Archive for Joker

Our TVs Are Filled With Horror

Posted in Aliens, Evil, Science Fiction, TV Vixens, Vampires, Witches, Zombies with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 27, 2016 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

The Walking Dead

It’s been a banner year for horror/sci-fi TV, the nightly news notwithstanding. While I’ve dipped my couch into stuff like The Strain, Preacher, Van Helsing and Outcast, due to there being only 24 hours to a day, I was only able to watch 1,825 hours of quality genre programming. Doesn’t scratch the surface of what’s out there. That established, here’s a few 2016 horror/sci-fi viewing habits…

THE WALKING DEAD
Like it or double love it, season seven’s opener was one of the all-time jarring shockers of this or any other year, setting the bar unreachably high on all out line-crossing torture porn. New hammy villain Negan (rhymes with “vegan”) makes season three’s Governor look like a Wal-Mart™ door greeter.

Fear The Walking Dead

FEAR OF THE WALKING DEAD
Barely made it through season one. Then I watched the season two opener and walked away from it. Too many unlikeable characters in implausible circumstances. The zombies, ironically, are the most believable aspects of the show.

Stranger Things

STRANGER THINGS
By far and away THE best new horror/fantasy series hit of the year. A monster called Demogogon exists in an alternate dimension called the Upside Down. (I’ve been visiting there every since discovering alcohol.) The darn thing gets into the regular dimension and all mystery heck breaks loose with pre-teens — and the magnificent Winona Ryder — Scooby-Doo’ing the heck out of said mystery. P.S. The Upside Down would be a great name for a dive bar.

American Horror Story: My Roanoke Nightmare

AMERICAN HORROR STORY: MY ROANOKE NIGHTMARE
Like goat cheese on pizza, this season did not work at all. The problems? Start with the first episode and end with the last one. I’ll give ‘em props for trying to mix a reality show premise with found footage. But there’s a reason why reality shows and found footage suck. And the muddled, no questions answered season end was indeed a nightmare. P.S. Lady Gaga was vastly underused this season.

Ash vs Evil Dead / Stan Against Evil, From Disk ’Till Dawn

ASH VS. EVIL DEAD
As amazingly corny, campy and killer as you’d expect. Why didn’t they think of doing a TV series years ago? (Ash should’ve been elected president.) The evil dead still have it in for Ash after all these years. Good for us. Not so good for him.

STAN AGAINST EVIL
Stan Miller, a grizzled, forced-into-retirement redneck sheriff, Archie Bunker’s his way through an inexhaustible stream of demons stinkin’ up his New England town. One great crack after another: “My shirt smells like low tide at A**hole Beach,” and “Ever been beaten with a bag of oranges?” An easy and obvious successor to Ash.

FROM DUSK ‘TILL DAWN
On its third season, the Gecko Brothers really flesh out the franchise’s storyline and take it to new extremes with a shocking (and satisfying) amount of blood and violence. Pushing the boundaries of censorship, TV vampires have never looked this nasty cool.

The Exorcist, The Returned, Channel Zero, Salem

THE RETURNED
One of the quiest, unsettling and beautifully creepy made-in-France eight-episode series (based on a French movie of the same name) in 2016. Will make you rethink what a zombie is/should be. Don’t worry about moving your lips to the sub-titles; there’s not a lot of wordings. Or screamings. As I said, quiet.

THE EXORCIST
Who knew they could take one punchline and make a tense and nervewracking TV series out of expunging demons from beleagured souls every week? Looks fun. Wonder if I can schedule an exorcism appointment for myself? My stupid health insurance probably won’t cover it, though.

CHANNEL ZERO
A tooth monster. Yep, you read me right. There’s a monster made of human teeth in this slow-burn awesome SyFy Channel™ original series. The show has bite. C’mon — how could I not say that? The joke was sitting right there.

SALEM
Tried to get through the first season of Salem a while back. Even with plenty of icky, gnarly witches and the demonic gunk/insects drooling/crawling out of their orifices, was not able to emotionally invest in it, which is why I haven’t pursed it in subsequent seasons. Probably should should go back and recommit to evil and see where the show takes me.

Of the sci-fi superhero stuff, watched most but not all. (Looking in your direction Arrow season 5 and D.C.’s Legends of Tomorrow.) Speaking of Arrow, his famous line before shooting criminals in the chest with his name always says, “You have failed this city…” At the beginning of season 4 his girlfriend attempts to make him breakfast. He looks at it and says, “You have failed this omelette…” That’s not just funny, it’s dang funny.

