Archive for Stranger Things

Stranger Thing Things

Posted in Fantasy, Giant Monsters, Nature Gone Wild, Science Fiction with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 3, 2019 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Stranger Things

As anticipation for Stranger Things Season 3 (July 4, 2019/Netflix™) reaches pee shiver excitement of bladder-straining proportions, the runaway hit horror/sci-fi TV series brings in its wake a pile of licensed goodies, from toys to books to entire living room makeovers. Yes, you read that correctly. Let’s get started, shall we?

Stranger Things

First up is the just released Stranger Things The Upside Down LEGO™ set, loaded with remarkable detail for a bunch of colorful bricks that like inside-out waffles bars, which ironically, taste like plastic bricks. Behold — the press release:

Stranger Things

“The replica of the Byers house features Will’s bedroom, the living room and the dining room. The Upside Down version of the house features all the rooms from the real-world model but with a dark, vine-covered, dilapidated look. Of course, the set includes 8 mini-figures of your favorite Stranger Things characters, which each come with their own accessories.”

Way cool, especially the LEGO™ version of the monsterific Demogorgon. (My neighbor’s dog looks exactly like one of those face-eating things.) Expect to pay $199.00 for this super neato set.

Visions From The Upside Down

Next comes Visions from the Upside Down (Printed In Blood, Del Rey) hardcover art book, available October 15, 2019 for $35 upside down fun coupons.

Stranger Things

The 304 page book highlights contributions from an army of artists. As the press release brags, “The more than 200 artists featured, drawing from the earthly dimensions of comics, illustration, fine art, video-games, and animation, have come together to bring us a unique vision of the world of Hawkins, Indiana. The 200-plus brand-new images have been created specifically for this volume, which also includes an all-new introduction.”

That’s a lot of crayons being put to the stress test.

Stranger Things

One of the all-time seriously coolest Stranger Things tie-ins comes from IKEA™, the Swedish furniture store that sells chairs with names as hard to pronounce as it is to assemble them at home. They’ve come up with a recreation of the iconic Byers living room. You have to make your own portal to the Upside Down. You’ll need a 12-pack and a sledgehammer.

Stranger Things

So how much would it cost to turn your own living room into the Byers family’s living room, complete with letter wall and Christmas lights? According to IKEA™, $1,441.54. Guess it’s time to take down all those KISS posters and upgrade my lifestyle with beach towel covered couches and Morse code Christmas lights.

Baskin-Robbins

Lastly, ice cream flingers Baskin-Robbins™ are turning select stores into a Scoops Ahoy Stranger Things ice cream shop one in particular being set up at the Starcourt Mall in…wait for it…Hawkins, IN.

Baskin-Robbins

Check out the menu: the “Demogorgon Sundae,” the “Elevenade Freeze,” the “Upside Down Sundae” and pre-packed quarts of “U.S.S. Butterscotch.” Too bad this is a limited promotion; I’d be up for a Demogorgon Sundae year ’round.

This is just the tip of the Upside Down. I’ll let you know if they come out with a Stranger Things toilet with the bowl that resembles the gaping, toothy mouth of the Demogorgon. If you had problems purging before, this will fix that sh*t with one sit. Heh.

Godzilla — King of All Media, Kids vs. Aliens, British Heaven/English Hell

Posted in Aliens, Asian Horror, Asian Sci-Fi, Evil, Fantasy, Foreign Horror, Giant Monsters, Godzilla, Nature Gone Wild, Science Fiction with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 29, 2019 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

The Art of Godzilla: King of the Monsters

Even if you’ve only occasionally clicked in and out of this nearly 10-year-old blog-blog, a cursory glance will tell you I’m a freak for all things Godzilla. (And sweet, sweet beer.) So it won’t come as a surprise I’m tagging EVEN more Godzilla stuff on the eve of the worldwide premier of Godzilla: King of the Monsters (May 31, 2019).The Art of Godzilla: King of the Monsters

This G-shout out is  for The Art of Godzilla: King of the Monsters (by Abbie Bernstein), a $25.00 and change (Amazon Prime™) hardcover book showcasing the conception art the new movie built itself on. It isn’t available for purchase until a few days after the movie comes out, so you’ll just have to deal with your pee shivers a bit longer.

Godzilla: King of the Monsters

Here’s what you can expect for the money: “An in-depth, behind-the-scenes look at the epic movie from Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures. Packed with beautiful concept art, on-set photography, and detailed insight from key members of the production, this beautiful book tells the story of how Godzilla and his foes were brought to life.”

