The Odyssey of Flight 33, Comic Review, by Case Wright


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Yes, they have comic versions of The Twilight Zone! I really enjoyed this and I know that some of you are like….hmmm is this horror? Yes… Yes, it is. No further questions!  Besides, we have a Twilight Episode to discuss.  The Twilight Zone always leaned more into horror IMO.  The Outer Limits was all about teaching you a moral lesson, but TTZ was all about the scare factor.

I enjoyed this format too.  Face it, a lot of the TTZ episodes don’t hold up amazingly well.  It’s the truth….Deal With It!  The book has all the components of a good TTZ episode: the setup of perceived normality that takes a terrible left turn.  There aren’t many things more normal or boring than air travel.  The flight is just a typical run to La Guardia and the passengers appear very normal as well: the chatty passenger, the braggy passenger, and the emotionally unstable passenger.

These archetypal passengers pull us into the story much like the Stephen King stories do. Stephen’s characters are your neighbors and these passengers are too.  But, something isn’t right is the friendly skies! They feel hit a pocket of air and their speed goes into the thousands of miles per hour and whammo – they start time traveling! They arrive in 1939 and don’t stop because they want to get back to their own time- So no killing Hitler for these time travelers.  Then, they arrive in the Cretaceous and decide not to land because Jurassic Park is so five minutes ago, but then they arrive in the future.

This one troubled me a bit.  They are low on fuel and the future has cable and they can’t screw up time.  Really, they could just try to make a go of it in their new time.  No one seemed like things were that amazing for them in the present.  I mean, why not just land? You’d at least make a living on the talk show circuit. The comic ends with ambiguity.  They are low on fuel and lost in time.

I would recommend checking these issues out.  They’re a lot of fun and have a good creep factor.

 

Masters of Horror, “Deer Woman”, Dir. John Landis


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Happy Horrorthon! There’s a Half-Deer woman (DeerTaur?) on the loose and only Martin Tupper…I mean Detective Dwight Faraday can stop her…maybe. Many of you don’t remember Dream On from the late 80s-early 90s on HBO, but it was awesome.  Benben played this kinda cranky book editor Martin Tupper who always thought in movie clips and seeing him act again was like being a wee kid again who quietly watched Dream On after his parents fell asleep.  Dream On BTW was hilarious and created by John Landis- Check it Out!  Yes, The American Werewolf in London director and he did Thriller.

Well, in the early 2000s Mick Garris got a lot of the greats from the 80s and 90s to do short horror films and Deer Woman was one of them.  In Deer Woman, Drunk dudes are getting trampled to death and Detective Faraday is assigned to the case.

Faraday is a down and out detective who no one respects.  Martin Tupper was a down and editor who no one respected.  Faraday is actually not a terrible detective.  He follows up leads and sees where they go.  He checks with the coroner and sees that the bodies are riddled with hoof prints.  You know what makes hoof prints? Deer-Taurs!!!!

Also, men are really portrayed as dumb and horny.  The Deer-Taur picks her next victim up at a hotel bar without speaking a word, but the dudes don’t seem to mind.  Once the seduction is on, she tramples him with her hooves! Yes, hooves.  I love this show!

What’s not to like?! Deer-Taurs, Detectives, and hooves!  There’s also a great dream sequence when Faraday imagines how the kill went down where a Deer in flannel carries off a victim Creature from Black Lagoon style.  It’s hilarious.  This is what’s great about Landis; his horror is always interspersed with great comic relief.

Anywho, bodies keep dropping and they’re so beat up that their arms are found on rooftops! AWESOME!!! Does Detective Faraday stop the Deer-Taur? Who Cares?! It’s got Deer-Taurs and Brian Benben! I would definitely recommend finding this show however you can.  Pretty much all of the Masters of Horror episodes are great. Cheers!

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Creepshow, S1, Ep3, All Hallow’s Eve, The Man in the Suitcase, Review By Case Wright


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Happy Horrorthon! I’m am once again reviewing Creepshow.  It is officially a true Guilty Pleasure, but come on, aren’t those all of our go to pleasures anyway? To the uninitiated, Creepshow is a GOOD horror anthology series, but really it’s a showcase for short-films.  How? It’s broken down into two stories and neither of them are over 23 minutes.  Aside from giving writers like Christopher Buehlman his big break (before this he’d only written skits for Renaissance Faires….really), they are the short short brought to life.

