Tales From the Darkside 118: If the Shoes Fit

The episode begins with a maid cleaning a hotel room, then stealing a bite from an apple before the guests arrive. Will this episode contain a message about putting trust in the wrong people, or is this just a funny bit of business before we get to the plot? Only time will tell!

The room's inhabitant arrives, and proves to be 'Gumbs', a contemptible caricature of a corrupt southern politician - so loathesome that he 'tips' the hotel staff by giving them campaign buttons! Who knows what kind of damage he'll do if actually elected governor of this generic South-Eastern state!

The bellhop, Peter, puts up one of Gumbs' pointedly satirical posters:

As the man himself makes a call to Louie, his campaign manager. Gumbs' main complaint? The hotel is creepy an uninhabited. Louie brushes this off, telling Gumbs that he needs to start announcing his stance on prominent issues of the day, like the equal rights amendment! Hey, remember when that was a thing? I don't, but the Doonesbury collections I read growing up assure me that people used to care pretty profoundly about it. Gumbs speaks for the modern politician when he announces that people don't care about issues, they just want to feel like they're voting for a good guy.

Man, I wish this random episode of Tales From the Darkside from the mid-80s wasn't so dead-on about politics almost 30 years later.


Saturday Night Live Rapewatch: Anne Hathaway Ediiton

I missed reviewing this episode the first time around, but since SNL is re-airing it to coincide with Anne Hathaway hosting the Oscars, this seems like a perfect time to go ahead and check it for rape and homophobia-themed humour, as is my wont.

The episode opened with another Rachel Maddow show sketch in the current events slot - it's not a great impression, but at least they've given up on making gay jokes about her. So that's something. Things moved briskly from there, through another Miley Cyrus sketch to a visit from Penelope (possibly my least-favorite Kristen Wiig character! Ah, who am I kidding. They're all my least favorite Kristen Wiig character. Especially the lady who expects people to be happier about winning a sweepstakes. Ugh.), and then a joke about the TSA groping people over Thanksgiving.

Smuggy Smuggerson brought the one rape joke of the night, devaluing the term by hyperbolicly using it to describe what the dictionary people are doing to the English language by including Sarah Palin's 'refudiate' in a list of the year's best new words. I mean, he's not wrong, but he could have looked for a less horrible choice.

The show's back 30 went by without incident, sketches included a scene about a dropped character from 'The Wizard of Oz' that served only to remind me of a superior sketch from the Dana Carvey Show, and (possibly) the first appearance of Hader's 'old reporter' character. You know, I talk a lot of crap about the Stephan character, but that's mostly because Hader can't get through a sketch without laughing. At least his incredibly varied list of activities keep that one from being the exact same sketch every week, the way Gilly, Target Lady, Old Reporter, Vinnie Vedici and so forth are.

Anyhoo, let's go to the totals!

Homophobia: 0
Rape: 1

This season's trend of being the kinder, gentler SNL has gone on nearly uncontested. We're now halfway through the year without a single visit from the Scared Straight sketch - and there's even a new black guy in the cast, so the producers could theoretically mix it up a little for Kenan if they were so inclined. They've restrained themselves from doing so, and I thank them for it.


Criminal Minds: Suspect Behaviour 102: Lonely Heart

This week's episode opens with the same title card as last week's, restating the premise that the show is about rogue profilers who answer only to the Director of the FBI (Richard Schiff). Of course, the only thing rogue about them last week was that they dressed so unprofessionally they made Reid look like Joe Friday, so my continuing bafflement at the premise of this show has led me to add an additional category at the bottom of the reviews. Find out what it is soon!

The episode itself begins with a woman recounting her experience luring a man to a hotel room, having sex with him, and then murdering him. She's talking to a man about this, and it's clear that she was operating entirely under his instructions. So this means she's under the thrall of a serial killer who can't do the murdering himself, so he's using her as a tool. I'm going to lock in a guess now, and say the killer is dead, and exists only in her head. Although that was the basic plot of 'The Angel Maker', so they might not want to go back to that well so quickly.

We also learn that the woman is wearing a blonde wig:

Because no one's real hair is that pale.