To while away the time before the movie/book comes out, here are a few now streaming/upcoming horror/sci-fi/fantasy TV series that may or may not give you the pee shivers…

Rim of the World

RIM OF THE WORLD (available now/Netflix™)
“Summer camp has barely begun when aliens suddenly invade the planet. In a campground once teeming with people, four misfit teens are unexpectedly entrusted with a key that carries the secret to stopping the invasion. Without any adults or electronics to help guide the way, it’s clear what they must do: band together, conquer their fears and save the world.”

As much as it’s obvious they’re cashing in on preteens going up against sci-fi odds (Stranger Things, y’all), this one actually works. Watch the first episode and see if it doesn’t suck you in like it was your very first beer.

Abyss

ABYSS (available now/Netflix™)
“Two people are brought back to life with the help of a soul-reviving marble called ‘Abyss.’ Go Se-yeon is a strikingly beautiful prosecutor who is reincarnated as a lawyer with an ordinary look. Cha Min is a smart, rich yet unattractive businessman who is reborn with the most handsome face ever. As the story unfolds, Go and Cha encounter a series of twists and turns while trying to get to the bottom of their own deaths and revival.”

A Korean fantasy/horror/drama/comedy TV series. That works. What doesn’t: sub-titles, which are like karaoke TV lyrics for the talent-deprived.

Good Omens

GOOD OMENS (May 31, 2019/Amazon Prime™)
Aziraphale and Crowley, of Heaven and Hell respectively, have grown rather fond of the Earth. So it’s terrible news that it’s about to end. The armies of Good and Evil are amassing. The Four Horsemen are ready to ride. Everything is going according to the Divine Plan…except that someone seems to have misplaced the Antichrist. Can our heroes find him and stop Armageddon before it’s too late?”

A British apocalyptic comedy, which means it’s gonna be loaded with sharp, dry humor and people who talk like the Beatles. Put this at the top of your queue — whatever that is.

Star Trek: Picard

STAR TREK: PICARD (CBS All Access/2019)
Star Trek: Picard features Sir Patrick Stewart reprising his iconic role as Jean-Luc Picard, which he played for seven seasons on Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987 — 1994). The new series will follow this iconic character into the next chapter of his life.

Gotta hand it to the franchise — they keep coming up with new ways to milk that lucrative space cow. It’s kinda weird watching the teaser trailer; Sir Patrick Stewart looks exactly the same as he did 32 years ago — and I thought he looked old then! As good as he was in Star Trek, I’m partial to his older X-Men character, Professor X (aka, Professor Charles Xavier). His future wheelchair is way cooler than my car. Probably gets better mileage, too.

Sweet Tooth Sci-Fi, Early-Period Zombies, Marsh Monster

Posted in Asian Horror, Asian Sci-Fi, Evil, Fantasy, Foreign Horror, Giant Monsters, Misc. Horror, Nature Gone Wild, Science Fiction, TV Vixens, Zombies with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 2, 2019 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Stranger Things

If you’re a fan of Stranger Things (and who on this planet isn’t?), Itsugar.com just made available a whole bowl of Stranger Things themed candy, from My Little Pollywog gummy to Barb Missing Milk Carton (full of chocolate malt balls) to the Upside Down Chocolate Bar — half premium milk chocolate and half gray-speckled white chocolate. Pack your bags — you’re about to go to Yum Town.

Stranger Things

Stranger Things

Before you go indulging your taste for all things stranger and sweet, here are a few upcoming horror/sci-fi streaming series, which may or may not give you cavities…

Stranger Things 3

STRANGER THINGS 3 (July 4, 2019/Netflix™)
Titles for the new episodes include: “Suzie, Do You Copy?, “The Mall Rats,” “The Case of the Missing Lifeguard,” “The Sauna Test,” “The Source,” “The Birthday,” “The Bite” and “The Battle of Starcourt.”

That’s all they’re giving us for now. Fine by me — the Stranger Things series is so addictively bingeful, it should be classified as some sort of visual drug, like porno. Except instead of Jennifer Lawrence’s Photoshopped naked/nude body wrapped around mine, you get the Demogorgon, which may or may not know who Jennifer Lawrence is. Or me.

Kingdom

KINGDOM (January 26, 2019/Netflix™)
In a kingdom defeated by corruption and famine, a mysterious plague spreads to turn the infected into monsters. The crown prince, framed for treason and desperate to save his people, sets out on a journey to unveil what evil lurks in the dark.

Looking forward to this South Korean period piece zombie apocalypse chewfest. And hey, it’s gonna be a series, which means more couch time for this professional squatter.