Anyway, here’s what else I warmed the couch cushions to…

Supergirl, The Flash, Gotham

SUPERGIRL
Season 2 episode (“Changing”) is where Supergirl gets drunk — on one drink — and her Black-Ops step-sister tells her she’s driving her home. Supergirl: “Well, I’m sure not flying!” I LOL’d over that one. Supergirl gets smacked upside the “S” in almost every episode, sometimes by space alien criminals instead of delicious adult beverages. I’ll give it to that super cutie — she can take a punch. Just not from the punch bowl. Heh.

P.S. Digging the crossover stuff, like when The Flash showed up in Supergirl’s world. Her day job boss at Catco (media conglomerate), not knowing who Flash is, named him The Whoosh. Priceless.

THE FLASH
Turns out there’s hundreds of Earths, each one accessible with the help of a user-friendly meta-human. This means more Flashie knock-offs, more meta-criminals, more storylines and more opportunities for the Flash to get beaten up every time he slows down. Quite nifty they’re invoking Flashpoint (time-travel and the Butterfly Effect) from the cartoons. Even still, a bit on the lightweight side. It’s not like I can change the channel or anything. Wait a sec…

GOTHAM
Pleasantly graphic and unflinchingly violent re-imagining of the classic Dark Knight universe, with a pre-pubed Bruce Wayne (not quite Batman) sporting a bat-a-rang for Selina Kyle (Catwoman as a street kid), the Penguin (criminal turned mayor — there’s a stretch), Edward Nygma (Riddler), Joker (killed off way too soon, but coming back somehow), Poison Ivy (played by three different plant species), and a D.C. sampler of legacy super criminals (Mr. Freeze, Mad Hatter, Hugo Strange). Despite all these tasty elements, it’s police detective Jim Gordon and Bruce’s now-legal guardian/servant Alfred (cast as a former member of the the British Special Air Service) who are the standout ass kickers here.

Daredevil, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Luke Cage

DAREDEVIL
Season one was good at establishing Matt Murdock — blind and struggling public defender — as a serious defender of justice with the business end of his fist. Season two’s storylines were better developed, but it’s the all-out slobber-knocking fight scenes, which often leave Matt a candidate for emergency medical attention, that leaves one’s mouth agape. Simply agape.

AGENT’S OF S.H.I.E.L.D.
This was a personal fav, but the storylines are jumping around like meta-frogs. Finding it interesting that Marvel and D.C., both of whom boast superheroes with the same abilities (Green Arrow/Hawkeye, The Atom/Ant-Man, Flash/Quicksilver, Hawkman/Angel, Aquaman/Sub-Mariner, El-Diablo/Human Torch), are using similar terms, if not story lines with Hive/H.I.V.E. It’s kinda like comparing apples to, um, windows. Heh. And an Aussie beer swillin’, womanizing, obnoxious Ghost Rider? Brilliant.

LUKE CAGE
Best surprise hit of the getting-crowded-by-the-minute superhero TV series. Luke, first introduced in Jessica Jones as her “friend” with mattress benefits, returns as a super smooth, reluctant, big city neighborhood hero impervious to artillery and sharp stuff while dispensing much-needed street justice with super strength, all against a backdrop of current day Harlem. (You’ll forget you’re watching a contemporary show and not back in the ’70s. An excellent homage to Shaft.)

Besides being a top-notch African-American superhero, the show’s music, performed in a criminal’s nightclub with today’s artists (Raphael Saadiq, Charles Bradley, Faith Evans, The Delfonics and more), is beyond groovy. I could easily dance to it. That’s MY super power. (Yeah, I prefer metal, but that’s where I let my neck dance.)

P.S. And why the flip is there not a second Jessica Jones season? Do I need to go all Daredevil on someone’s decision-making process?

P.P.S. And where the flippin’ fudge is iZombie season three? The CW’s™ website says it’ll be a two-hour season premiere on Tuesday, April 4, 2017. Get your cookbook ready for more brain-eating recipes.

Gory Story

Posted in Asian Horror, Asian Sci-Fi, Classic Horror, Evil, Foreign Horror, Science Fiction, Slashers with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 10, 2016 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky

Riki-Oh: The Story of Riki (1991), remains hands down, a Hall of Fame horror/sci-fi Japanese classic so over the top in its straight-faced comedic depiction of mega-violence and flesh re-purposing gore, it has yet to be rivaled. (Though you could probably make a street cred argument for 1993’s splattery Dead Alive.)

Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky

Riki is a frown-y pensive guy with gym-sculpted muscles sent to prison for man-slaughtering a crime guy who, in a flashback, caused Riki’s college girlfriend to be killed to death. The prison, while clean, is a living hell for the inmates, who are tortured and mutilated (de-skinned) and forced to grow opium for the warden. (P.S. Don’t do drugs.)

Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky

It’s here Riki endures a non-stop litany of torture and punishments for standing up for the bullied inmates: knife and crochet needle through the hand. Buried in wet cement. Almost strangled by an enemies’ entrails (one of the movie’s most famous scenes). Punched to the point of permanent bruises. Imprisoned in a cage of sharp rebar. Cell roof with spikes being lowered on him. Razorblades stuffed in his mouth. Buried for seven days in prison dirt with only a bamboo stick to breathe from. And that’s just the first half!

Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky

Not only does Riki have to defend himself from the warden and assistant warden with a candy-mint filled artificial eyeball (not making this up), he has the prison’s gangs (including a giant fat bully named Silly Lung) with supernatural fighters who beat our hero like a dirty rug with dirty tricks. Riki responds by punching criminals through their neck and up through their face, where his fist pops out.

Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky

But it’s the grand finale with Riki doing a spectacularly gore splattered battle with the warden, who mutates into a giant creature with super-strength, that’s the movie’s money shot. (Riki has super strength, too, a gift from birth and super punch fighting skills courtesy of his uncle.)

Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky

The prison’s industrial strength meat grinder plays an important role in taking Riki-Oh’s story to unmatched levels of bloodletting. And if by now you think enough is enough, Riki does one more thing with his fist. I’ll leave you to find out for yourself. But man, is it funny.

Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky

Interesting note: The phrase “Why so serious?”, uttered in The Dark Night (2008) by the Joker, was first coined in this movie as a question by the assistant warden to the sullen and non-talking Riki. You’d be sullen and non-talking too if someone tried strangling you with icky lower intestines.

Super Sci-Fi

Posted in Fantasy, Science Fiction with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 9, 2015 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Batman

Superheroes are science fiction. That incendiary statement is a big fat lie. Take Batman, for instance. He’s one of history’s greatest superheroes and is self made. No being born on a distant planet and being foster home’d on Earth, finding a power ring that didn’t come out of a Cracker Jack’s™ box, or bitten by a radioactive ick bug. Just a lot of time in the lab and gym, and a deep desire to smack criminals – or anyone even thinking about becoming a criminal.

The Adventures of Superman

By and large, though, superheroes are the stuff of sci-fi. How could you not punch buildings in the roof without breaking your knuckles, or stretch your arms around your body and give yourself a reach-around and not be borne of sci-fi? And this, along with some really cool characters and story lines, is what makes the current wave of superhero TV shows so dang fun.

Preferring to watch movies instead of TV shows, I was lured back by a whole punchfest of superhero shows delving into the re-imagined history of Batman, The Flash, Green Arrow, Daredevil and the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. in a way comic books (or “15 cent bibles”) of my youth only touched on. After binge watching a pile of these new TV series, here are a few overviews and observations…

Gotham

GOTHAM
A clever spin on taking the Batman universe back to the beginning, when pre-Bat Bruce Wayne is just starting to grow vengeance pubes. It’s here they shake up the origins of B-Man’s greatest foes – Catwoman, Penguin, Joker, Riddler, Poison Ivy, etc. – and how they played a part in young Master Bruce’s pre-destiny. (Selina “Catwoman” Kyle is a teen here and quite the cutie, thereby introducing Bruce to his newest weapon, the Bat Boner.) Also, someone dies violently every episode.

The Flash

THE FLASH
C.S.I. whiz Barry Allen was turned into the Flash by a particle accelerator explosion, changing him into a meta-human. The same science-gone-wrong blast also morphed a bunch of non-law abiding citizens of Central City into meta-criminals, each acquiring a unique sci-fi power of their own. This provides the Flash with a new super criminal each week to weave into the overall story arc. P.S. Kind of a well-intentioned wuss, Flash nevertheless cries every episode. And he also gets beat up a lot. Maybe they should call him the “Fastest Punching Bag Alive.”

Arrow

ARROW
A heavy back story hot mess, Arrow nonetheless shows the transformation of billionaire twenty-something Oliver Queen, going from party fun boy cheating on his girlfriend with her sister (in his defense, sis is really hot), to the hooded/masked/eye makeup’d Arrow (or “Green Arrow”), a balancer of right and wrong. It’s here he puts to good use his peerless bow and arrow skills he developed to survive on that criminal-infested, desolate island for five years after his yacht sank in big wavy waves. In the beginning he actually killed people. Now he just wounds them. In every episode someone finds out his secret identity. (Notes: Oliver never seems to run out of arrows. Also, the show crosses over with The Flash. Pretty flashy.)