Then it's over to the team, who we know are led by a rebel because Forest Whitaker (whose name I misspelled both parts of last week - Yikes!) rides to work on a motorcycle while the Rolling Stones play on his iPod. What does this scene teach us? That 'Street Fighting Man' is no longer a prohibitively expensive song to license.

We also learn that the code to get into the office is 3699#. There's an insert of Forest punching in the code that's impossible to miss, which raises the question of that number's importance. Could something traumatic have happened to Forest on March 6th, 1999? Or June 3rd, if the character turns out to be Canadian? If so, that's a terrible number to pick for your secret code, since the serial killer who's taunting you about the fact that he killed your family 12 years ago will undoubtedly know the day on which he did it.

The team lays out the new case - 3 victims, all killed in hotel rooms over the past two weeks. Because every killer in the world of Criminal Minds is a spree killer. The show then cuts to the white-wigged killer alone in her apartment, hearing the svengali's voice in her head, thereby offering more evidence to my 'dead serial killer' theory. Will I be right? Let's find out together, after the opening credits!


Criminal Minds 412: Soul Mates

The episode begins in the suburbs of Sarasota, Florida, since we all know that crime is scarier when it happens to upper-middle class white people. Case in point (not the white thing, but the upper middle class), the first characters we meet are Michael Boatman and his daughter - he's a neglectful dad begging off teaching her to drive, so he tries to bribe her with a car! Things take a turn for the considerably less happy a teen wanders over with a flyer - there's a high school girl missing, another victim of a serial killer working the area! Just then the cops roll up and arrest Michael Boatman as his daughter and friends look on, shocked - could he really be the killer they're looking for?

Well, obviously, he's a guest star. So yes. But he's also not the only one - he's got a white partner! How do we know this just seconds into the show? Well, this is one of the problems of watching a show on DVD after its initial airing. I can't un-know the title. More to the point, though, there's also been a tip-off from a psychological standpoint - the serial killer the cops are hunting alternated between killing black and white girls. Since serial killers generally murder within their own race, it's a safe bet that Boatman's partner is white.

The team is on the scene moments after the arrest, ready to scold the sheriff - they were hoping Boatman would lead them to the girl, and now that chance is blown! How did they find Boatman so quickly you ask, since we're starting so far into the plot? A witness saw him at the place the last girl was kidnapped, and he has a criminal history of kidnapping and raping teenagers. So it wasn't much of a challenge, really. Although they do toss in a line about him 'fitting the profile' to make it sound like the team contributed.

Making things even worse, the team is working against a timeline - the killer generally keeps his victims alive for a couple of days, so she's probably out there somewhere, possibly running out of air! (Although that's just my supposition.) More importantly, though, Boatman might get bail in as little as twelve hours - will they be able to break him within that amount of time?

Probably not, since the team has never, ever, broken a suspect or talked a confession out of someone. The only thing they've ever done (and they've done this a few times) is tricked someone into thinking that their plan had succeeded, and then waited until the killer started gloating before announcing that it was all a scam. Will they be able to do that this time? Join me after the opening credits to find out!


Porn Shoot Massacre Is As Badly-Written As You'd Think

I think I'm going to call the phenomenon 'Frightmare Syndrome'. It's when people making an ultra low-budget movie decide that a certain scene or sequence of events needs to be especially gripping or well-written, and they attempt to punch far above their weight class. Normally when penning scripts for these sorts of movies (if they indeed have scripts, rather than just sketchy outlines), the filmmakers tend to stick to simple, declarative sentences - either ignorant of what makes dialogue well-written, or just uninterested in putting in the effort, most scenes tend to have an ad-libbed feel to them.

Whether this is because the actors can't remember their lines, or because they weren't given any, and instead of 'acting' they're basically just saying what they would in those situations is up for interpretation - either way, while these heavily improvised scenes are never particularly good, they at least have a degree of consistency. While there's plenty of fumbling and late cues, it kind of all blends together, because everyone's doing it-

Isn't it nice when they leave in the moment before 'action' was called?

It's only later in the movie, when the filmmakers decide to pretend that there's actually a plot, that things get really bad. Groaningly bad attempts at clever action lines, characters spouting long strings of exposition - a plot to continues to make no sense of any kind... and my favorite, an exchange that proves the writer didn't even understand the concept of a double negative.