The Punisher

THE PUNISHER (2019/Netflix™)
“After exacting revenge on those responsible for the death of his wife and children, Frank Castle uncovers a conspiracy that runs far deeper than New York’s criminal underworld. Now known throughout the city as The Punisher, he must discover the truth about injustices that affect more than his family alone.”

If you saw Season One of Netflix’s The Punisher, it certainly lived up to its name — each show contained some of the most face-pinchingly brutal fight scenes this side of Daredevil ever filmed for enjoyment purposes. And Jon Bernthal, who played the loose cannon Shane on The Walking Dead, is the perfect choice to deliver the business end of his pummel-happy fists. I am so happy right now.

Swamp Thing

SWAMP THING (2019/DC Universe)
Abby Arcane, an employee at Atlanta’s Center for Disease Control, investigates what seems to be a deadly swamp-born virus in a small town in Louisiana but soon discovers that the swamp holds mystical and terrifying secrets.”

A new series set to stream on DC Universe. As much as Swamp Thing is cool, it remains to be seen if he’s $7.99 a month cool.

9 Years of Parade-Worthy Horror

Posted in Aliens, Asian Horror, Asian Sci-Fi, Classic Horror, Evil, Foreign Horror, Ghosts, Giant Monsters, Godzilla, Nature Gone Wild, Science Fiction, Sharks, Slashers, UFOs, Vampires, Werewolves, Witches, Zombies with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 9, 2018 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Horror Questions

Today is the nine-year anniversary of my very first posting on WordPress™. After I upload this, I’m going outside to wait for my parade. There’s sure to be tens, maybe dozens, of people showing up, so I better get there early to get a good viewing spot. Okay, that made no sense at all.

Thriftway

That said, over the years and in line at the grocery hole (Thriftway™ — more expensive than Safeway™, but easier to get to), I’ve been asked a least one million billion questions about myself and this here Drinkin’ & Drive-in blog. Figured it was about time to put it on the glass so everyone who reads this thing (thank you) can finally get some closure.

Horror

“How long have you been doing the Drinkin’ & Drive-in blog and how did you get started?”
I was hired by Microsoft (aka, MSNEntertainment.com) back in 1997 to do a PAID daily horror/sci-fi movie blog called Fright Site. That program ended in 2010 (at least their checks didn’t bounce), but I wasn’t done yet. After about three seconds of studied and careful consideration, I started up Drinkin’ & Drive-in on WordPress.com and have been doing it WITHOUT PAY since June 9, 2010. So 25 years total, give or take. (I’m not really a math guy.)

Horror

How come you don’t accept paid advertising on your blog?
Because ads suck. I’d rather keep doing the blog for no pay than have it cluttered with banners promoting trendy pants and boxed squeezy mattresses. (Disclaimer: WordPress™ might have small pop-up ads that, like my thirst for beer, I have no control over.)

Ultimate Hamburger

“How would you describe your blog?
I don’t do horror/sci-fi/fantasy movie reviews as it requires more brains than I currently have operating inside the vending machine that is my head. Rather, I just endlessly watch all kinds of horror and sci-fi and merely relate what I’ve witnessed. As opposed to a food critic, I would rather not analyze the notes and complexities of food and just eat the damn hamburger.

Godzilla

“What are your favorite kinds of horror movies?”
Longtime readers (thank you, David. H and Jon from NC) will know I’m a big fan of giant monster movies, Japanese or otherwise. This is followed by ghosts, werewolf and shark movies. My least favorite types of horror movies are those with slashers/serial killers. There’s more than enough of those types of people in the news everyday. For sheer crazy weirdness, I really dig those Japanese extreme gore movies and pretty much anything regarding UFOs.

UFO

“Have you ever seen a UFO?”
Not as yet. But I do believe the people who say they’ve seen one. The truth is out there, I want to believe, etc., etc. I do, however, eat UFOs  almost every day: unidentified frying objects.

Zombeavers

“Are there any types of horror movies you won’t watch?”
Though I have seen enough of ‘em to know not to watch that kind of stuff anymore, are horror movies involving torture porn, rape and real or fake violence against real and/or fake animals, though I will make an exception for critters that are zombies. (I’m looking in your direction Zombeavers/2014). Oddly, I don’t feel the same way about violence towards fish. (Ironically, I’m eating a tuna fish sandwich while writing this.)

“You don’t use swear words in your blog — why not?”
Anyone can swear — it’s like the karaoke of language. My “journalism skills” are offensive enough without adding salty/florid language to it. That, and I just sound dumber than usual if I do.

