes, but they were redeemed by the end of the season and turned out to be two of Wednesday’s strongest allies. I didn’t especially care for the drama between Wednesday and her mother (or the side plot that showed some of her parent’s history at the school) although I understand why it was added. Parental mismanagement of their children is a recurring theme in the series, although Luis Guzman was excellent as Gomez and the series does play up Wednesday’s Latino heritage a little bit. My favorite episode was the one where Uncle Fester comes for a visit. He is played by Fred Armisen and while he is never going to be in Christopher Lloyd’s league as Fester, he gives it a very good try. Christina Ricci also shows up as one of Wednesday’s teachers and her role is good, but not all that surprising.

This was a fun watch and I’m willing to check out the next season, especially if there is more weird dancing scenes!

The Eternals – There were so many great moments in this movie, although ultimately I feel it fell flat of what it was trying to do, I still enjoyed a lot of it. My favorite characters were, of course, Kingo and his personal valet, Karun. All of the characters had great chemistry with each other but I especially enjoyed watching these two. (Okay, The Eternals was, technically, released in 2021, but I didn’t watch it until 2022, so this counts in my book.)

Umbrella Academy – The opening dance number (The Footloose Dance Off) was one of its great highlights. I love a good dance battle! I love that the series continues this level of ridiculousness for the entire season. Another great scene was Victor coming out to his family as transgender and announcing his pronouns, and his brother’s quite unsurprised/semi-surprised reaction to having another brother.

Prey – The fight scenes in this movie were incredible. This movie was awesome, setting the Predator down in 1800s America among the Comanche People.

Black Adam – I’m an old-school Hawkman and Doctor Fate fan. I expected to like Hawkman and didn’t expect to like Pierce Brosnan’s version of this character, but he was most excellent (he predates Doctor Strange by twenty years y’all) and I hope to see more of him in some sort of prequel. I remember reading Doctor Fate’s books as a kid and I didn’t know I wanted to see this character onscreen so much until, of course, I got to see him!

The Woman King – The entire movie is simply gorgeous. The fight scenes are rigorously excellent.

Sandman – It was really hard to pick one scene from this series. Every episode had some truly gorgeous and meaningful scenes. Here, The Sandman (Dream) gets to find out what a day in the life of Death is like…

New Trailers Dropped For 2023

New trailers just dropped for movies being released next year. Later I’ll post a full list of my most hotly anticipated movies and series for next year.

Transformers: Rise of the Beasts

I found myself really excited by this video. I checked out of the Transformers franchise after the first two films because they just became increasingly awful to watch. Michael Bay was definitely getting on my nerves, but the franchise regained my attention with Bumblebee, consequently, that’s now my favorite character.

Admittedly, I was not there for the Beast Wars saga, so I don’t know much about it, because I was elsewhere doing other things. I heard about it, though. I know only a handful of characters in this movie (Mirage and Optimus Primal) but not who else. Still, the nostalgia factor is pretty big with this one and it was really nice to see so many grown-ass men being childishly excited about this movie on YouTube! The trailer looks really good. Hopefully, the creators can keep the momentum they began with Bumblebee. Will I go see it in the theater? Idk. It depends on what else is being released that month because June is a lot!

Yeah, Optimus Primal is being voiced by none other than Ron Perlman.

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny

This movie’s nostalgia factor hit me pretty hard. I probably will not go see this movie, not because I don’t love Indy but because there are three other movies coming out in June I want to see, and this one falls low on that list. I do not have limitless movie theater money, so Indie, I’m afraid, is going to lose. Sorry Indy, I will wait for it to reach streaming services.

This looks really exciting though and if you guys go see it, write something down, tell us all about it.

Guardians of the Galaxy 3

I’m really looking forward to this movie. I enjoyed the last move and the holiday special a lot, and I like spending time with this group of goofballs. There’s not really a nostalgia factor here but it will be interesting to get rocket’s backstory, and it’s nice to see Gamora (or at least an alternate-universe version of her) again. I’m still not a fan of Chris Pratt (he is after all the least likable Chris) but his acting isn’t bad, and he’s not so awful I cannot tolerate him in a film with a bunch of other great and funny characters.

Elemental

I really, really, liked this trailer which is a great introduction to this world and its rules. I’m not really into the forbidden romance angle of the story, but I do like the easy Jazz music of the teaser. Everyone who saw this trailer was quick to point out how she is the only Elemental on the train who is made of fire and noting the different interactions between the Elementals. So the creators have already set up how these characters interact, have both negative and positive effects on each other’s existences, and why the fire elementals might not be included. I’m probably not going to the theater to see this one though because…Summer.

Cocaine Bear

This is one of those ridiculous comedies that get released every few years. This one is about a bear that gets high on a stash of cocaine that some criminals lose in the woods, and I’m not going to see this but Hey, if this is your bag, go for it!

HELLOOOO!!!

Yeah, I’m still here. I’m still writing (some long-form posts) but it is the Holiday season, so you’re probably going to notice some extreme slacking off in the next few weeks. Frankly, all of you should be slacking this season.

When I come back (probably next week) I want to talk about my favorite new series Interview with the Vampire, which did everything right when it came to race-bending and genderswapping characters, and by that time I will have something to say about the new series called Wednesday on Netflix.

I am encouraging as many people as I can reach to watch Interview with the Vampire which is one of the most trashy, campy, beautiful, and sexy shows about vampires I’ve ever seen. It is airing on AMC+. You can pay for the app alone or get it through Amazon Prime for 8.99 a month and I promise it is worth it, (at about 1.25 an episode) just to watch this show (after which you can cancel if you want.) Don’t go into it expecting a retread of the 1994 film, which is still one of my favorite vampire movies, although this series I think, surpasses and deepens the story in a lot of ways.

Coming in December will be my end-of-the-year favorite movies and series list! As far as entertainment, inclusivity, and representation, this was a spectacular year! Also next month, more on my weight loss journey, how much I lost, how it’s going, and what are my goals.

Until then,

Happy Holidays

My Movie Hot List

Antman: QuantumMania

I’m gonna be honest, while I’m “mildly” excited to watch this, I don’t know that I’d shell out the money to go see this movie in a theater. Due to family issues beyond my control, I would have to watch this alone. Some movies are good for watching alone, but this one isn’t. It looks like a lot of weird fun that you share with your buddies.

I’m mostly interested in seeing Jonathan Majors’ giant screen breakthrough because I really really like him, I’ve heard that the character he’s portraying, Kang the Conqueror, is a huge Billy Bad Ass in the Marvel Universe, and because this movie kicks off one of the multiple plot threads of this new phase of the MCU, The MultiversalWar. Each movie after this one will be a piece of that story introducing us to alternate universes and other realms of consciousness and existence, like the Quantum universe in this movie.

Guardians of the Galaxy 2.5: Christmas Special

This movie looks like so much fun. Unlike the many fanboys who insist on complaining about the direction of the MCU, it seems that I actually do have a sense of humor. I love the MCU comedies, and I do not understand why all the MCU movies must be dark and deadly serious all the time in order to be taken seriously. I love the direction in which Thor was taken. I thought it was great fun and definitely better than the emotional slog that was Thor 2. Sometimes you don’t need or want great cinema, you just want the creators to lean into the craziness of whatever you’re watching.

Guardians of the Galaxy has been something of a comedy from the beginning, mostly because of the nature of the characters, and that last movie and this new one just sort of lean into it a little bit more. I’m looking forward to this one more than the Antman sequel because I really like spending time with all these deeply funny goofy people, and I’m glad that the creators and writers are just fearlessly leaning into the sheer batshittery of this part of the universe, because C’mon! Really!

Chevalier

I’m just coming off the finale of the Interview With the Vampire series which I’m going to have to talk about at some point because Wow! so, I’m really in a good place mentally to feel excited about seeing more Black men in wigs and stockings! It’s one thing to see Black and Indian women doing the whole ballgown movie thing, but we don’t often get to see Black men in these roles unless it involves Shakespeare or playing a servant.

I love the look of this film, and there’s the added attraction of it being based on a true story, that of a French Caribbean composer named Chevalier de Saint-Georges, Joseph Bologne. I’m a sucker for beautiful costumes, beautiful music, and sword fighting, and you throw in some Black people and I’m in, I guess!

John Wick 4

I just had the most interesting discussion about this movie with my co-worker, who said she had a real problem suspending her disbelief while watching these movies and kept getting pulled out of the film. I told her I didn’t have that problem because it never even occurred to me what I saw as taking place in a world like this one with the same political and systemic setup. I had always viewed this franchise as taking place in some kind of fantasy alternate universe, where you can just be riding through the streets of downtown New York with swords and guns and not one person would blink an eye at it.

This is what I mean when I say that whatever your mindset is when you start to watch a movie will probably determine how you’ll feel after having seen it. Anyway, this looks great and I’m eager to sit down in a theater with some popcorn and enjoy two hours of sheer Keanu Reeves, Donnie Yen, and Hiroyuki Sanada mayhem!

Violent Night

This looks like such wild and crazy fun that I just have to see this. This is definitely one of those movies that you can go see by yourself at the theater. I don’t know that I’ll do that but it’s an option. It looks like a Christmas version of a John Wick movie except it’s Santa Claus using magic and probably some guns which I know all of you must be excited about as well.

Glass Onion

Still don’t know what to make of this but I will not have to go to the movie theater to see it. I can just watch this, whatever this is, at home on Netflix. I like most of the actors here and quite frankly I was going to watch any movie that starred Dave Bautista, Janelle Monae, and Daniel Craig because these are not actors’ names that one tends to think of as being together. This also looks to be more comedic than the first film, which I didn’t think was especially funny, but apparently, that’s just a me thing.