The crazy part is that this film wasn't made by a writer/director. Which means a second person had to take a look at this script and say 'yes - absolutely - let's make this!' I'm uncomfortable with the idea that there's one person in the world who thought that making Porn Shoot Massacre as 'written' was a good idea. The idea that there were at least two makes me worry for the future of humanity.


If it's Wednesday, it must be TheAvod!

This week's very special Avod comes with a very special guest: Brad McHargue, whose name doesn't sound like it's spelled, and who also has a big problem with Adam Green, director of such films as whose names you can look up by checking him out on IMDB.com!

Want to know the nature of Brad's problem with Adam, or what the Divemistress and myself thought of two preposterously-titled movies? Then just right-click here to download TheAvod 106: "I'm not comfortable saying Hatchet 2."

Also you can swing by theAvod's blog to stream it, if that's how you choose to live your life.


The Thirty-Ninth-Greatest Panel in the History of Comics!

As opposed to counterfeit Oriental Chinamen.


Tales From the Darkside 117: Madness Room

The episode opens, as more of them ought to, on a dark and stormy night. A beautiful woman is reading on a couch when her older husband sneaks up on her. Not in a sinister way, although his self-pitying when dealing with his far-too-young wife could be called emotional assault, I suppose. They kiss for a moment before a doorbell calls the young wife away, leaving her husband to clutch the left side of his chest, signaling the heart condition that will claim his life before the half-hour is done.

The man at the door is Michael, who lets us know with a reciprocal leer-

That he's the wife's secret lover. Michael and husband sign some business papers while wife takes out the ouija board, planning, no doubt, to begin a game that will wind up scaring husband to death. I'm not psychic, but I have seen Deathtrap, so there's really only one way this can be going. Add to the situation the fact that Michael is talking about how terrified he is to be playing with the ouija board at all, and you've got a recipe for terror!

The wife explains that the board is used to communicate with 'Ben', the spirit of the house's original resident. Husband suggests they test the theory by asking the ghost where he lives, and the board responds by spelling out 'THEMADNESSROOM' of the title. Wife naturally knows exactly to what the board returns - a room in the house that drives anyone who sleeps in it irrevocably mad!

Just where is this room? It's sealed away somewhere in the house, walled over after Ben's wife 'Ophelia' shot him and then drowned herself and her child in the property's well. Michael suggests they stop the game, but husband insists they continue until they've found the location of the room. A clue from the board leads them to the fireplace, and a loose contained therein. Behind the wall they discover a weathered map of the house and an old key - the madness room is within their grasp! But should they enter it?


Suspect Behavior 101: I don't know what this episode is called, because I don't have a DVD, and the episodes aren't titled.

I've been asked - not by many people, this is largely not something that the public cares about - but I have been asked just when my reviews of Criminal Minds are going to catch up with the show's newly-airing episodes. The answer, of course, is in 2013. I'm halfway through the fourth season now, while the show is halfway through its sixth. This means that, should I continue at this pace, I'll arrive at the end of the sixth season around the same time that Criminal Minds is completing its (inevitable) seventh - the, over the spring and summer I'll largely catch up on the seventh season, merging with (hopeful) eighth towards the end of 2012 (depending on how long seasons 6 and 7 are), definitely in the new year.

So, with the prospect of reviewing current episodes of Criminal Minds some two years off, I'm left with a dilemma. Do I attempt to get in on the ground floor of hot new show 'Criminal Minds: Suspect Behaviour', risking the possibility that it's going to spoil plot twists from coming seasons of the original show - twists about whose content I'm wholly unaware? Well, not wholly, I've seen enough glimpses of commercials on mute to know everyone's alive. Well, Greg and Joe and Emily, anyhow.

Obviously I'm going to at least watch the first episode, given the title of this post, but be forewarned: if the show looks like it's going to be spoiling things from the other show, or like it won't fit neatly into my 'critiquing profiling in fiction' format for the reviews, I reserve the right to call this review, and any further coverage of the show, off at any time. So, without any further ado, because, let's be honest, that was a lot of ado, on to the show!