Daredevil

DAREDEVIL
Really dark – in lighting and mood – the sightless Daredevil brings blind justice (heh) to New York by night, and fights for due legal process as attorney Matt Murdock by day. (As he’s blind, how can Daredevil tell when it’s night and day? Yet another one of his unique abilities, I guess.) DD didn’t wear his famous devil-horned red costume for most of the first season, preferring to beat up criminals in his Old Navy™ street pants. Speaking of fisticuffs, the gritty fight scenes are amazingly orchestrated and extreme brutal ass kick. Everybody at work the next day just thinks those bruises on his face were from tripping over furniture.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

THE AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.
The Agents of S.H.I.E.LD. is overflowing with super humans, super criminals, global conspiracies, betrayals, wicked fight sequences, secrets within secrets, occasional Avenger cameos, and really hot gals. The series, soon to be on its third season as of this e-barfing, stretches to keep the story arc from sliding all over the place. Doesn’t always succeed, but still one of the better genre shows going (my opinion only). The amazingly cool character of Agent Phil Coulson is brought back from the dead (he was killed in half by Loki, Thor’s half-bro in The Avengers/2012) with his dry humor intact, and picks up the pieces of the broken S.H.I.E.L.D. (see Captain America: The Winter Soldier/2014), and kicks ass in every cliff-hanging episode. I wish to be an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., if for anything to meet Chloe Bennet (aka, Agent Skye). You don’t have to guess what her super power is…

Chloe Bennet

SUPERGIRL
Getting ready to air as of this super-blogging. But watching the promo short, I can tell this one isn’t for me, despite Supergirl being a super cutie.

Supergirl

This show is meant for 12-13 year old girls. Since I quit wearing sparkle fingernail polish last year, I’ll have to give the Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) sexy spin-off, Agent Carter a try…

Agent CarterGOTTA GET THIS OFF MY SUPER CHEST: SMALLVILLE
Airing from 2001 to 2011, this popular 10-year series followed the acne years of Superman. Yeah, I watched a few episodes in the beginning, only to fly away after seeing Super Wuss go through endless drama scenes of teen angst. (You’re over-thinking it if you get a tummy ache deciding if it’s morally right or not to look through Lois Lane’s blouse with your X-ray vision. Just do it, for crying out loud. (No pun intended.)

Smallville

P.S. I didn’t forget Heroes. Just never watched it. I was busy painting my nails and… Oh crap – did I just say that out loud? Clearly, my super power is having a big mouth.

Heroes: Reborn

Putting a Krampus In Christmas

Posted in Classic Horror, Evil, Fantasy, Foreign Horror, Ghosts, Slashers, Zombies with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 19, 2015 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Krampus

For every god there’s a devil. For every Batman there’s a Joker. For every plaid there’s a stripe. For every peanut butter, there’s a jelly. So it stands to reason that for every Santa there’s a Krampus, a sort of evil opposite Santa Claus. And because of that, the Krampus makes for great horror movie fodder.

Krampus

Arriving just in time for Christmas (4th of July for Jesus), Krampus – releasing December 4, 2015 – looks to put a cramp on the biggest commercial holiday of the year. Here’s how jolly this one’s gonna get…

Krampus

“A horror-comedy, Krampus tells the story of young Max, who turns his back on Christmas as his dysfunctional family comes together and comically clashes over the holidays. When they accidentally unleash the wrath of Krampus – an ancient entity from European folklore – all hell breaks loose and beloved holiday icons take on a monstrous life of their own. Now, the fractured family is forced to unite if they hope to survive.”

Krampus: The Christmas Devil

There was a Krampus on campus several years ago: Krampus: The Christmas Devil (2013). It went like this: “Jeremy, a local police officer, leads a life of a confusing past, spending his current time searching for his kidnapper as a child. After other children begin missing, Jeremy pieces together the truth and realizes that his childhood kidnapper could be a creature of ancient yuletide lore, Krampus, who is the brother of St. Nick, and punisher of children who perform acts of unspeakable evil without repercussion.”

Rare Exports / Sint

I like the business model. And if these seasonal slashers get you in the mood, try Rare Exports (2010), featuring 100 naked Santa Claus’ running down  a snowy hill with their sleigh bells a’ringin’.

And hey, for your zombie Santa needs, there’s Sint (2010), who rides an evil horse on roof tops, slaughtering children and not leaving gifts. (Man, that’s just mean.) How the evil horse doesn’t slip on the icy roofs is a testimony to Sint’s power. I fear him.