For some reason, I’ve been watching a lot of comedy mysteries this year. I just came off the Hercule Poirot movies, The Orient Express, and Death on the Nile, and I will probably be watching See How They Run this weekend. I don’t normally gravitate to period mysteries. I’m not opposed to them or dislike them or anything. They’re just not the sort of movies I tend to gravitate to, so when I get the urge to do so, I flow with it.

Maybe I’ll Watch These

Bones and All

I’m not sure I’m in the mood to watch anything dealing with cannibals but I’m willing to watch this if it’s streaming. If it’s in the theater then it’s out of luck. I’m not spending a bunch of money to see this, although it seems intriguing.

Shadow Master

Yeah, this is a movie that’s just going to be watched via streaming only. This is not the kind of movie I would ever watch in a theater. I mean, Kung Fu movies are meant to be watched in the house, with popcorn and a remote.

Warriors of the Future

Fortunately, this is a Netflix jam so I don’t have to spend money on my curiosity about it. Okay, it really doesn’t seem like it’s a lot of fun, in the sense that it’s intentionally funny, but it does look thrilling and action-packed, so I guess that’s a kind of fun.

And Movies I’m Not Watching

Avatar 2

I didn’t care too much for the White Saviorism of the first movie. In fact, I found that movie infuriating in a way that I didn’t for movies like The Last Samurai, or Dances with Wolves. I’m not arguing about how beautiful it is but I think I’m gonna wait to watch this next year on some streaming service. Since my niece and nephew aren’t going to be with me, and this is really the kind of movie one watches with a group of people, I’m unlikely to see it in a theater anyway.

The Whale

I do not have any particular need or desire to spend money to see this. Plus this looks like one of those movies where there’s going to be a lot of crying. I’m really glad Brendan Frasier has made this return to making movies. I missed him, and this actually looks alright, but I’ll catch this on streaming.

I Wanna Dance With Somebody

I’m not going to sully my memories of Whitney Houston with a biopic. I just can’t do it.

M3gan

This movie is probably going to blow up once it comes out becomes it looks unintentionally hilarious and there are already a bunch of memes about it! I’m not paying money to watch what is essentially a killer-doll movie, but I’ll go see it my sister pays for my ticket because this seems like the kind of thing she’d attach herself to.

I still do not understand after all these killer doll movies why anyone would ever build life-size killer robots that look virtually indistinguishable from an actual person. I don’t understand the plots of movies like Bladerunner and stuff where that kind of thing happens. Why would human beings still be doing that? Have we learned nothing?!!! On the other hand, this could just be an American thing because the Japanese build life-size robots all the time and they don’t ever seem to have this problem with the robots trying to merc people.

Classic Folklore SCPs

There are some genuinely terrifying SCPs that match closely to the folklore of this universe. Just be glad that for those of us who exist in this world these are just stories. Or are they? I cannot imagine what it’s like to live in a world where all these things actually exist for real. Since most of these are considered t obe myths and stories, perhaps we do live in a universe full of anomalous entities and monsters, and the SCP Foundation, much like the Men in Black, exists to ensure that we either don’t believe in it or don’t know about it!

SCP 993: Bobble the Clown

Clowns are a classic phobia and the SCP has several from which you can choose to be terrified. Bobble is one of the worst ones. Coulrophobia is the intense fear of clowns which can seriously impact one’s behavior and lifestyle. In this case, Bobble (SCP 993-1) affects the lives of children in an entirely different way, providing a very good reason why clowns are not to be trusted. He was the host of a short-lived children’s television show which aired in the late 80s, called Bobble the Clown, which is referred to as SCP 993. The show is classified as Safe because it is well-contained. All airings of the show are blocked from public viewing and any children tasked with watching it (for experimental purposes) are given amnestic drugs.

The show pretends to be an educational cartoon, in which Bobble has adventures alone, as there seem to be no other cast members. Anyone over the age of ten loses consciousness at the start of the program and any children watching it will receive sinister lessons from Bobble about cannibalism, torture, kidnapping, and murder. These lessons get locked into the minds of these children, and repeated viewings can result in madness. Bobble is essentially creating a generation of psychopaths. He is also preternaturally aware of the SCP and what it has done to his show.

In the very first episode, titled Bobble’s Kitchen Surprise, Bobble kidnaps a man, takes him to his home, and proceeds to instruct children in skinning, gutting, and cooking him. In other episodes, children are instructed on how to commit acts of undetectable arson, how to stalk someone without detection, how to inflict pain without causing death, and there’s even an episode set in the containment facility in which the episodes are archived, detailing the daily routines of the researchers and instructing viewers on how to breach containment and murder those workers.

Creepy.

SCP 3456:The Nuckelavee

This SCP is called the Orcadian Horseman, but as soon as I read about it, some long-stored information bubbled up in my brain about this terrifying creature from Scottish folklore. The Nuckelavee is a horselike creature that bears a minor resemblance to a centaur and could be mistaken for such at first glance. Of course, once you get a good look at it, you won’t live to tell anyone about it.

The most gruesome part of the entire thing is that this creature has no skin, and a long list of superpowers that involve toxic breath, the ability to influence events to the negative, make crops wither, and cause drought, and disease in people and animals. In folklore, you can cross running water to avoid being caught and dismembered by one of these creatures but in the SCP version that will not help you. The Orcadian Horseman is part of the deep mythology of the creation of the SCP, created and used as a creature of war by a group of proto-humans called The Daevites.

SCP 4153: Classic Wax Monsters

The Mummy, Frankenstein’s Monster, and Count Dracula are some of the Classic monsters you will encounter in any reputable Wax Museum and in the SCP.

SCP 4153 is an acting troupe of wax figures that resemble the classic Horror monsters of early cinema which believe they are the actors who starred as those monsters: Lon Chaney, Boris Karloff, Vincent Price, and Bela Lugosi. They like to frequent carnivals, haunted houses, corn mazes, and other public venues and set up a theater to perform, using wax for their props and gore, and for changing their appearances. They can also control and create wax effigies from a distance. The SCP has a standing order to apprehend them whenever they’re reported and simply detain them.

For a really good laugh, you should read the Interview Logs between the SCP agents and the monsters! They are hilarious! Except of course for that time when there was a massive containment breach and it was found that all of the personnel at the facility had had their inner organs replaced by wax replicas weeks in advance of the group’s capture.

The troupe remains “uncontained”.

SCP 023: Black Shuck

In Irish Folklore, there is the legendary Black Dog, a forerunner of death. This creature has multiple names and is referred to as Black Shuck, Old Shuck, or Old Shock. It’s a spectral black dog that people believe roams the British countryside. A lot of people think it’s an omen of death, but for some people, the Shuck is a friendly and protective figure. In British folklore, the size and shape of the dog can vary from simply large to the size of a horse, which sounds terrifying enough if you’ve ever seen an Irish Wolfhound, but it is also said to have a single large red eye in the middle of its forehead. Okay, that doesn’t sound in the least friendly to me. Some say you have to see it to be cursed by it, but some others you only have to hear it howling for your family to be cursed.

This SCP is definitely in the dangerous category. It’s a large black shaggy dog that if one makes eye contact with it, you or a member of your family will die exactly one year after eye contact is broken. As a result, the SCP Foundation has taken certain steps to minimize this occurrence by covering the dog’s eyes with rubber stops, confining it to a single corridor within the facility that includes multiple false doors and resembles a crossroads, and banning all reflective surfaces within its enclosure. The bodies of its victims will appear untouched but when autopsied they are discovered to be filled with ashes and the inner organs cremated.

SCP 1000: Bigfoot

Bigfoot is very probably one of the most famous cryptids in America, so I’m not going to go into the folklore here, but according to the SCP Foundation, they’re very real and based on SCP 1000, a near-extinct species of primate that used to rule North America. The race once had a superior intellect and even technology to humans and were the masters of genetic manipulation. They’re nearly extinct because of a kind of magical disease they manufactured to eradicate humanity during some long-forgotten war, that rebounded onto their species. Seeking to keep human beings out of their territories they crafted a disease that kills human beings that spend too much time in proximity to them or views them for too long. Unfortunately, the disease also worked on them and it wiped out almost 99% of their race.

So yeah, the glimpses and rumors are apparently true but these beings are protected by the SCP Foundation who make it their job to police any and all reports of their sightings and work hard to make sure they stay rumors.

SCP 2191-1: The Vampire Factory

We all know about the classic vampires of folklore seen in hundreds of movies and TV shows, that are allergic to garlic, can’t be seen in mirrors, and shapeshift into bats and wolves, well the SCP Foundation has proof that such creatures actually exist. But you can forget about your dandy-ish, effete, European gentlemen vampires though, these are more like the 30 Days of Night vampires.

The containment procedures for this are special which makes this a Keter class anomaly because the Vampire Factory isn’t a person, it’s a geographical area that produces vampire-like creatures. The location is a temple-like structure built over a group of caverns in Romania. The caverns and structures are inhabited by a group of severely mutated humans which sound a lot like the vampires from Blade 2, or The Strain. From time to time the creatures will enter an active hunting phase where they leave the caverns and temple to hunt down any nearby human beings, and feed on them by means of a lamprey-like tongue that paralyzes and then liquefies its victims.

These creatures aren’t the least bit romantic so you will not be swapping spit with them under the moonlight, and pray you don’t become one of them.