Many of Stephen King’s short stories are made into movies, but they are always lengthened into something (usually better) than their original quick-paced short story.  Creepshow keeps that fast pace…mostly.  Well, they keep it for the second story.  The second story is always the better story and moves at the quick pace that you’d expect in a short story.  Even at 22 minutes, the first story tends to drag.

All Hallow’s Eve follows 5 youths trick or treating in a terrified neighborhood.  It was obvious to anyone with a pulse that these kids were dead and out to cause trouble.  Turns out that during a vigorous D&D session in their treehouse, some bullies from the neighborhood thought it would be funny to set it on fire, with the D&D nerds in it.  As you do.  Well, their door gets stuck and they all die.  So, they haunt the neighborhood setting fire to one bully each Halloween until they are all briquettes.

The acting in story A is ….ok.  Story A is a bit slow-paced, which is really hard to do in 20 minutes, but here we are.  I still watched it and so should you.  It’s not like 2 Sentence Horror we are talking about, which is garbage wrapped in rotten bacon.

Story 2 was The Man in the Suitcase, which could’ve worked as a twilight zone episode.  Justin is a loser stoner who is dumped by his girlfriend and used by his roommate.  He is arriving home after visiting his family and he gets a carry-on from the airport and it’s not his stuff that’s inside; it’s a Middle-Eastern man bent so he can fit into the carry-on.  It turns out the Man wants to leave the suitcase, but every time Justin tries to move him, it causes the Man pain, which in turn causes the Man to spit out a gold coin.

Well, Justin isn’t sure what to do, but Justin’s roommate and his ex-girlfriend do and they all decide to torture the man in the suitcase so that he’ll spit out loads of gold.  The torture gets pretty gross, but Justin eventually has a change of heart and tries to free the Man, but his girlfriend and roommate want to keep the gold so she tries to kill Justin with a wrench, which is just lying about.  I won’t spoil what happens next because this was a lot of fun and really makes Shutter worth my subscription fee.

This story really had some good pacing.  Yes, it was predictable and very over the top, but that is just the Creepshow way.

Again, relax and enjoy!

 

Creepshow, S1 Ep2,Bad Wolf Down/The Finger, Review by Case Wright, Spoilers, but worth it!


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Happy Halloween Havoc!!!! Is it enough for horror to just be fun and even funny?  YES! American Werewolf in London or anything by John Landis really proves that. Creepshow on Shudder is all about just sitting back and having some gory fun. This show is so wonderfully over the top that the 90s have returned. Let’s all put away our black turtle necks and put on some Hammerpants and watch some great horror.

Bad Wolf Down is a werewolves in World War II story…Really! It was a lot of fun.  Then, when I saw Jeffrey Combs (Re-Animator) playing a Nazi, I realized this show is THE AWESOMENESS! An american platoon gets trapped behind enemy lines and takes refuge in an abandoned police station.  They find a woman in the jail who is a french werewolf. This seems relevant because they really spend a lot of time translating.

The Head Nazi (Jeffrey Combs) finds the american platoon and will wipe them out, but the platoon gets the french werewolf to turn them into werewolves and they go and kill a bunch of Nazis.  That’s it…Really!

The Finger is your lonely guy adopts a self-regenerating-human-eating-Alien story.  I know…I know ..  another one?! Clark Wilson (DJ Qualls) is a twice divorced down and out guy who has nothing going for him- until he finds a finger.  The finger looks alien and when he spills beer on it, it re-generates into a medium-sized alien and becomes his pet.  He calls the alien Bob.  Bob becomes Clark’s best friend and as any best friend would do, Bob eats all of Clark’s enemies.  He also brings back body parts from the kill like my old cat did.  Sidenote: I had a cat who used to bring me squirrel heads.  He’d line them on my porch.  Bob is like that.  The police eventually arrest Clark for the murders, but Bob might break him out.

The finger is told by Clark in real-time narration, which really adds to the comedy. He looks dead into the camera, talking directly to us. Also, it’s especially fun watching DJ Qualls hang out with a bro-alien- Brolien. If you wanna chill, watch this!!!!