Adventures in Fake Journalism: Chain Letter

Regular visitors to the Castle will be familiar with my love of the fake books, newspapers, and websites that the crew has to throw together - often on short notice - to add a sense of verisimilitude to a film. Generally it's a morbid kind of love, where I gleefully chronicle the various misspellings and terrible sentence structure that are the hallmarks of hastily-written filler text. Every now and then, though, I encounter legitimately well-written sections of text, where someone has gone out of their way to make an article look and read like something that might appear in the real world - even though they know full well the results of that work will only ever appear onscreen for a maximum of 2.5 seconds, tops.

Which I guess is the real reason I write these things - for those rare occasions where I get to shower some appreciation on the people whose work is almost never recognized by the filmgoing public.

Although mocking typos is fun, too.


Criminal Minds 411: Normal

This week's episode is going to be about a desperately pathetic middle-aged man. How do I know this? Check out the first image visible after the establishing shots:

In the world of fiction, only middle-aged men crushed by the ennuis of their emasculating family lives wear classic sports car ties. Insider tip, that. The middle-aged man (Mitch Pileggi!) is immediately criticized by his wife (Faith Ford! Two weeks in a row with Murphy Brown alums!), who tells him to lose the tie, since they're going to a party for her, and she doesn't want to be embarrassed. Mitch retreats to his hobby room, which is dominated by models of the classic cars he loves so well-

See, the cars are the one part of his life that he feels are part of his identity, so attack them is like attacking his manhood! Normally I don't like the Six Feet Under/Dr House 'bet you think that guy's the victim: Hah! Gotcha!' Wouldn't it be nice, though, if just once we started an episode once with a hen-pecked man who hates women - and then have him surprisingly be the victim? Well, not 'nice', obviously...

Mitch then loads a long giftwrapped package into his car and heads off to the wife's party - on the way there he's harassed by an aggressive female driver who's exactly as blond as his wife. Naturally, there's only one thing Mitch can do in this situation. Pull a shotgun out of the gift box and shoot the woman in the face!

Hold on, there was a shotgun in that box? Mitch was going to shoot up his wife's party? Not cool, Mitch!

Funny note before we move on? The swerving stunt car had its window blown out, but the stunt drivers forgot to roll down the window on the one that was called to do the big stunt:

Oh well, can't win 'em all, guys. Great stunt, though.

Mitch arrives at the party, suddenly feeling confident and full of vigour - shmoozing with all the people he'd planned to kill, then returning home to have sex with his wife! Mitch can't sleep afterwards, though, so he heads out to the garage to improve his shotgun, but only after looking at his children's rooms - letting us know that in addition to his scolding wife, Mitch also has three daughters. Well no wonder he's emasculated, am I right, fellas? So, how many victims before he tries to murder his family, and they get rescued by the team? I'm guessing one more - let's find out together, after the credits!


Chain Letter Doesn't Make Even a Little Sense

Hey, remember when I was complaining about the terrible anticlimacism of Chain Letter, well, while I was typing that up I noticed everything else was wrong with the movie as well, so let's take a look at some of it, shall we?

1 - There's parental negligence, and then there's just bad writing.

As mentioned the last time around, the film opens with its ending, as the main character is murdered by her parents. On first viewing this sequence works as a heavy-handed message about the lack of interpersonal connection in all these people's lives. The unknown victim's parents are so out of touch with their child's life that they can watch a news story about murdered teens and not even see a connection to their own daughter.

When taken in its proper context, however, this scene makes absolutely no sense.

These are not the parents of some random teenager in town. Over the past week every single one of their daughter's friends has been brutally murdered by a madman, and all signs point to her being the next on the killer's list. At this point in the movie they shouldn't be headed to work in their sports cars, they should be putting their daughter on a plane to the farthest location they can afford to send her. Which, given their house and cars, might well be the moon.

Hell, they don't even check in with her before leaving for work. Because that's plausible in this situation.


Wednesday is TheAvod Day!

That's right folks, it's time for a brand-spanking new episode of theAvod! This week's is more thrilling than most, involving spirited debate about movies as diverse as Chain Letter, Time After Time, and All-Star Superman! If you'd like to hear which of those was the best (Time After Time) and the worst (Chain Letter), just click here and listen away! As a shameless self-promoter, I also tease three upcoming articles!