SCP 872 : The Scarecrow

The living scarecrow is a real folkloric trope, but the SCP Foundation has a little bit of a twist on it. Here, we have a typical scarecrow effigy with tattered clothes, made out of wood scraps, which imparts its ability to frighten away animals to any animals that wander too close to it so they can frighten humans away. I admit I wasn’t expecting this when I heard about this trope. I was expecting the typical living scarecrow thing where it appears to be a non-living entity that moves but this is a novel use of folklore.

Any animal that wanders into a certain radius of the scarecrow will become extremely protective of that area, attacking any humans that get close to its radius. If there is a flock of animals they will behave as if they are being cultivated by people. For example, sheep will attempt to remove each other’s wool with their mouths, chickens will lay their eggs in an easy-to-access area for humans to collect, and cows will kill and dismember one member of the group each month and deposit their remains at the edge of the territory for humans to pick up. If an animal is removed from the scarecrow’s influence it will go into a catatonic state until it is put within range of the scarecrow’s influence again.

Yeah, this is terrifying in a Gary Larson cartoon kind of way.

SCP 352 : Baba Yaga

Baba Yaga is one of my all-time favorite Russian folktales. I first encountered it in elementary school and found the whole idea of a witch that lives in a house that moves around on chicken feet deliciously scary! For some reason, my childhood mind attached this entity to the story of Hansel and Gretel and the witch who lived in a candy house used to lure children probably because the version of this entity that I read about ate kids too.

The Baba Yaga does exist as a Keter Class entity in the SCP but this version is especially creepy. She still looks like an emaciated elderly Russian woman with super strength, healing abilities, and speed, but she can also grow long, nearly invisible tendrils of hair that are coated in saliva that she uses like tentacles/webs to grab prey (people). The saliva coating on the hair paralyzes her victims and induces euphoria and hallucinations so that they are docile while she eats them, one limb at a time, which can take several days.

As far as I know, this entity doesn’t fly around in a mortar and pestle or live in a house with chicken feet, but she is unremittingly hostile, using any and every opportunity to grab a meal. And yes, she does prefer to eat children.

SCP 3000: The World Serpent – Yormungunder/Jormungandr

The Jormungandr (meaning “huge monster”) is a creature from Norse mythology called The World/Midgard Serpent, and is said to be one of Loki’s children. It is said that it is so huge that it can circle the earth and grasp its own tail, which gave rise to the myth of the Ouroboros.

It’s currently located in the Bay of Bengal and is so large that it is impossible for this entity to be contained, so the SCP Foundation has decided on containment procedures that involve quarantining the area, disinformation, and erasing the memories of any who happen to encounter it, although the creature is capable of doing that on its own. It’s considered a Cognitoazard – a fancy way of saying it affects people’s mental capabilities. Direct sightings of the creature can result in head pain, loss of memory, severe paranoia, and panic which makes it easier to catch and eat prey, although it doesn’t actually seem to need sustenance. It’s largely sedentary but can move very fast when it has to. It excretes a dark grey substance from its skin which the SCP foundation collects to create its memory-erasing drugs.

SCP 1826: The Wild Hunt

In Celtic mythology, The Wild Hunt has a variety of different incarnations. It’s a large cavalcade of men and horses seen riding through the sky at certain times of the year and said to presage catastrophic events. The leader of the hunt could be any number of mythological figures from Cernnunos, to King Arthur, to Odin, and any human who saw the Hunt was said to be death-cursed, end up being hunted themselves or whisked away to the fairy underworld. One story has it that you could get out of being hunted by joining it voluntarily, although only as one of the hounds. It is even believed that the Hunt can pull people’s spirits from their bodies while they sleep.

What the SCP has however is an interesting and occasionally funny take on The Wild Hunt in the form of an abandoned office building where the Russian version of this myth has been trapped for several decades! Any female person or creature that wanders into the building at a certain time of year (usually March) will be possessed by one of the spirits of The Wild Hunt and demanifested. Her job will then be to manifest physically and challenge any male person or creature that enters the building to celebrate the return of Spring with a hunt and a duel. If she wins, the victim will be incorporated into the building, and then reproduced the next year in the form of a black wolf! If she loses the challenge then whatever male will simply be allowed to walk free.

Usually, D-Class subjects and random women are introduced to this SCP, but one year the researchers decided to put one of the D-Class up against a small female turtle, that was then sprinkled with iron filings and thus lost the match. One year the researchers thought it would be interesting to put an anteater and an ant in the building, a match that lasted about 3 seconds.

Five More Movies Too Scary For Me to Watch Again

(But I Still Like Them)

Here’s a slightly different list from the last one which mostly consisted of movies I didn’t like or didn’t finish, either because they were just bad films, or I had no patience for them. This is a list of movies I actually like. They’re perfectly acceptable and watchable movies where I liked the characters, the plot, and it looks good, but I feel no great urge to watch these again because they were emotionally exhausting, too disturbing, or genuinely too scary, at least they were for me!

Arachnophobia

Stick with me here because there’s a story that goes along with this movie. Yeah, I do have really bad arachnophobia and have had it since I was a little girl. I was the kind of person who used to look for signs of spiders in any new space I walked into. (I have since calmed down about this over the years, though.) The way my memory works I can actually recount the incident that gave me this issue ( but we not gonna talk about that). I can talk about the event that happened to me when I was in college and before this movie was released. I know it happened in that order because after I came home from college was when I saw the trailer, and my Mom would tease me about being scared to watch it. She seemed to enjoy the movie a lot, thought it was pretty funny, and wanted to share this scary movie with me, but I’m one of those (stubborn muth*fck*s is what a friend once called me) who, once she makes it up in her head to NOT do something, I don’t do it!

I was in living in a very nice house one Summer vacation. I was working at the time, but I was also in the house alone because my roommates had all gone home, and I was sitting in my room, lights and TV on, when I saw a tiny little speck near my lamp. It was not a little speck, it was a tiny spider. Yep, I had a spider egg hatch in my bedroom.

To say that I freaked the f*ck out would be an understatement! I was a hot emotional mess for a week! Luckily, I had some of the world’s greatest friends who, once they understood what the hell I was jibbering about, helped me smoke bomb my bedroom (twice) and cleaned and moved all my belongings to another part of the house. It wasn’t a perfect solution, but I was at least able to relax long enough to fall into an exhausted sleep in my own bed after two days of emotional hell. Well, my friends didn’t mock me, kept their smiling to a minimum, and seemed happy to help a damsel in distress.

Mom knew about the spider incident and understood my attitude, but she always encouraged me to move past my fears because if I didn’t at least try they would always control me. (This is from the woman who apparently had some kind of phobia about boats and New York City! What was all that about?!) Eventually, I did agree to sit down and watch it with her, with a bunch of caveats and addendums, like leaving the room if I got too scared, squealing as much as I liked, and covering my eyes if necessary. I got through the first half okay, but covered my eyes and squealed a lot for the last thirty minutes. I didn’t leave the room though, so technically speaking, I did sit through it.

And you know what? It turned out not to be a bad movie although I have not watched it again in the twenty-plus years since then, and I have no plans to watch it again in the future. Personally, I consider sitting through that movie to be one of the bravest moments in all of cinematic history!

The Void

I was not particularly weirded out by the title or the synopsis of this movie. The thumbnail of the movie on Google looked intriguing. So I sat down to watch this with the idea that it would be your typical Lovecraftian pastiche of images culled from his works and got something I wasn’t at all expecting. I more or less understood the film’s plot, and what it was trying to do, but I didn’t expect bizarre nameless cults (although I should have) body horror images (I should have expected that too), and a kind of monster siege, working the night shift sort of film, where everyone dies horribly, except when they don’t stay dead.

It’s easy enough to describe the movie, but any description you give it won’t actually resemble the movie you will be watching, but I’m gonna give it a try. There’s a bunch of people stuck in a hospital on the night shift, only a few of whom are actually medical personnel. The rest are random townsfolk who are trapped in the hospital because some oddly dressed cultists besieged the town and were killing people, so the rest ran to the hospital. There are some weird medical experiments going on in the basement that involve the birth of an infernal creature from a young girl, the opening of Hellish portals, and lots of goo, blood, guts, and some tentacles.

That was as much as I understood, but that doesn’t mean the movie is ineffective. I’ve no great urge to watch it again because it was a genuinely disturbing film whose effect lingers long after it’s over, and I don’t have to watch it again because I clearly remember how uncomfortable I felt while looking at it. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing because there are movies that do this that I have re-watched, and if that is the kind of mood you’re looking for, then by all means, go for it, and tell me how it worked out for you.

Imma wait over here!

Annihilation

I generally like the works of Alex Garland, someone I didn’t pay any special attention to when his career began with The Beach in 2000. I didn’t even watch The Beach. I dismissed it. But then he came out with 28 Days later and I perked up. There was a new cinematic voice in Horror, and I’ve been present for most of his movies since, like Sunshine, Dredd, and Ex Machina. I sat through most of those without issue, and they were all very good, but in 2018 Garland released Annihilation, based on the book by another of my favorite artists, Jeff Vendermeer. When I heard about the movie I decided to read the three-book series, and I enjoyed them, for the most part.

The movie combines all three books of the series into one long story with yet another Lovecraftian theme. A section of the US has been taken over by something called The Shimmer. Elena’s husband went into The Shimmer, which warps biology, and he disappeared. Except he also came back, alone. Intrigued, she and a team of 4 other women go into The Shimmer to explore its purpose, with each woman having her own agenda. Elena wants to find out what happened to her husband. Each of the women find some thing they weren’t expecting which has a profound effect on the rest of their lives.