Horror

“What are your favorite horror/sci-fi movies?”
Too many to list, but here’s a few classics I never get tired of watching over and over and over: Planet of the Apes (1968); Godzilla (1954); The Legend of Hell House (1973); 30 Days of Night (2007); The Thing (1982); The Wolf-Man (1941); Alien (1979); The Evil Dead (1981); Let The Right One In (2008); An American Werewolf in London (1981), and A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984). There’s about two dozen more, but this is a nice representation of my cinematic tastes.

horror

Recent ones (as this time and space) that kicked me in the britches are The Witch (2015), It (2017), It Follows (014), Stranger Things (2016), The Babadook (2014), Godzilla (2014), Shin Godzilla (2017) and Kong: Skull Island (2017), to name a few.

Budweiser

“After all these years, why keep going?”
A curious but relentless compulsion, really. That, and it’s a way to justify all those decades sitting on a couch watching TV. And no, I’m not fat from doing that, nor would I even think about body shaming someone who is. I currently weigh just 6.5 lbs. over my target weight for height and age, despite my insatiable thirst for all things adult beverages, which is generally Budweiser™. And I don’t drink hard alcohol — too many notes. That’s not to say I’d turn down a complimentary sip or three. Ahem.

Alcohol

What critique would you give your blog?
I tend to ramble. I feel as though it should be more “don’t bore us — get to the chorus.” But I don’t wanna leave anything out. Obsession is harsh mistress. Also, I occasionally repeat myself due to the erratic nature of both my brainwaves and horror movie release schedules. That bugs the insects outta me.

Horror

“How come your blog or even yourself is not on social media?”
I do this blog for free, so why make more work for myself? As for me not being on social media, besides the fact that trendy medium sucks green donkeys, I don’t think the world needs to hear what I had for breakfast or what cat video I just watched.

“How old are you?”
For an accurate answer, cut my liver in half and count the rings.

Horror

“How much longer are you going to keep doing Drinkin’ & Drive-in?”
That’s up to my liver.

Expensive UFOs, Ghost Selfies, Fear of Fear

Posted in Classic Horror, Evil, Ghosts, Science Fiction, UFOs with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 19, 2018 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Close Encounters of the Third Kind

Found some really cool Close Encounters of the Third Kind art (by artist Daniel Keane) on the Internet. (The term “world wide web” is so Netscape 3). This got me thinking about that recently released Navy jet fighter footage of a UFO pretty much outmaneuvering them as if playing paranormal dodgeball.

UFO

Made public (finally) by the Pentagon last December, the footage was shot back in 2004 and was so convincing the Pentagon emptied the collection plate for $22 million to study the “40-foot-long Tic Tac” and its relatives. And yet we can’t come up with a few hundred bucks to fix that @#$%! pothole on the street in front of my house? I already did the research — it’s definitely a hole. It’s so big, you could put other holes in it.

UFOs

Here’s how the government rationalized the fund folly — retired Cmdr. David Fravor told CNN’s The Situation Room the money spent on the program was a drop in the bucket relative to the military’s over half-a-trillion-dollar annual budget. Pffft — I would’ve done the legwork for 82% of that amount.

On that promissory note, here are a few just released and upcoming horror/sci-fi movies that the military may or may not spend a million billion dollars to study…

Irrational Fear

IRRATIONAL FEAR (available now)
“Six therapy patients are brought together at a secluded cabin to confront their strangest fears. But these fears won’t just hurt them…they will kill them.”

My strangest fears include never getting to ride in that Death Proof (2007) Chevy Nova™, invisible dog poop on visible sidewalks, and getting bitten by a radioactive spider and webbing my pants in front of the Green Goblin. That would be embarrassing on so many levels.

Malicious

MALICIOUS (Summer, 2018)
“When a young college professor Adam and his pregnant wife Lisa suffer a traumatic event, they find themselves along with Lisa’s sister Becky haunted — and connected — to a malicious entity. It is only when Adam calls upon Dr. Clark, a professor of parapsychology at the university, that the true horror of what they have encountered becomes clear.”

Lots of movie gals getting knocked up by evil these days: Restraint (2018), The Lullaby (2018), Still/Born (2018), Prevenge (2016), Shelley (2016), Devil’s Due (2014), Delivery (2013), The Clinic (2010), Grace (2009), etc. And let us not forget Rosemary’s Baby (1968), the gold standard for crib horror. (Honorary mention: It’s Alive/1974.) Why, there’s enough pregnancy-gone-wrong movies to fill up 40 weeks. Heh. For a really lurid take on this genre, try Inseminoid (1981). If the title doesn’t fill your diapers, the plot will: “A space-team member goes berserk after being impregnated by something on another planet.” It appears somethings on other planets don’t practice safe sex. I bet they don’t even pay child support, either, those losers.