Also featured in this week's episode? TheAvod team reveals what seemingly-innocuous current event is a harbinger of our bleak future as slaves to the robot masters!


The Thirty-Eight-Greatest Panel in the History of Comics!

For the record, this was from a one-page gag strip. About that main character causing a flood that killed hundreds.


Tales From the Darkside 116: Tear Collector

This is one of those episodes where I miss Rod Serling. Now, to be fair, I haven't seen an episode of Twilight Zone in so long that I could be remembering this all backwards, but I'm pretty sure that somewhere in his introduction he mentioned the title of the episode. Or maybe I'm thinking about Alfred Hitchcock. Either way, the point is that if this title was read aloud by someone I'd know for certain if this episode concerned a collector of tears (as in crying), or tears (as in ripped clothing).

Although the fact that the show opens on a crying woman certainly makes a persuasive argument in one direction.


Saturday Night Live RapeWatch: Russel Brand Edition!

Russel Brand was hosting this week, and he fronted a surprisingly tame outing, despite his reputation. If it hadn't been for a monologue that focused almost entirely on the tightness of his pants and the two sketches whose content required female cast members to grope his crotch, this could have been the Desmond Tutu episode for all the prurience of the comedy.

That being said, there were still two little incidents worth pointing out, both in the news segment (which was later in the show than I can remember seeing it, from ~12:20 to 12:30AM!). The first came in Armisen's post-ousting Mubarak impression, where he referred to having 'raped the country'. I'm giving them a pass on this one, both because it's a figurative rape, and because, given the size of the supposed civil servant's secret, illegal bank accounts, it's a fair description.

The second questionable joke was homophobia-themed, in that Bill Hader's walking-gay-joke character 'Stefan' made an appearance. As usual he came on to Smuggy and

So tonight's final tally:

Rape: 0
Homophobia: 1

I can only imagine things are going to remain super clean when the show comes back from hiatus in three weeks - Miley Cyrus is hosting, and as I understand it she likes to keep things wholesome for the fans (when not smoking pot on tape).


How to Ruin Your Own Movie: Chain Letter Edition

As the film Chain Letter opens, a young woman is caught in a terrifying death-trap, each of her legs attached to the rear frame of one of her parents' cars. After a close call in which she's almost saved, the inevitable happens, and she's torn into two pieces. Totally acceptable opening for a slasher film, but unfortunately a few elements of the scene go out of their way to let the audience know that they're not watching the first scene of the movie.

They're watching the last one. How can we tell this?

Note the ridiculous amount of duct tape covering the victim's head. A single piece of tape wrapped around the character's mouth would be sufficient to keep her from alerting her parents to her plight, but the killer has covered her up for no reason other than to cloud her identity from the viewer.

According to Vardulon's first rule of horror filmmaking you don't put a mask on someone unless taking it off will be of some significance to the viewer - but since this is the first film we have no idea who any of the characters are. If this is simply the teaser kill, there's no percentage in hiding her identity, so why are they doing it?


Criminal Minds 410: Brothers in Arms

The episode opens in Phoenix, AZ, which, according to the show Medium, has more serial killers than the rest of the country combined, so it's not entirely surprising that the Criminal Minds team was going to have to head there at some point. This week it's to solve the murder of two police officers, who are gunned down after responding to a fake distress call!

I'd criticize the writing for suggesting that a cop would be stupid enough to wrestle with a shotgun's mounting bracket while a guy in a hoodie was shooting his partner (pretty sure his sidearm will kill the guy just as dead), but the show specifically established that the younger victim was a brand-new cop, and by no means competent at his job yet. So let's give it a pass. And assume that the Phoenix police academy isn't overly insulted by the portrayal of their facilities as incapable of preparing police officers for life-and-death situations.

Joe Regalbuto (TV Frank Fontana!), playing the precinct commander where the murders have taken place (there was a third one off camera) calls in the team, sure that there's a serial killer targeting cops! Who, as I'm sure the episode is going to point out, are actually really easy targets, since they're wearing handy identifying uniforms and they're legally required to go into dangerous situations if you ask them to.

Will the team be able to stop him before he kills another cop?

Obviously not, because we need a mid-episode victim, but they'll grab him before the third incident with any luck. Check back after the credits to find out!