There are some genuinely panstshittingly frightening moments in this film, like when Elena and her team are attacked by a mutated bear that screams with the voices of the people it’s killed, but beyond that the movie is just weird, and sad, and yeah, there’s that word again, disturbing. It’s not a bad film. I actually like the film. It’s also not particularly hard to watch because it contains some genuine moments of true beauty. But it is another movie where the mood and flavor of it linger long after it’s over, and I have not been in the headspace to be able to watch it.

I will likely watch this again at some point in the future, because it is an effective, thoughtful, and terrifying film, but not yet.

The Revenant

Honestly, this is a great survival horror film, and if you like those types of films you should by all means watch this, but be prepared to feel as if you’ve been emotionally defenestrated in the aftermath. This movie is exhausting on a physical level, too. I just felt wrung out after watching this.

Starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy the movie is based on the true story of a man (DiCaprio) who was left for dead in the wilderness by his business partner, (Tom Hardy) who, after killing DiCaprio’s son, went back to the nearest town and made the claim on his half of their business dealings, only to have his partner stumble out of the wilderness several weeks later.

For some reason the most distressing movies for me seem to involve bear attacks, although I do not think I have any kind of bear phobia. DiCaprio’s character braves the worst excesses of trying to survive an environment that is inimical to human life, like snow, freezing water, wild animals, lack of food, and angry Indigenous people, just to enact vengeance on his partner.

This movie just slaps the shit out of you emotionally. Well, it did that for me, but your mileage may vary depending on how much energy reserves you possess. This is another excellent film with great acting, cinematography, and a very compelling story that I will probably never watch again. Or if I do, I’m going to need to rest up, eat my vitamins, and do my breathing first.

The Descent

Oh man was this movie hard to watch, and not because of the monsters. I don’t actually have claustrophobia but this movie might give it to you if you don’t. It’s a harrowing film. I was exhausted and saddened after watching it. The most devastating moment isn’t the deaths at the beginning of the film but something that happens midway through it that completely upends the relationships between the rest of the characters.

A team of women friends decide to go caving in a previously unexplored system after the death of the main character’s husband and child in a driving accident the previous year. The team are attacked by a race of terrifying cannibalistic mutants and taken out one by one until there’s only one of them left. There’s plenty of blood and gore, but that’s not what upset me the most, and no spoilers, but it’s about the characters, comes completely out of left field, changes everyone’s dynamic, and therefore their chances of survival.

It’s a very effective film. I don’t often mind when films do the unexpected or throw something at me out of the blue, especially when it’s as well done as it was here. I didn’t choose these movies because I disliked them. I chose them because I liked them. Some of them are great films, but were so emotionally draining I simply don’t have the emotional bandwidth to put myself through them again anytime soon.

Movies Too Scary For Me To Watch Twice

I love Horror movies but believe it or not Even I draw the line at watching some stuff. I prefer Creature Features which are comedies above all other types of Horror, and I can and will get into some straight Psychological Horror. Some things don’t particularly interest me, though I will watch them on occasion, like ghosts, haunted mansions, or most Slasher films. I draw the line at Torture Porn and movies like The Human Centipede which aren’t scary to me. They’re just nasty, and yes, there is a difference. There are different types of scary movies, some of which are very enjoyable, almost fun, like Tremors, The Mist, or even movies like Halloween, but some movies are scary but not enjoyably so. Not because they are serious films but because they’re depressing or raise my anxiety levels too high to be a fun experience. For example, I have fire-fear, so any movies that heavily involve flames (or nuclear annihilation) are super upsetting for me, and I just can’t watch them.

That said, there are a few movies that are simply too scary for me to watch more than once. Here are five movies (and one extra) that I didn’t want or need to watch a second time.

Coraline

I was so incredibly creeped out by this movie that I’ve been reluctant to watch it ever since. For some reason, this is a movie that just awakens all the feels. Coraline’s exasperation with her negligent parents, and her reticence around her weird neighbors, I didn’t even like the little cat…there’s just something about the animation style that just ups the creep factor for me, probably because I’ve always associated stop-motion with those Ray Harryhausen Horror movies.

Yes, I know it’s a children’s film. Yes, I know it’s an animated movie, but for me, Coraline is still one of the most hardcore scariest animated films I’ve ever watched. There’s the dread factor for one thing. Just like Coraline, you know the Other World is just a little too good to be true, and you’re waiting for the other shoe to drop, so the idea that the Other Mother is a brutal predator that lures young kids into her world by offering them the thing they most want: loving parents who dote on them, is not actually surprising. You were kind of expecting things to go horribly wrong and it’s the anticipation of that wrongness that makes the movie scary.

When Coraline first meets The Other Mother, she essentially gets love-bombed by a giant spider-adjacent creature that is only pretending to care about her so she can use her for food, which all sounds pretty terrifying to me. I do like that Coraline manages to keep her head to a certain degree. She never completely succumbs to the allure of the Other World, continues to question what’s going on around her, and like me, she is firmly committed to the idea that buttons for eyes are a very nasty bit of body Horror.

The H-Man (1958)

I think I talked about this movie before and how I tried to watch this movie late one night a few years ago and spent the next several days having paranoid jitters and being unwilling to turn off the lights in my bedroom. Decades later and I still think this movie is simply pants-shittingly frightening! On the surface, it doesn’t seem all that scary, but I also mentioned I’ve got issues with the idea of sentient slime that actively hunts its prey and this is what The H-Man is all about.

The H stands for Hydrogen, as in the Hydrogen bomb which is what the Atomic bomb was first called when it was invented. The H-Man is the result of nuclear energy mutating human beings into sentient runny snot creatures, that are vaguely humanoid in shape, which is even more frightening. What’s even worse is that I read a theory a few years ago that suggested that the creatures might not even be malevolent or hungry, that in approaching people they are trying to get help for their condition. I’m not sure I believe that theory but it is still a very nasty idea.

The creatures definitely look like they’re hunting people on purpose though, and they rely on a certain amount of confusion and deception to do it. Worst than the victims who don’t know the creatures are there at all, are those poor victims who don’t see them and just walk right into them! Or the ones that do see them, have no f*cking idea what they’re looking at, and don’t run away (which isn’t going to save them anyway because the creatures are silent and sneaky).

Hereditary

I only needed to watch this movie one time. This movie is a hellish f*cking nightmare. It’s not because the movie is so incredibly frightening, although that is a small part of it, it’s just once you know where the story has gone, and what it meant, there’s no point in ever subjecting yourself to it again. The entire story is so dark and depressing that I just didn’t have the heart to watch it again.

It is an interesting demonic possession film, which is something I haven’t seen since The Exorcist. I avoid most such films because they’re usually just thinly veiled retreads of The Exorcist anyway, but this movie avoids all the common tropes of bodily contortions and women screaming at crosses, for something a lot more subtle, that the viewer has to slowly piece together from the clues given to them, and once they reach that conclusion they realize this movie was NEVER going to have a happy ending for any of the characters. Also, there are people on fire and I don’t like that!

Lights Out

The first time I heard of this was as a short film on Youtube which definitely creeped me out. It’s about a creature that can only be seen and felt in darkness. She (her name is Diana) only appears when you turn off the lights. I feel like the movie was less effective than the short film, but hey! it was still pretty effective. It’s the idea that darkness hides evil things, and the movie preys on your childhood fears of trying to hop into (or out of) the bed without letting the thing under it grab your ankle after you’ve turned off the light, or reaching around the edge of a door to flip a light switch and being terrified that something might touch your hand.

I had no intention of watching the movie after seeing the short film, but I thought I would be clever by watching it on one sunny Saturday afternoon thinking to myself, how scared could I get in the daytime? Well, I got plenty scared to the point where I didn’t want to sleep with the lights off that night.

The Sadness

It’s not so much that this was scary, although it was, but it was definitely too much for me and I didn’t even get halfway through it before I just quit. It’s a bit of a cross between a zombie movie and a demonic possession film. People who contract an airborne disease become unrelentingly sadistic, willing to torture and kill their neighbors in a sudden fit of violence.

This movie is so incredibly, over-the-top violent that I just couldn’t sit through it and, I really thought I was up to the task when I sat down. It is a hot mess of torture and gore and I’m not into gore simply for its own sake which is what parts of this movie turned out to be. But part of the problem was also that the two leads were very sympathetic characters that I genuinely liked, and it was really hard to watch the two of them try to survive the events of this movie, and I simply couldn’t bear to watch them go through so much pf the pain and trauma I was witnessing in this film, so I quit.

Honorable Mention:

Ju-On

Ju-On was not my first brush with J-Horror but it was the first Japanese Horror movie that I took seriously. Most Japanese Horror movies that I saw before this were just funny or simply uninteresting but this was genuinely frightening for me. Because it’s Japanese I didn’t have any of the usual Western tropes to fall back on in interpreting what any of the images meant. As a result, I had no f*cking clue what was happening, and in some cases didn’t even know what to think about what I was seeing other than “Well shit!!!”

I have watched this movie exactly twice though and could make no more sense of it than the first time I saw it. Don’t get me wrong. I can discern the plot and I get what was happening from it, but most of the time it’s just a succession of terribly frightening images, and the characters can’t seem to do anything to help their situation, so the movie is pretty bleak. I have an aversion to movies like The Ring and Cujo where the characters have so little recourse to correct their situation. There’s little to nothing they can do to fix the situation they’re in and just have to suffer through it, and the idea that they are trapped by their circumstances or the villain is something that really bothers me.

(This particular list of Japanese Horror movies also contains the movie Ringu, another movie I will probably not watch again. Once was more than enough.)

