The Seventh-Greatest Panel In The History of Comic Books

I love the mental resilience demonstrated by people in classic comic books. Move them to another planet, turn the sky green, transform everyone to monsters, there’s nothing that could stop them from living out their day to day lives-

Yes, I’m cheating again with the two panels, I know, but while only the second one counts as a greatest panel, I couldn’t resist presenting the first panel as well. Partially for the context, but mostly because I love what a unbelievable dick that second skeleton is.


Is Harper's Island an Act of Plagiarism?

Anyone who happened by the Castle last summer surely knows that I had a complicated relationship with the show ‘Harper’s Island’. I loved the amazing premise and hated the terrible, terrible execution.

There’s something I neglected to mention during the extensive, some might say comically exhaustive, review of the series, and that’s just which film the series elected to rip off when it was developing the plot.

That film? I Still Know What You Did That Summer.

Don’t believe me? Let’s take a walk through the series…


M. Night Shyamalan: Plagiarist?

Here’s an R-rated clip from the movie ‘The Happening’.

Now, let’s take a look at the front page of Fawcett’s ‘Marvel Family #38’, published in August, 1949.

So yeah, you might get a sense that Shyamalan isn’t exactly the innovator he presents himself as…


The Avod's pre-Christmas Special

It's a near-Christmas Avod, when DM and the Count take a little time to exchange gifts and discuss just how great Dollhouse has become since its cancellation last month. They also talk a little about Opera, Black Christmas, and, of course, Doctor Horrible.

If you'd like to download it, you can do so here - you can also get it at iTunes, or stream it live over at theAvod's blog!

Any way you want it. That's the manner in which you need it.


Okay, Now Credit Ads Have Just Gone Crazy

When we last left credit ads they’d finally gotten their act together. They offered us a clear list of the various credit score rankings, using both a well-designed gradient chart and simple colours.

All they had to do was keep using that ad, and everyone would have been happy. Most of the public would have ignored it, and gullible saps would have been exploited.

Everybody wins.

They couldn’t manage that, though. No, instead they decided to just go all kinds of insane.


Criminal Minds Season 1 Recap!

First, a brief message from our sponsors - interested in the real science and areas of academic study underlying the show Criminal Minds? Perhaps you should consider looking into Criminology Education, perhaps even a BS in Criminology! - And now, on to the subject at hand:

As much as I’ve enjoyed watching and reviewing these episodes, the entire purpose of this exercise has been to see just how frequently and effectively psychology is used to solve crimes in the show that purports to be about crime-solvin’ psychologists. So let’s look at the scores from season 1!

Let's start with a mathematical breakdown:

There were a total of 22 episodes, but one of them didn't feature a serial killer, one didn't involve an investigation, and the last episode was a cliffhanger. This means that the season's score can expressed as a number out of 200.

That number? 48. Yup, 48/200, or exactly 24%. It was only an average of one quarter of the time that the criminal minds team actually used psychology to solve crimes.


Saturday Night Live Rapewatch: Taylor Lautner Edition

Saturday Night Live RapeWatch: Taylor Lautner Edition

Yeah, the rape jokes are back. It’s like SNL doesn’t want me to stop writing this frigging thing.

Taylor Lautner was a bland, enthusiastic host, eager to show off his acrobatic abilities, as well as his facility for reading aloud. Less capable of doing so was the rest of the cast, two members who had to pause and redo two line in a late-show Twilight-themed sketch after accidentally reading the wrong line off of a teleprompter.

But we’re not here to talk about the modern cast’s inability to perform to an even subterranean expectation of competence, we’re here to look at the objectionable content they choose to foist on the public.

So let’s do that!


The Sixth-Greatest Panel In The History of Comic Books

Yes, it’s time once again for a trip to the Golden Age, when everything was greater. Try and guess which war was going on when the following image appeared in a Fawcett Comic:

A good lesson for all, I believe. When you’re looking for Japs, don’t forget to search under the bed.

Also, how is he talking with that knife between his teeth?


Criminal Minds 122: The Fisher King

The episode opens outside a creepy manor house:

Which makes it just perfect for a Halloween episode!

Of course, this is the first-season ender, so it’s not a Halloween episode. And this post is going up two weeks before Christmas, so it’s not even a Halloween post. The only thing Halloween-y about it is that I’m actually writing it on Halloween. Of course, it would be unprofessional to let that seep into my writing, so let’s pretend this part of the intro didn’t actually happen, and just move on.

It seems that deep in the basement a beautiful woman is being held captive by a monstrous burn victim!

Man, I can’t believe that this isn’t a Halloween episode.


Time for Avod! On Thursday!

That's right, everyone, The Divemistress has finally caught up on Dexter, which leads to an amazing debate between the two of us, and motivates me to go and rewatch enough of it that I can provide hilarious examples of what an awful program it is.

If you'd like to hear more about this subject, or many others*, just right-click here to download the new episode, grab it off itunes, or stream it from theAvod's blog. Really, there's more ways to listen to it than you need.

(* Only three others, actually - Dollhouse, Behind the Mask, and random crap)


Mythbusters Crosses a Line Only I Care About

I’ve had my issues with Mythbusters in the past. Mostly little things, here and there – the unwillingess to ‘confirm’ things, the inclusion of ‘myths’ that fall under the category of ‘common knowledge’ (what’s that? A tongue will stick to frozen metal? Shocker!), but the thing that’s bothered me most about the show is the brutalization of pig carcasses.