Jerusalem’s Lot, Book Review, By Case Wright


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Jerusalem’s Lot is a short story by Stephen King that is a prequel to Salem’s Lot. Salem Lot was reviewed by Lisa! Lisa’s Salem Lot Review is Right Here! REALLY!  I want to make another thing clear: I didn’t read the story this time. I listened to the Audiobook … again. The performance is by John Glover and it’s really like a radio show.  John brings it! It’s a one-man-show with different voices and gravitas.  John Glover is truly a national treasure!!!

The story takes place in Jerusalem’s Lot, Maine in 1850 and is told as a series of journal entries by Charles Boone and few by Boone’s manservant/pal Calvin McCann.  Boone inherits his ancestral home in Chapelwaite, Maine just two miles from the eponymous Jerusalem’s Lot. After he moves in, he starts to hear what he believes are large rats crawling in the walls. It turns out they’re not rats, but ghosts of the damned!  The longer that Boone is in the house, the stronger the ghosts become.  This is common in Stephen King’s early works.  In “The Shining”, Danny Torrence’s ESP abilities acted as a battery that charged up the ghosts of the Overlook Hotel so that they could interface with our reality.  It was weird that the ghosts wanted to kill Danny; they surmised that his death would give them permanent entry into our world.  This is kinda silly because wouldn’t that make him a Dead Battery.

As Charles stays, the Ghosts leave him and Calvin maps and notes guiding them to the nearby town of Jerusalem’s Lot.  It is revealed that Jerusalem’s Lot was a town founded by Charles’ distant ancestor John Boone who became a devil worshiping sex pervert.  I used to visit Maine a lot in my younger days and sure there isn’t always a lot to do, but who knew that these Maine residents were only a missed Red Sox game away from creating an inbred demonic sex cult?!  Sex cults are in now check out Lisa’s NXIVM Lifetime movie  HERE!

John’s demonic sex cult got sought to manifest a gigantic intergalactic demon worm to the Jerusalem Lot Chapel by reading from an evil book called “Mysteries of the Worm” by Nicolas Sparks and then have red punch and bundt cake. They were apparently successful because the town is deserted. Boone discovers that Boone’s descendants act as a doorway for the inbred demonic sex cult to return because blood calls to blood! Bwhahaha.  This is idea of evil deeds being inherited. This is the entire plot of Bag of Bones.

Charles sets out to destroy the book because he doesn’t want the world to end or have a “Notebook” sequel in circulation.  Does Boone save the day? Buy the audiobook!

Night Shift as a whole is a brilliant collection of short stories from a time when Stephen King had just been able to support himself and his family with his writing.  His stories are leaner and heavily edited, making them a lot of fun to read because there’s no extraneous elements.  I will likely review many more short stories from this book and this period because they are some of his best work.  Happy Horrorthon!

My Favorite Thing Is Monsters, Book Review by Case Wright


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Happy Horrorthon! Have you ever read something so dark you felt unclean? My Favorite Thing is Monsters gave me that feeling. The reason I felt unclean is because the situations appeared to be based upon real events in Chicago in 1968 and earlier in Europe. Apparently, everyone in Uptown Chicago in the 1960s and in Germany from the 1920s-1940s was just a terrible person who preyed upon the weak, put their own needs first, and made foolish decisions.

Am I being harsh? No….No, I’m not.  When a person can question you, “Didn’t the child being sold into prostitution plot sicken you?” and you have to respond, “Which time?” you wonder why this was written at all?  Was Emil Ferris’ having an iced tea one summer and thought, “Hmmmm the world seems like it’s missing something….I got it! … the world is missing a murder mystery that revolves around terrible people who actually deserve to be dead.” By the last few pages, I was rooting for Chicago to be hit be a meteor- it’s the only way to be sure.  I know … I know… but Case, so many people liked this book… how dare you buck the literary zeitgeist?! I write… tough! This book is beautifully illustrated, but straight up gross and a pain to read.

The central focus of the story is solving the murder of Anka who has a mysterious and dark past … and when I write Dark Past… I mean the absolutely worst life ever.  Anka is the ONLY Holocaust survivor who is not sympathetic! Why?! Because in order to escape the Holocaust, she made a deal with a Nazi pederast to take 6 young children from the camp and force them into child prostitution and be raped by Anka’s Nazi pederast benefactor and other Nazis for the rest of their lives.  Yes, that happened! This book was recommended by a parent whose daughter was friends with my daughter and she “loved it, it’s my favorite book”… ok, I’m never speaking with her again!