Halloween Ends (Halloween Trilogy Review)

(Spoilers Spoilers Spoilers Spoilers Spoilers)

Halloween Ends is the last movie in the David Gordon Green trilogy. It streamed on Peacock this past weekend and I have some thoughts.

From the beginning, I’ve always thought of the Halloween franchise (at least the first two films, and a couple of the sequels) as not just an analysis of the continuing (and now, generational) trauma of its Final Girl, Laurie Strode, but as a statement on suburban America itself. I wrote about how and why the suburbs were created in Starring the Landscape: The Suburbs, and how I saw the Halloween films as an indictment of a lifestyle that was formed out of fear of the other (the Blackness/multiculturalism of the cities). White people in the suburbs spent their lives in fear that the evil of the cities would invade their communities, and we can see this in the endless number of “bucolic community” invasion films of the 80s, the rampant rumors that sprang up during the BLM protests of crowds of angry Black people burning and looting suburban neighborhoods, and in the proliferation of guns in those communities because of an unfounded terror of (Black) home invasions.

I think what Halloween and other Slasher films, like Scream and Nightmare on Elm Street, were saying is that evil is created within these communities, that it is not something that can be run from because it is part of the human condition, people carry those seeds with them no matter where they flee, and that sometimes evil isn’t just born in such environments, but will keep returning to haunt them until it is properly dealt with. Such is the case in these films, where every few years, as if in some vicious cycle, Michael Myers, an evil created and nurtured in the suburban community of Haddonfield, arrives to terrorize and destroy the lives of its inhabitants.

Forty years ago Laurie Strode suffered tremendous loss and trauma as all her friends were hunted and killed by Michael Myers and she was terrorized for hours while trying to safeguard the children she was babysitting that night.

In the first movie of this trilogy, the 2018 Halloween, Myers returns to Haddonfield to begin that night’s killing spree and Laurie, suffering from PTSD and paranoia for four decades has been getting ready for him. She knows that he will inevitably come hunting her. She raised her daughter, Karen to be just as paranoid in defending her life, and outfitted her home with traps to capture and kill Michael. The first movie, ignoring all the sequels and remakes in the last forty years, is about Laurie and her family dealing with that long ago trauma, and how the only thing that can help her get past her pain is the cathartic destruction of Michael Myers. This movie and its follower, Halloween Kills, are about survivors and grief.

The second film, Halloween Kills, is a continuation of the first film on that same night, only here it’s about the cyclical trauma Haddonfield itself, the nature of evil, and how that evil is born in communities like it and features many of the characters who survived the 1978 film. This time they decide to fight back too, in support of Laurie, and they hunt Michael through the streets of Haddonfield, which gets most of them killed, and results in the death of an innocent man accused of being him. One sign of the evil within the community is their willingness (out of fear and hatred) to engage in the same behavior that they condemn Michael for, and an innocent man pays the price. Although their fear and hatred of Michael are justified, it is still the resident’s willingness to kill that’s a symptom of the dark underbelly within such communities. This is a plot that also has parallels in The Nightmare on Elm Street series, where the child killer, Freddie Krueger, is the end result of the decision made by their parents to kill the predator who was preying on the children in their community. It’s not the residents of Haddonfield’s motivation that is at issue but their willingness to engage in mob justice that is a sign of the community’s inner darkness.

Halloween Ends is a continuation of the idea that small towns and suburbs harbor and produce evil. I know other people were watching this movie with the idea of clocking the body count, or how long and hard the fight would be between Laurie and Michael, and who would win, but that’s not the focus of this movie, and if that’s what you’re looking for then you may be disappointed. This movie is a bit more philosophical and quieter than some people might like it to be.

The story picks up four years later, and we have come full circle as Laurie while writing her memoir, is still recovering emotionally from the events of Halloween Kills, when Michael returned to Haddonfield and killed nearly three dozen people, along with her daughter Karen. She has decided not to live in the prison of paranoia and anger that ruled her life for so many decades while raising her granddaughter Allyson and mending their relationship.

But, because evil never dies, we find out that Michael has not left Haddonfield at all, and has been living in the sewers while recovering from the damage that was inflicted on him four years ago. His presence is discovered by a bullied young man named Corey whom the townsfolk accused of killing a young boy under his charge on the night of Michael’s rampage. Corey is a volatile and angry young man who isn’t killed by Michael but adopts Michael’s mask and goes on a killing spree of his own in Michael’s stead, such is how evil is passed on to the next generation. He and Allyson develop a relationship that threatens to destroy her and Laurie’s emotional recovery and while trying to protect Allyson from herself and Corey, Laurie eventually interacts with Michael again by the end of the movie.

There’s plenty of killing in the film, just not done by Michael, and the confrontation between Laurie and Michael is relegated to the end of the movie almost as an afterthought since it’s almost a given who will win the fight. Just as in Halloween Kills, where Laurie mostly sat out the plot so the writers could make their point, Michael mostly sits this one out. The theme here isn’t just that evil is born from the town’s secrets, but is actively created by the town’s treatment of people whom they believe have trespassed against conformity, like Corey, or the mentally unstable man the residents hounded to his suicide in the last film after he was wrongly accused of being Myers.

Corey is the much-put-upon town scapegoat. He is bullied by the students at his school because of his reputation as a monster, also by his angry and overbearing mother, and he is responsible for most of the deaths in the movie as he decides, after meeting Michael, (who unexpectedly lets him live), that he is tired of the town’s judgment of him and is going to live down to his reputation. Accompanied by Allyson (who is unaware of what he’s been doing) he goes on a killing spree that includes the town bullies, his parents, and several bystanders before he confronts Laurie, who shoots him. In a last-ditch attempt to sabotage Laurie’s relationship with Allyson, (which has been heavily frayed throughout the movie), he makes it look like Laurie stabbed him when Allyson comes home.

Allyson and Corey form a bond because she finds him attractive and he is able to prey on her fears and disappointments about living in Haddonfield. Something in his darkness speaks to the secrets that she has been withholding from her grandmother, and her reaction to Laurie’s distrust of Corey tells us that she isn’t as healed from the trauma of losing her mother as she seemed. Like Laurie did at the same age, she lost her boyfriend, most of her friends, and most of her family, and she has not dealt with the fallout of so much loss, while Laurie still healing from her own pain, has somewhat neglected Allyson’s, which allowed Corey to twist that trauma into anger at her grandmother.

In the end, it is Laurie who survives their last fight, but Michael’s death (for real this time and from which there is absolutely no coming back) is a cathartic affair for the entire town, who join her in the final destruction of his body. Allyson realizes that part of her healing means leaving Haddonfield, but she is not fleeing from her trauma, as she would have if she had eloped with Corey, but moving towards a possible future where she is not shackled to the town’s secrets, and Laurie expresses her healing by finally opening herself up to having new friends (and a possible relationship with the town sheriff).

Although I didn’t like the direction of this film at first, I am satisfied with this ending, which was a lot more contemplative than I thought it would be, and shows that David Gordon Green had a clear agenda in telling the story in the manner in which he did. It really felt like an end, like Laurie’s nightmare (and that of Haddonfield’s) is finally over, and it puts Halloween Kills, a film I was somewhat disappointed by, in a new light. When watched individually the films do leave something to be desired, but taken as a whole I feel the trilogy was successful in keeping the point of its themes, in ending Haddonfield and Laurie’s story on a positive note, with more than enough gore and killing to satisfy most Slasher film fans.

***Once again, I appear to be in the minority in liking this film. I didn’t love it, but it is a decent conclusion, and taken as a whole, I feel it’s a good trilogy. I’ve also observed that most people (the vast majority of the ones talking about it are white men who only want to see people dying horribly) are not looking at it as one part of a whole and that many of them have completely missed the point of the trilogy entirely. Nobody seems to see this movie the way I did. I feel that it’s a decent standalone movie but it must be taken into account as part of a trilogy and understood in that light since that was how it was filmed. Perhaps when more people go back and watch all three movies in succession they will see what David Gordon Green was trying to do, and be willing to defend his vision.

Scary (Or Not) Short Films for Halloween

I stumbled across an entire series of these terrifying TikTok videos recently ,and by terrifying I mean it’s probably not a good idea to watch these late at night. But…during the day they might seem pretty funny, and are a great illustration of how comedy and horror are two sides of the same coin.

One of the reasons I love horror comedies so much is, as has been said before, horror is comedy without the punchline. It’s also been said that what horror and comedy have in common is the overturning of an expectation. You either laugh or jump based on what you expect to happen, so I hope you enjoy these videos (if that’s a word that can be used here), as much as I did.

TikTok Nightmare Creatures Compilation

Sometimes expectations are overturned in some very surprising ways. I really enjoyed this video. In fact, I loved it and would enjoy seeing a movie made from it.

I Live Here Too

Some videos aren’t exactly horror but they are mysterious and disturbing like this early one from Denis Villenueve, the director of Dune and Bladerunner 2049. What exactly is going on here? What is the point of it?

Next Floor

I kept stumbling across horror animations by the grickle and thought I’d choose one of my favorites for this post. For the record, I have never liked nor understood the purpose of lawn gnomes.

The Hidden People

Sometimes something is much more comedy than horror. This is from the same group that brought you the slasher boy band, The Merkins. I could not stop laughing at this because I love the first two Predator movies and I used to watch this other show late in the evening, about a journalist who would trick child predators into being interviewed (and sometimes arrested) on live television.

To Catch A Predator

As funny as the previous video is, this one is my personal favorite for this Halloween combining two of my favorite things, The Exorcist movie, and candy.