Yeah, I know I’m squeamish. Which is odd, since I can watch the goriest movies imaginable without flinching, but still true. Show me a pig getting hit with a cannonball, and my stomach starts to flip.

Which is why the most recent episode of Mythbusters might have been the most disgusting thing I’ve ever seen on non-surgery-related television.

Although there was some surgery.

(Warning – the photos accompanying this post are borderline at best, and vomit-inducing at worst. Just FYI)


V is Terrible For Just So Many Reasons

The internet is already rife with excoriations of the new V television show, whose awfulness is now something of a fait accomplit. There’s an aspect of it that I don’t think has been extensively covered, however, and that’s just how ineptly produced the entire affair is.

Take, for example, this shot from the first episode of the show-


Saturday Night Live RapeWatch: Blake Lively Edition

Another light week here on the RapeWatch, with a completely 'clean', but still largely despicable show!

After an endless flat expanse of an opening political sketch, the show foundered the rest of its running time, hitting an obvious Tiger Woods jokes, a return of one of Kenan's horrible drag characters, and even a re-used commercial from a few weeks back. Which no doubt suggests that something played so badly at dress that it needed to be cut. Given the awfulness of the sketches on display, I have no idea what that could have been.

There were plenty of borderline sketches offering questionable points of view on 'edgy' subjects, like spousal abuse or women's health, but nothing I'm watching for, so nothing worth mentioning. The only time gayness even came up was in a Weekend Update sketch, and there it was a jibe at gay men's love of Marilyn Monroe - since it was a jibe directed at the men themselves, rather than referencing gay sexuality to make straight people uncomfortable, it doesn't count as homophobia-themed humor!

Way to go, SNL! Now keep it up another week or two and I can hopefully retire the RapeWatch as a gift to myself this Christmas!


The Christopher Pike Book Club: Chain Letter

My strongest Christopher Pike memories revolve around the book Chain Letter. I only became aware of the author in the sixth and seventh grades, and since I'd yet to begin my horror phase, I never got around to reading it. Basically everyone else did, though, and as a result the book hung around my classroom for almost an entire year, shifting from desk to desk, the cover art profoundly creeping me out.

So now that I've finally read it I've got to say it didn't disappoint. While it might not have been the scarefest I'd assumed it would be, it was certainly a competent thriller that moved its author up to a new skill level, and leaves me excited about where Pike will go next.


Criminal Minds 121: Secrets and Lies

Okay, this is a bit of a departure for the show, and I’m not really sure how to handle it. The whole angle I’ve taken for the run of this article is looking at how the show Criminal Minds deals with using psychology to solve crimes in general, and serial crimes specifically. This episode is so far from the show’s normal structure that I think it’s going to completely defy the framework I normally use.

It starts with a middle-eastern mother and her two children waiting at the Baltimore Docks for someone, who turns out to be the time demon from Angel. After hiding them away somewhere for their own protection, the time demon goes back to his apartment, where he’s promptly tortured and executed by a couple of people, before a second group of people come in, document the crime scene, and blow off his head with a shotgun so it will look like a suicide.

As you can see, it’s very new subject matter for the show, but at least it’s a dynamic opening.


Wrong Turn 3 is Almost Amazingly Bad

It’s a weird effect of DTV sequels that a chintzy cash-in movie gets all the pomp and circumstance of a movie that I’d actually see in theatres. By which I mean the 20th Century Fox logo is something that I have a visceral association with, it’s narrative short form letting me know that I’m about to watch a real capital-m “Movie”.

Which Wrong Turn 3 is so profoundly not.

It opens with a brief sequence of some rafters getting slaughtered by Three-Finger, the mom of the cannibal mutant hillbilly family from the first and second films, along with one of her relatively young sons. This sequence is notable for just two things. First, that a woman gets topless at just three and a half minutes into the movie, which is fast by any definition of the term, but the fact that one of her breasts is impaled by an arrow just a minute later most assuredly is.

There’s also the following shot of a man getting cut in three by wires:

Oh, isn’t it nice to see that 12 years after the film Cube came out, a film with approximately ten times the budget could do their signature effect so much worse?


The Fiftieth Avod!

That's right, there have actually been fifty Avods. Whoa, right?

Anyhoo, please enjoy our in-depth conversation about the Wrong Turn franchise, as well as a look at the movie Brainscan and a discussion of the furor over the Ms. Horror Blogosphere contest!

Sounds thrilling, right? Well find out just how thrilling it is by downloading from this link! Or just download it from iTunes or stream it from the Avod's Blog!

Show Notes-

DM's on-point reviews: Wrong Turn 2, Brainscan

The Count's look at Wrong Turn 3!


Cloverfield 2 – Revenge of Bat-Nor!

I was having a conversation about Godzilla last week and it turned, as many such conversations have since the release of Cloverfield, to the questionableness of Cloverfield.

My main argument, in addition to the whole ‘spoiling suspense’ thing, was that they made me wait the entire movie to get a look at the monster, and then when it finally arrived, I was disappointed to discover that it was just a wingless bat with a tail.

“What is a bat doing underwater?” I was heard to exclaim. “Can bats even swim?”

Then, rather puzzlingly, my conversational partner claimed that Batnor, the Cloverfield monster, was not a bat at all, but rather an original creation.

As I often do, I elected to take our argument to the Internet!