My Soul to Take Is a Filthy Liar

No single actor was cast as Keyser Soze. In every scene that featured the character a different actor played the role. This is because the film was narrated by Kevin Spacey's character, and as an unreliable narrator who, according to his own admission had never really set eyes on Soze, he could not be expected to offer a coherent picture of the man.

Soze only appears in a single scene outside this framing device, and that's the very opening, in which Gabriel Byrne is murdered. The one piece of information we have going into the movie is that Dean Keaton is dead, and someone that he verbally identified as 'Keyser' is the killer. Everything else is up for interpretation, making the film difficult to unravel as a mystery - the only way to solve it is to pay attention to the one scene of objective truth. It's full of misleads and red herrings, but because of the film's structure, it doesn't count as the audience being lied to. It's the audience being conned, which is a very different idea.

My Soul To Take (hereafter referred as 25/8), like The Usual Suspects, is a mystery - but unlike the noir film, 25/8 has no framing device to explain away its cheating. Which it does. Once 25/8's murders begin, the audience is presented with two possibilities: 1 - The main character's demon-possessed father did not die sixteen years earlier, and he's now killing a series of teens who were all born on the night he 'died'. 2 - The demon that had possessed the father had now possessed one of the seven teens, and that person is now running around killing the other six.

In order to fully explain the film's lies, it's now important to enter into a spoiler alert territory, what with this being a mystery and all-


TheAvod Wednesdays!

That's right, it's time for a new theAvod - this week concerning three new movies from three admirable directors whose work we've liked in the past. Did we like their efforts this time around?


Some more than others. I'm looking at you, Wes Craven.

Anyhoo, if you'd like to download a copy of this week's Avod, it's simply a matter of right clicking here and saving the targeted file, then using some manner of program or device to listen to the .mp3!

Miracles of modern technology, right?


The Thirty-Seventh-Greatest Panel in the History of Comics!

Like Spider-Man after him, Tor's day-job is 'newspaper photographer'. Unlike Spider-Man, however, Tor focuses mostly on photographing the gruesome aftermaths of fatal crashes that he himself caused.


Tales From the Darkside 115: Answer Me

Normally I don't watch the opening credits on these things (hoping to be pleasantly surprised by Harry Anderson and Carol Kane, obviously), but this time - even though I didn't actually read the name, I couldn't help but notice that there was only a single one listed! This has always been a cheap show, with actors hanging out on small, poorly furnished sets, but a one-man show would be something new indeed! Let's see where it's going-

Well, first off, I guess it's a one-woman show! In this case the woman is an actress who's woken from her slumber by a ringing phone which, unfortunately, turns out to be coming from the neighbouring apartment! This leads to a long session of the woman talking to herself about the fact that she's a British actress who's in New York to look for work, and the friend's apartment that she's staying in has frustratingly thin wall.

Then, when she finally gets used to the ringing phone, the neighbours start banging on the wall! But why? And will the actress continue unbelievably monologuing about it?

The answer to one of the questions after the break-

But the other answer is obviously yes.


Saturday Night Live RapeWatch: Dana Carvey Edition

Dana Carvey's return to Saturday Night Live was as entertaining as it was mystifying. It's not that I wasn't excited to see a classic cast member back on the show - it's just that I'm still not sure what he was promoting... and if he wasn't promoting anything, what was he doing there? Don't they know what SNL is for?

Anyhoo, we're not here to critique the content of SNL (if you're looking for that, try the rest of the internet), rather I'm planning to examine the lightheartedness with which the show treats the most abhorrent of topics. So, without any further ado... The numbers!

This week was almost unusually clean - it's possible that the presence of Carvey convinced Seth and the boys to tone things down a little, as there were no homophobia jokes to speak of. There was even an extended sketch about a children's beauty pageant that didn't feature even an allusion to paedophilia. The only rape-themed humour of the night came in Carvey's Church Lady sketch, which featured the middle-aged bible-thumper fantasizing about molesting relentlessly self-promoting teen singer Justin Beiber.