Aura

AURA (November 8, 2018/UK— 2018/2019/US)
“Said to revolve around the concept of photographing your own aura, known as Kirlian photography.”

So you take a selfie of yourself sucking in your cheeks in like an anorexic/narcissistic supermodel and a ghost demon shows up in the photo? Just as it’s not making that two-fingered “peace sign” dealie behind my head, I’m okay with the photo-op. Ready for my close-up.

200 Hours

200 HOURS (2018)
“It’s 1986 and a group of graduate students are close to discovering a cure for sleep using an experimental new drug, but something goes terribly wrong with a test subject. After their department is shut down, the team moves forward in secret — only this time on themselves.”

Sounds like a rip-off of A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987) and Flatliners (1990/2017). More rip-offery: The movie’s logo rips freely from Stranger Things (2016). And the bra that gal is sporting? I’m wearing the same one!

Hell Kids, Hell Zombies, Hell Stuff

Posted in Classic Horror, Evil, Fantasy, Foreign Horror, Ghosts, Science Fiction, Slashers, Witches, Zombies with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 22, 2017 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Stranger Things 2 / A Nightmare on Elm Street

As you/me/I/us/them/they wait IMPATIENTLY for Stranger Things 2 (premiering Friday, October 27, 2017), news comes down the super fun happy slide the surprise horror hit has already been renewed for a third season. I needed some good news after waiting all day for that !@#$ “once-in-a-lifetime” eclipse to somehow destroy the world. (I know the eclipse was for free, but dang — I feel gypped.)

The new Stranger Things 2 key art is a slick homage to 1984’s A Nightmare on Elm Street. When you think about it, sleep slasher Freddy Krueger’s dream state world is the ‘80s version of Stranger Thing’s The Upside Down alternate universe/dimension/golf course. Regardless, I’ll have to go back to hoping for Melancholia to smash into this toilet Earth for my world-destroying fantasies.

While we wait for that planet to pinball ours, here are a few upcoming horror and sci-fi movies to help cope with the disappointing, non-destructo eclipse

Little Evil

LITTLE EVIL (September 1, 2017/Netflix)
“Gary just married Samantha, only to find out that her 6-year-old son is the Antichrist.”

This horror comedy sounds fun/ny. But if the kid is the son of the Antichrist, does that men Samantha is the Mom Antichrist, or is this one of those, “it takes a village” things?

Hellriser

HELLRISER (October 9, 2017/UK)
“When their city is rocked by a series of brutal occult murders, veteran detective John Locke and his young partner Terri Keyes are forced to put aside their differences and follow the trail of evidence to a formerly abandoned asylum, where the new owner Dr. Unnseine is conducting his own brand of Nazi-inspired “medical research” on the unwilling inmates. One such inmate, the sexy but deadly Annie Dyer, may hold the key to the murders — and to the doorway to Hell itself — if only Locke and Keyes can stay alive long enough to discover what it is.”

Dawn of the Dead / Land of the Dead

As much as you’d think this is one of those Asylum Studio rip-offs, it is, unfortunately, from another source of rip-offery. Obviously, the title is lifted from Clive Barker’s Hellraiser (1987). Then there’s the “When there’s no more room in Hell…” kicker line on the key art, a bold shoplift from 1978’s Dawn of the Dead. Wondering why the filmmakers didn’t just put it all on the glass and have the zombies wearing Goth leather and walking around with nails in their heads, like those teens at the mall.

Hagazussa: A Heathen's Curse

HAGAZUSSA: A HEATHEN’S CURSE (2018)
“Set in the 15th Century in the Austrian Alps, Hagazussa takes us back to a dark period when pagan beliefs of witches spread fear into the minds of the rural folk exploring the thin line between ancient beliefs, magic and delusional psychosis.”

Ancient beliefs, magic and delusional psychosis. That may be f’d up for those in the Austrian Alps, but for me it’s just another night at The Poggie Tavern. I like witches, though. The sexy ones on TV, not the stinky kind at the bar who smell like room temperature Steel Reserve malt liquor.

Still/Born

STILL/BORN (2018)
“Mary, a new mother who lost one of her twins in childbirth, struggles with the loss. She starts to suspect something sinister is after her surviving child — a supernatural entity that has chosen her child and will stop at nothing to take it from her.”

They kinda hand this one to us one a parsley-garnished platter — the “supernatural entity” is the twin that didn’t make it to market. (A theory, not a conclusion.) By the way, do you want me to tell you what you’re getting for Christmas?

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.