The Exortwist

Streaming in October: Mini – Reviews

I started off the month of October by easing into the Horror movie genre with some classic favorites like Alien and The Thing, but at a certain point it was time for me to move on and try new movies and shows (see my review of Interview with the Vampire on AMC) and these are some of the new shows I watched just this weekend. I enjoyed all of these and want to give a quick rundown on what to expect if you come across them.

Let The Right One In – Epis. 1 (Showtime)

This is a new series on Showtime that’s based on the Swedish vampire movie Let The Right One In, about a child vampire that befriends a lonely bullied little boy who lives in her new apartment building.

This version is set in the US, so it’s a little more like the American version of the above film, titled Let Me In (which I also enjoyed for different reasons). The story has been modernized from the book version as well. In the book Ellie is a vampire that’s very, very old, she doesn’t know how old she is because her brain has not developed beyond twelve years old.

In this series, she has only just been turned into a vampire and she is traveling to different cities with her father, who is trying to find the vampire that attacked her based on if there are any serial killings going on in that city. At the same time, he’s trying to deal with her insatiable need for blood because he doesn’t want her attacking (and possibly creating) new vampires, which is what happens when a person gets bitten, but not killed, in this series version of vampirism.

Ellie meets a little black kid at her new apartment building, who is being ostracized and bullied in school (because I suspect he’s on the spectrum). I liked the boy whose name I cannot remember just now, but he loves magic tricks and loves to show them to people. Ellie is all set to eat him until he shows her a magic trick. She has eyes that glow in the dark, which fascinate him, and she tells him it’s magic, and that’s how the two bond. In the meantime, her father is responsible for a tragic event that is going to upheave her new friend’s life, and the cops are investigating the murders that her father is committing on Ellie’s behalf to get blood for her. You realize that her father is using the other murders as a cover for committing his own.

Ellie is very likable and the relationship with her actual father is the focus of the series, unlike in the movies where the focus is on the relationship with her new friend. In the movies, the man taking care of her isn’t her father, but some other little boy she met many decades ago who grew to adulthood as her human servant. Ellie and her dad are Latine, so I can’t help but think there’s some dialogue occurring here about immigrants and new situations, and people, but I’m not an immigrant or Latine so I can’t definitely say. Just like in the movies though, there’s a focus on the logistics of keeping Ellie fed because if he doesn’t, as a predator, she is perfectly capable of going out and procuring her own blood.

The first episode is free on Prime, but I’m not going to sign up for Showtime to watch the rest of this. It’s not a bad episode but there are a few too many coincidences that might not sit well with others. I can’t say it’s enjoyable, because it actually is too tense and suspenseful to be fun, but it makes a good effort to reproduce the feelings of melancholy and dread from both movies. It’s too convoluted to be truly scary. Scary needs to have a bit more mystery, and there are too many things that are explained in this episode, but the tension and dread are there though.

Werewolf by Night (Disney+)

I didn’t think I was going to be too heavily into this show, which is not a series as far as I can tell but just an hour-long Halloween special of some kind, based on the comic book of the same name, but it turned out to be a lot more fun than I thought. I thought I wouldn’t Ike it because it’s shot in black and white and some of the acting is in the old classic 30s style of filmmaking, but I slipped right into the story and had no trouble following what was going on. It was all good fun, and the fight scenes were excellent!

In this story, a group of monster hunters congregate to compete for a McGuffin called the Bloodstone, the only object in the show that’s shown in color. That’s it, really. The guy who owns the Bloodstone dies and holds a contest where the hunters are encouraged to take each other out (thereby eliminating their competition), while they’re also hunting a monster (a werewolf) who has been planted within the group.

You’re definitely going to feel some type of way about the participants because some of them look pretty cool, but you do become aware that these are probably not good people, and that there are certain characters you’re meant to root for. One of the biggest things that threw me off my game was seeing one Marvel character show up at the end of the show! If you’re aware of the history of Swamp Thing (who is a DC character) then you might also be aware that he was preceded by a Marvel character called The Man-Thing whose catchline in the comic books was: Whatever knows fear burns at the Man-Thing’s touch!

But that’s not the only easter egg for fans of Marvel comics, and series. I missed most of them because there was a lot of stuff I haven’t read, and a few series I skipped, but it was still fun even if you know nothing about the comic books or other shows. The plot and characters aren’t dependent on any of that stuff.

I’m not going to say what happens at the end, but it’s interesting because while some of the show is pretty predictable that part was not, and now I’m interested in seeing a lot more of this part of the Marvel universe which is basically a set up for adding demons, vampires, werewolves, and other supernatural creatures into the MCU, like Blade! I mostly ignored the monster parts of the Marvel comic books. I did read some of the Werewolf by Night comic books, and I’m familiar with a couple of demonic superheroes, but mostly I ignored all the vampires and demons and stuff. So this part of the MCU will kind of be new to me too.

This show isn’t especially scary but the fight scenes are pretty gory and brutal, alleviated by the aspect of a lack of color. I wouldn’t let little kids watch it but it’s okay for kids above twelve maybe, who are used to watching horror/action movies.

Hellraiser (Hulu)

I was having some feelings about watching this one. In one aspect, I was eagerly looking forward to watching it, because I liked the first film in the franchise, have never watched a single one of the various sequels, and I was curious about the new Hell Priest being played by a woman. I’ve read all of the books about Pinhead and the Cenobites, including the comic books, and the last two Hellraiser books called The Scarlet Gospels, and The Toll and I enjoyed those.

The movie isn’t great, but it is very compelling and worth watching. If you’ve seen all the other movies in the franchise your mileage may vary, but I generally liked it and will watch it again when I’m in a mood.

The lead character is a flawed woman named Riley, a former drug addict/alcoholic living with her brother, his boyfriend, and another woman friend of theirs. She is the kind of woman who has a habit of making bad choices (probably as a way to run away from a tragic past which we don’t get details about) and one of those mistakes is having regular sex with a guy she just met. Through him, she gets mixed up in the machinations of the villain, a wealthy man who owned the Hellraiser box, got what he wished for, and now horribly regrets being given what he requested.

One of the primary themes of the Hellraiser franchise is people calling up the Cenobites, either through ignorance, or greed, and fucking around and finding out that the demons have nothing to give you that you would actually want to have and that anything they give you will only involve you suffering horribly. The only thing the Cenobites have to offer is one form of suffering or another, and it’s interesting to me that so many of the people who call on them think otherwise.

Through a combination of ignorance and reckless behavior the Cenobites take Riley’s brother, and she spends the rest of the movie trying to solve the puzzle in an effort to save him while sacrificing the people she knows along the way. The rules are that when she solves the final puzzle she will be given five or six themes from which to choose, and one of those is the resurrection of her brother. Riley makes a more interesting choice that shows her growth as a person, especially after all the death she has caused.

I genuinely liked this and feel it lived up to the standards of the original film, but then I can say that having watched not a single one of the movies beyond the second one. The new Hell Priest, Jamie Clayton, has a difficult job to do because, no matter what, she’s going to be compared to Doug Bradley, the original Pinhead, but I think she holds her own. She doesn’t possess his sheer gravity or his voice, but she is quietly, and frighteningly compelling in her own way (and oddly beautiful) and she does get to recite some favorite lines from the original film, making them her own.

The overriding theme is addiction and how far people are willing to go to feed one. Riley has been using addiction to run away from a painful past, and one of the primary reasons people call on the Cenobites in the first place is because many of them are suffering from various addictions and are greedy for more sensations, or are trying to escape from pain, which is ironic, but also makes Riley’s choice at the end even more interesting.

**If you are not into the Hellraiser movies this is not the place to start. We are talking extreme body horror, so if you have a problem with gore, this is not for you. I have friends who do not like Horror movies and I would never recommend something like this to them, not even jokingly. This movie is for hardcore Horror fans only.

White Backlash Against Inclusive Fiction

In 1998, Samuel R. Delaney, acclaimed Black Science Fiction writer, was asked at an awards convention about racism within the genre. Here he is referring to the writing community but I’ve observed that this can be equally applied to every industry, including movies and television:

 As long as there are only one, two, or a handful of us, however, I presume in a field such as science fiction, where many of its writers come out of the liberal-Jewish tradition, prejudice will most likely remain a slight force—until, say, black writers start to number thirteen, fifteen, twenty percent of the total. At that point, where the competition might be perceived as having some economic heft, chances are we will have as much racism and prejudice here as in any other field.

We are still a long way away from such statistics.

But we are certainly moving closer.

We need to be clear that what we’ve been experiencing very strongly for the last six or seven years is a white social media backlash against women and PoC representation in popular media. As marginalized people are seen more often in media projects what we’ve also been seeing is a white, straight, backlash against their slightly more positive/nuanced depictions.

What Delaney means is that more racism will be expressed by those white people who feel most threatened by Black progress in that industry, and I can say this because this has been noted in every industry in which it has occurred.

This is not new! It hasn’t been new in over a hundred years.

What we’re seeing today in the pushback against Black actors in visual media has happened multiple times and in every industry, from music, to literature, to politics, to movies, and television. Every time PoC have made inroads into any field of endeavor there has been a white backlash against it. The only thing that changes are the industries in question, and their arguments against that progress. Now we see it happening in visual entertainment.