Actually, the purported attractiveness of Beiber is one of the most mystifying bits of modern cultural ephemera as far as I'm concerned. I'd never attempt to hazard a guess as to what teenagers find attractive, but I feel like I understand adult women enough to find it implausible that they would get weak in the knees at the sight of a teenage boy who looks like a pre-teen girl.

The final tally this week was-

Homophobia: 0
Rape: 1

All in all a respectable show - but Russel Brand is hosting next week, which is Spanish for 'All Bets Are Off'.


I'm Unsure as to Why John Carpenter Hasn't Sued the Makers of Methodic

Also James Cameron might have a case, but just for one scene.

When I read the synopsis of Methodic, I was full-on stunned. Let's take a gander at it together, shall we?

“As a child, Nicholas Matthews (Stephen Muzzonigro) became possessed by a malevolent entity called the Dollman, who drove him to murder his parents. After years in a mental institution, Nicholas seems to have finally overcome the demon inside him. But the Dollman has only remained dormant, waiting for the perfect opportunity to take control of Nicholas once again and drive him to slaughter the innocent. Niki Notarile co-stars in this paranormal shocker.”

My initial reaction, as it necessarily must have been, was shock that someone had remade Halloween without licensing the rights. It's not like this is a completely unheard-of phenomenon, the movie 'Halloween Night' claimed to be based on a true story, which was accurate insofar as it's true that the movie Halloween was made, the filmmakers saw it, and then decided to turn a profit by ripping it off. Halloween Night at least went to the effort of mixing things up a little while committing criminal acts of plagiarism - there were some gratuitous lesbians, a bloated cast of teens at a party, a new needlessly convoluted backstory... enough changes so that the filmmakers could have offered a plausible defense in court should John Carpenter have decided to sue them.

They wouldn't have won the case, of course, but at least they could have made a decent showing.

Methodic doesn't even put in that much effort. Save the gratuitous lesbians, of course. Now, let's break Methodic's various sins against originality and filmmaking into a few different categories for easier consumption.


Criminal Minds 409: 52 Pickup

This week it seems that the team will be taking a trip into club country - where pretty girls are hit on by sleazy pick-up artists. Some split off from their pursuers, so accept the advances. And some wind up... dead! Or at least that's what we assume will happen to one of the blond women who make the mistake of sharing a drink with a tool in a stupid hat.

Yup, she's dead in the very next scene, and it was done in a shockingly brutal fashion, as were his other two victims - he slices open women's guts and then forces them to mop up their own blood while slowly dying! That's some serious ick. Although I'm not sure why the women go along with it. After all, they're already quickly dying, probably on the verge of blacking out - the episode tells us that you can survive for a couple of hours with your guts in pool on the floor, but how much of that would you actually be conscious for? Moreover, what motivation could they possibly have to pick up a brush?

Hopefully some of this will be addressed after the credits! (Although I doubt it will be)


The Cape is Unconcerned with Even Basic Narrative Coherence

Late in the first half of the Cape's 2-hour pilot event the main character, John Cape, discovered Vinnie Jones unloading goods from a tanker. Presuming, correctly, that they're moving something evil, he decides he's going to stop them. John, however, has the attention span of a gnat, and immediately gets distracted by a woman taking his picture:

He believes that this is a problem because he's supposed to be dead, and his family would be at risk if anyone found out he was a superhero. Why would a picture be an issue? It seems that John Cape doesn't bother wearing a mask:

Despite the fact that his entire persona is, confusingly, based on a comic book character that exists within the world of the show. A superhero who does, in fact, wear a mask:

Let's just pause for a second here to consider how bizarre it is that the show wouldn't allow its main character to become an original superhero. I mean, it's not like this is a world without costumed freaks in it - the villain, one James Frain, dresses up in a suit for no reason, since basically no one ever sees him, and all of his subordinates already know he's an evil mastermind.


It's Wednesday-

So it must be Avod time again!

After the hear-wrenching slog that was theAvod's bitchfest, DM and The Count (me!) decided to go a little kinder and gentler this week, watching and reviewing only films that were guaranteed to offer a baseline level of coherence and quality. We got more than we bargained for, however, as you'll see when you right-click here to download the episode!

Fun Fact:

Despite my belief to the contrary, there were actually 4 Quatermass movies, not 3! We'll track down the last one post-haste and cover it for the show!