The plot begins with Anka’s body found in her apartment, shot in the chest, and with no forced entry.  Karen Reyes, the ten-year-old main character, does not believe the police’s determination that it was a suicide.  Therefore, Karen dons a trench coat and detective hat and gets on the case.  By gets on the case, I mean Karen goes on a meandering journey of self-discovery and repeatedly ignores the two most obvious suspects: Anka’s jealous husband and her brother who is a part-time tattoo artist, murderer, who bedded Anka who was married (I should note: the brother bedded Anka while she was alive because this book would go there if it could and probably will in the sequel), and quasi-philosopher.

The book does have a redeeming feature: the art is beautiful, which is maybe a symbolic statement about the world itself; the world is beautiful, but the monsters (people) are the ones who make it ugly.

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Karen sees the entire world through art and monsters and draws herself as a short werewolf in the story.  She finds out more information about Anka – She was born in Germany shortly after WWI. Her mother sold her into child prostitution twice and Anka garnered a pederast benefactor Schultz who is described above.

Germany is described much like Chicago, an evil place filled with predators, who seek to dominate and murder for their lusts.  My big complaint is that this behavior is never really judged harshly by the author; it’s matter of fact and without contempt.

Back in Chicago, her brother Deez would use his tattoos as a form of ownership over his female conquests.  The most relevant conquest was Anka, who was extremely mentally ill by the time she moved to Chicago, but that didn’t stop Deez. He also liked to tattoo her back after he would take advantage of her sexually.  It was beyond disturbing.  Later, in the story, their mother gets cancer and needs medical care.  Deez gets drafted, but doesn’t go.  You’d think he would accept the draft because it would give his family greater stability, nope; instead, Deez continues down the road of hedonism and violence. Then, I truly despise him.

The characters who are decent human beings are subjected to constant degradation, humiliation, and physical violence.  The best thing about this book was that it ended.  You don’t even find out who killed Anka for sure at the end of the book because apparently there is a hunger for a sequel for this.  Maybe we should keep track of the fans of the people who enjoyed this book- light monitoring only. Who am I kidding?! ROUND THE CLOCK SURVEILLANCE!

Constantine, Review by Case Wright


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Can one act stain your soul for all eternity? It turns out that if you attempt suicide, you’re going to Hell.  Anywho, Constantine was a comic by Alan Moore (Watchmen) long before Keanu Reeves played the demon fighter.  Full disclosure, I have purchased, but not read the comic. It’s long and I’m not sure if I can get through it for this horrorthon, but I WILL TRY!

Constantine was born with a “gift” that he could see demons among us.  This drives him out of his mind; so, he commits suicide and is sent promptly to Hell. He’s tormented for what seems like an eternity, but in our time was just two minutes. He returns to Earth because paramedics revive him.  Because he attempted to kill himself, he’s condemned to Hell when he dies.  How do I know this?The “Half-Angel” Gabriel tells it to us in really clunky exposition.  It turns out that Heaven and Hell are basically in a Cold War and can’t directly fight on Earth.

Constantine REALLY doesn’t want to go back to Hell.  His solution is to fight demons for a living to get into heaven. He does an exorcism here and there and fights evil, but this isn’t his ticket back to heaven- as I was told by MORE exposition.  Constantine is kind of a depressive and a little whiny at times.  I guess that’s why I kept getting annoyed by him.  Yeah, Yeah, your life sucks, but there’s no reason to do this all the time:

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There’s a lot of these “I’m so broody Boohoo” moments in this film.

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This one was a long trip to bummer time with a soupçon of anger:

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Between the complaining, Constantine uncovers a plot that Lucifer’s son Mammon is trying to break into earth and cause a lot of trouble.  Trouble….Trouble….that starts with M …. and ends with N, which stands for Mammon!

Constantine was entertaining, but it seems kinda all over the place at times.  The parts that had him hot on the trail of Mammon and his evil plans were fun, but all the side plots and side characters were a mixture of goofy and dull.  Overall, it was a good burgers and fries flick.  Not to say that the comics or the cartoon (yep, there’s a cartoon, I know because of Google) aren’t awesome, but if they are the same quality as the movie, they are beach reads or I’m stuck on public transportation reading.  There might be sequel.  Will I watch it? Yes, because despite my snark, I’m basically 14.