In the 1920s, Jazz was seen as barbaric and immoral. It was considered the kind of music that lead white women astray and put them in environments where Black musicians had access to them. All manner of immorality was attributed to Jazz including drug use, violence, and hypersexuality. The exact same criticisms were made against Rock in the 50s, Disco in the 70s, and Rap music in the 90s, when those gained ascendances in popular culture. Rock music was a genre that championed drugs and sex, Disco encouraged homosexuality, and Rap music was considered too violent for white sensibilities.

https://ew.com/tv/candice-patton-wanted-to-leave-the-flash-racist-misogynistic-fans/

The same backlash that we’ve been seeing for the last six or seven years against Black actors in the Fantasy genre is the same backlash we experienced when N. K. Jemison won back-to-back Hugo awards in 2016, 2017, and 2018 for her Fantasy trilogy The Obsidian Gate. As Delaney predicted, a select group of white male critics complained that women and PoC were getting too many awards, and so formed a contingent of fans and authors called “The Rabid Puppies” in an attempt to game the Hugo awards rules to win awards for themselves. In other words, they preferred to cheat, rather than accept that Science Fiction fans were a diverse group of men and women who had moved on from the type of Science Fiction they wrote, which centered on white European men as the heroes. Much of the hoopla in the industry has since calmed down, but that does not mean that parity has been reached for authors of color, and we have seen the exact same dynamic play out in other arenas where women and PoC have made any kind of inroads, including politics, where white men have decided that rather than share political power, they would prefer to game the system to keep it all of it for themselves.

In 2014, Candace Patton was cast as the Black love interest of Barry Allen in The Flash television series on the CW network. That same year, Disney released The Force Awakens, the first film in its latest Star Wars trilogy, and the lead character was a Black actor named John Boyega. They both experienced immediate backlash for daring to perform the fictional roles that they had been hired for. Candace Patton has received unending racist vitriol on social media for the last 10 years for playing the Black love interest of the lead white character solely because her character was a white woman in the comic books. And don’t make the mistake of thinking the only toxic fans are white men. White women established themselves firmly in the contingent for bigotry by weaponizing fandom against Candace and harassing and bullying John Boyega on social media.

https://www.thecut.com/2016/08/a-timeline-of-leslie-joness-horrific-online-abuse.html

In 2016, a new version of The Ghostbusters was released with an all-female cast and received immediate pushback from gatekeeping white male fans who believed they owned that franchise and argued that women couldn’t be fictional Ghostbusters. The movie starred three white actresses, but it is very telling that the onus of their hatred landed squarely on the only Black cast member in the group, Leslie Jones, who was driven from social media by the racist backlash against her original characters’ very existence. So we can see that even arguments that PoC and women make their own original characters rather than supplant characters who used to be white are simply a smokescreen for racist abuse. Original characters do exist and receive the same level of acting out and foolery that race and gender-swapped characters do, as we saw with the release of Black Panther.

In 2018, there was a massive backlash against the release of Disney’s tentpole superhero movie, The Black Panther, in which the same gatekeeping white male fans attempted to downvote the movie’s ratings on Rotten Tomatoes, causing Disney and RT to temporarily shut down the audience portion of the site to prevent the abuse. Thinkpieces were written denigrating the making of the film, and some fans engaged in violence callouts, falsely reporting that they had been harassed and/or beaten by racist Black Panther fans in order to sully the reputation of the film. Black fans had to be vigilant in protecting the actors from harassment on social media and debunking the claims of violence.

Every time Disney releases a film that isn’t centered on the heroic activities of straight white men there is a backlash from white men against those films, against the actors, and even against the fans who talk about them. Women and fans of color aren’t even safe in their own fan spaces as those will, at some point, be invaded by trolls and bigots spewing racist vitriol at them for daring to like a movie they were the audience for. We saw this with Captain Marvel in 2019, and Shang Chi and The Eternals in 2021, with each successive film being criticized as the worst film ever made in a franchise, how the MCU is failing, and the blogs, videos, and websites of fans of color being reported as abuse, and blocked on TikTok and Youtube for daring to discuss entertainment that is aimed at them as the audience.

This also happens with television shows. Since it is Disney that is leading the charge of diversity and inclusion in its many franchises, it is Disney’s fans and employees (the actors) who have borne the brunt of the backlash, during and after series like Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Ms. Marvel, and the newest series, She-Hulk. Why? Because the stars of these series are women and PoC. It is notable that there was no backlash against series with white male leads like Loki, Hawkeye, and Moon Knight which were also released in the last year.

These shows are not alone in having a racist fan problem. Since John Boyega’s debut as one of the first Black Stormtroopers in Star Wars, there has been a racist and misogynist backlash against every single advance of a PoC, or woman, in that franchise, especially in any film in which a white male wasn’t the star, but even a few that were, as with the last TV release, Obi Wan Kenobi, which prominently starred a woman of color. The lead villain of the series, Reva Sevander, is played by Yale graduate Moses Ingram. She had to endure toxic fans who called her everything but a child of god, questioned her undeniable qualifications for playing her role, and was flatly told by some of them that she could not be a part of Star Wars.

https://www.npr.org/2022/06/02/1102509719/star-wars-obi-wan-kenobi-moses-ingram-racist-messages-disney

In the past year, we have seen a racist backlash against casting PoC in any SciFi and Fantasy film or television series. The casting of Leah Jeffries as Annabeth Chase in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians TV series, the casting of Black Hobbits, Dwarves, and Elves in Amazon’s Rings of Power series, the casting of Halle Bailey in Disney’s live-action version of The Little Mermaid, and the casting of Black legacy characters in the Game of Thrones spinoff series, House of the Dragon, has racist/toxic fans pulling out all the stops to troll, harass, and make sure that Black fans, actors, and creators are aware that they don’t belong in genre films and series.

You also have those bad faith actors who try to hide their bigotries behind legitimate concerns, like questioning the credentials of the actors who were chosen, not understanding that when the only time you care about whether or not a character is qualified to perform the role they’ve been hired for is when they are a woman, or gay, or a person of color, that that too is performing a racism.

The Whiteness of the Past, the Present, and the Future

White people for the last hundred years of film and TV have crafted entire fictional universes with pasts, presents, and futures that were entirely centered around themselves, with not a single face of color to be seen. When I was a little girl, I was sitting in our kitchen watching some futuristic movie and turned to ask my mother why there were no Black people in the future. Really quick she said, “Maybe we left.” She’d noticed it too and seemed to have that answer ready for me, just in case.

White people who are making the arguments that we don’t belong are speaking from a long history of whitewashing, of never having seen Black and Brown faces in historical epics, present-day dramas, or futuristic landscapes unless we were playing happy slaves, silent victims, or menacing drug dealers. The industry was so whitewashed that when it eventually developed the use of color, Black and Brown people weren’t even a consideration, and color was only attuned to white skin tones. Movies and TV were so white that Black women didn’t have hair and makeup people of their own until a scant few years ago.

According to white people making the loudest noise, we don’t belong anywhere in their all-white fantasylands of the past or the future. Their entire understanding of historical events comes not from study, or reading, or actual knowledge, but from Hollywood movies in which our presence had been, downplayed, erased, or ignored, even in our own stories. Based on these deeply ignorant people’s understanding of history, the only stories in which Black people should be allowed to appear are the ones based on slavery, as if enslavement was our only contribution to the world. We’re not allowed to appear in movies set in the present unless we’re being killed or killing, and apparently, we don’t exist at all in the future, not just physically, but in any cultural or social contributions we made to the making of this country thast sre simply never referenced.

Candace Patton talked about how she didn’t have anyone to do her hair, and Black actresses called out Hollywood in 2020, for its lack of hairstylers for them. Many of them confessed to having to do their own makeup because white makeup professionals never bothered to learn how to do Black skin or hair. White hairstylists didn’t need to know that to have successful careers! There was such a complete lack of Black female stuntwomen that white stuntwomen wore blackface on the rare occasions that Black actresses needed stuntwork done! This was pretty rare indeed because up until about ten years ago we never got to be in Action movies often enough to need stunt doubles!

https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/2019/07/238957/black-hairstylist-diversity-issue-hollywood-2019

https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/black-stuntwomen-ready-fight-hollywood-130058128.html

All of the white backlash against Black women (in particular) participation in genre media we are seeing today is just one part of the side effects of Hollywood’s insistence that there is only one demographic that needs to be pandered to, (therefore all the other demographics can be ignored), and the idea that movies with diverse and inclusive casts don’t make any money, (which results in the erasure of PoC in order for anything to be greenlit). Many films cannot receive funding to get made without a big enough named actor in the cast. Unfortunately, Hollywood not casting PoC in certain films and for certain roles results in actors of color (in particular Asian American actors) finding it nearly impossible to become big enough named actors to ever get projects funded. They can’t get to A-list status if they are never given the opportunity to do so.

Not being considered for roles in certain genres of film limits an actor’s career prospects, and when those roles are obtained (as with Candace Patton’s casting as Iris West in The Flash, Moses Ingram’s casting in the Obi-Wan Kenobi series, and Leslie Jones casting in Ghostbusters) they receive no protection from their employers from the harassment and pervasive racist vitriol on social media, which is one of the nastier side effects of Hollywood never having hired actors who look like them for these roles in the past. Part of their employment means they are subject to public emotional abuse while working in a role they were paid money to perform. These actors often receive little to no support from their white industry colleagues or white female fans either (something which has only begun to change just this year!) It has continually fallen on the fans, especially Black women, to be their support systems under trying and stressful circumstances.

Until this moment passes, and seeing PoC in these types of roles becomes normalized, and white fans fully begin to understand that this is not a situation that is going to change (because diversity and inclusion is proving to be a very lucrative deal for the corporations engaging in it), we will continue to see this kind of toxic behavior, and we all need to be ready for that. Much of this behavior can be laid at the feet, not just of the kinds of fans who are used to being the only demographic that was pandered to for over a hundred years, but Hollywood’s idea that PoC, neither the actors nor the audiences, were worthy of consideration.

It is long past time Hollywood realized we too are worthy of being pandered to and that representation always mattered, not just to us but to white people who are unused to seeing PoC as anything other than the stereotypes which Hollywood has always given them.

As I stated when I first started this blog:

Black women like to have adventures too.

It is a shame I’ve had to wait nearly my entire life for Hollywood to realize women like me exist.

Interview With The Vampire (TV Series) – Epis. 1

It’s time for me to talk about the new AMC series Interview with the Vampire, which is not exactly based on the movie from 1994 which starred Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt, but kind of sort of is a little bit. This series is a continuation of that movie and takes place some thirty or forty years after the first interview between a mortal named Daniel Malloy (Eric Bogosian) and the vampire Louis du Ponte Du Lac. Daniel is much older (something which initially threw me off a bit before I understood what the show was doing) and has Parkinson’s, and he agrees to do another interview with Louis to set the record straight, wrap things up, or because Daniel never got the chance to publish the first interview because Louis bit him and kept the cassettes. Louis now lives in a uv-fortified apartment in Dubai, with a coterie of human servants, and invites Daniel back for another interview. Daniel is understandably reluctant after what happened the last time.

I, like everyone else, had some misgivings about the series, especially after I heard about the changes that were being made to it, but not for the reasons that most people did. There are three major changes from the book version that people expressed some anxiety about. Louis is now a Black man (and not bi-racial as I first thought), Claudia is biracial and has been aged up to fourteen (in the novel she is about five or six), and the setting is now pre-war New Orleans around 1910. The reason I felt some type of way about these changes is because the showrunner is a white guy, and white men have shown me multiple times that they are incapable of writing sensitively about Black characters (ala. American Gods), but the showrunner here did what at least a few of them have learned how to do in the past several years, (see Star Trek Discovery and The Watchmen), and that is hiring writers from marginalized groups and actually listening to them, instead of acting like they know better than the people who are part of the communities being written about. It’s not a perfect solution. Ideally, I want the writers and showrunners to be members of the groups in question, but I’ll settle for this arrangement, if it means better representation because it’s not enough that marginalized people be present onscreen, they have to be represented in a sensitive manner.

After watching the first two episodes, I’m on board with these changes because the story really hasn’t been greatly upheaved, (although we have yet to see Claudia so I don’t know how that’s going to be handled), and the topic of race has been handled in a sensitive enough manner that most Black people won’t be triggered by the content. Because Louis is Black the creators did not want to have him as the owner of a plantation in the 1800s, although as part of the community of free people of New Orleans, his father did, at some point, enslave Black people. But I can understand why that was changed because that would have been even more objectionable than his current profession as part owner of a string of brothels. The time period was also updated and Louis is in one of the few professions that would have allowed his family to hold onto the wealth that Louis’ father squandered, and a brothel owner still involves the exploitation of Black bodies, so it’s not entirely unrelated. Some people objected to him being portrayed as a pimp, but I feel no particular way about that, and it’s a convenient excuse for him to come into contact with Lestat while keeping their basic relationship and the story structure intact. I have yet to see any Black misery porn in the series just for the sake of it being there, and only heard the N* word thrown out once (by a character that is subsequently brutally killed).

The chemistry between the two leads played by Jacob Anderson and Sam Reid is absolutely electric, and the series stays focused on them and their relationship, rather than side plots, since it’s being told from Louis’ point of view from the future (along with knowledge he didn’t possess in that first interview), and I deeply appreciate that. The episodes begin and end with Daniel and Louis but those are kept to a minimum, are entertaining, and are also funny. The show also doesn’t waste a lot of time. Louis becomes a vampire by the end of the first episode, and most of the second episode is about him adjusting to his new condition.

Their relationship heavily reminds me of the messy relationship between Will Graham and Hannibal Lecter in the Hannibal series, and I’m here for messy gay relationships. Louis recognizes that he is gay but is deeply closeted until he meets Lestat. His family suspects and disapproves, but since he is the one who holds the family purse strings, they don’t object too loudly, although Rae Dawn Chong as his mother is a master of The Dismissal. Louis’ brother is also featured in the first episode. Unlike the novel, the two don’t fight and there is real friendship and love between them, but events occur as they do in the book, and it’s the reason Louis ends up in Lestat’s arms.

The dialogue and conversations between Louis and Lestat hew as closely to the novel as possible, but where the book was kind of hedgy about their relationship status, the show is explicit. Louis and Lestat live together, flirt, have sex, fight, kiss, make up, have a child, and engage in all the same operatic infighting that young lovers get up to when they have far too much energy. The writers tried to remain as true to the book as possible with lots of nice little easter eggs for those of us who have read The Vampire Lestat. Lestat’s childhood dream of becoming a priest gets a mention, Marius and Lestat’s first lover, Nicky, also get a shoutout, and I believe Lestat has a painting of his vampire mother, Gabrielle, on the wall of his home. Sam Reid is every bit as engaging a character as Lestat is supposed to be, and Jacob Anderson holds his own with him.

There is one major sex scene in the first episode, but most of the sex scenes involve threesomes as the two vampires feeding on someone is often a euphemism for it. The show is also not without some humor. It doesn’t take itself very seriously but isn’t exactly camp either. I thought from the trailers that it was going to be one of those highly operatic, over-the-top, overcooked hot messes, but the show is rather sedate and what you see in the trailer are the highest points of emotion in that episode, not the quiet moments that led up to that point, or an indication of the mood of the rest of the show. The humor is very sly, with blink-and-you-‘ll-miss-it one-liners, Lestat’s general bitchiness, something featured heavily in the second novel, or actions and conversations between the characters are just funny. I thought the episodes were funny but it’s not a comedy.

The show touches on Louis being a Black man in the South with a certain amount of sensitivity and addresses his lack of equality with the white men around him (including Lestat) even though he is wealthy, and for all intents and purposes, a superior predator, and that’s illustrated in a scene where Louis feels disrespected by a white man of his acquaintance and brutally kills him. They live in an environment where he cannot be seen to be Lestat’s equal in public, and must always defer to him when they go into whites-only spaces (like the opera), with Louis posing as Lestat’s valet in front of an audience, but behaving as equals once the curtain goes up. Lestat is from France but is reluctant to go back there (we will find out why later), but I can’t help but feel that Louis wouldn’t have to act this way in France, where things were not as strict, and American-born Black people were much tolerated at the time, especially if they had money.

Just to note, there is a lot of blood spilled in this series. There is gore and some nudity, some of it full frontal for those of you who feel some type of way about all that. This is not like the CW. It’s a show for adults although mature teens can certainly access it. The series has a very cinematic feel, and the costumes and sets look like someone spent some money on them. Christopher Rice and his mother Anne were involved in the writing of the series before her passing last year so that made me feel at least a little bit better about the direction of the series. The idea is to slowly incorporate ideas and characters from all the other books as the series continues. I was hoping for a bunch of mini-series based on individual books but this is good too. I’m really enjoying it a lot so far, and I’m excited about its future. There have only been two episodes so there’s still plenty of room for the creators to mess this up but they started off very well, and I eagerly await the next episode.

Interview with the Vampire will air every Sunday on AMC, and last seven episodes. If you subscribe to AMC you can watch the first two.

AMC has already renewed the series for a second season.

Halloween Music Playlist

One of the great things about October is listening to some of my favorite songs that come from Horror movies. So let’s catch some of these needle drops from Horror movies, which are perfectly okay for listening to all year long.

These first two songs I discovered on YouTube. They’re not from movies, but they are entirely appropriate for Halloween, so I thought I’d put these first. I don’t know what I was looking for at the time but I found these songs by The Merkins ridiculously funny. There’s an entire album’s worth of these, each one of the characters in the group also gets a solo song, and it just tickled me that all of them are sung completely straight like this. Incidentally, “to merc” is the new slang for murder so even the group name is a joke.

Dreamer’s Paradise – The Merkins

I’ll Kill You That Way – The Merkins

This one is one of my new favorites and it comes from one of the top Horror movies this year, Jordan Peele’s NopeExuma: The Obeah Man.

I am one of five people that probably even remember this song from the 2016 Ghostbusters: Ghostbusters (I’m Not Afraid) by Fall Out Boy/Missy Elliott.

No One Believes Me by Kid Cudi from the 2011 Fright Night. This is one of my favorite vampire songs. I absolutely love this video and how much I wish it were a movie.

Here is a song from another Jordan Peele joint (the man has impeccable taste in music), I Got Five On It, from the movie US. I’ve always thought this song was creepy but there were no Horror movies associated with it until Peel made it explicit.

Here is The Candyman from the 2021 version of Nia Dacosta’s Candyman.

From the 1990s version of Stephen King’s The Stand: Don’t Fear the Reaper by Blue Oyster Cult. This was also used in John Carpenter’s Halloween.

This is a very popular song for movies but it was very well used in Zack Snyder’s Dawn of the Dead remake When the Man Comes Around by Johnny Cash.

Here, using The Munster’s theme song as the foundation is Missy Elliot’s Get Your Freak On.

In case you have not had enough Jordan Peele, here is Childish Gambino’s Redbone, from the movie Get Out!

This is from one of my all-time favorite vampire movies, Joel Schumaker’s 1987 The Lost Boys, the song Cry Little Sister.

The Addams Family movies had some good songs attached to them. Here is the theme song from the first movie performed by MC Hammer, Addams Family Groove.

And for those of you who haven’t seen it in a while, A Bonus Video: