Dec 232013
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CHRISTMAS EVIL Retro Cinema: Christmas Evil

I love cheesy horror as much as anybody, especially when you tie into something held sacred by so many, like Christmas. Usually, these films are done with the sort of sly wink from the filmmaker to acknowledge that it's all meant to be silly fun. Unfortunately, I don't really get that feeling with this Christmas horror film, "Christmas Evil." And there is good silly and bad silly.

I'm afraid this falls into the latter.

I just want to grab the filmmaker and say, "Oh, honey. What were you thinking?" First of all, the whole "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" reference is nowhere near enough to traumatize a child, turning them into a psychotic adult. Not getting that. Then the whole scene where the deranged little boy decides to break a snow globe and cut himself is really confusing. Is that supposed to be interpreted as trying to slash wrists? It seems like he just cut his hand, which makes no sense whatsoever.

When the movie fast forwards to the adult psycho, I've seen many critics talk about the good performance of a man descending into madness. Oh PUH-lease. It was just silly. Bad silly. Not even so-silly-it's-funny. The things that supposedly make him finally snap are so trivial that you can't possibly believe even a psycho would be set off by them. And if so, he should have gone off the deep end a long time ago. I mean, a guy fooling you into covering his shift? A couple of fancy New Yorkers teasing you a little bit about your Santa suit?

Christmas Evil 1 Retro Cinema: Christmas Evil

Embracing the nonsense yields a few favorite moments: a group of New Yorkers turning into a torch-carrying mob, literally, and a guy falling over an embankment in the snow and you can see the rug underneath the fake snow moving with him. That was definitely an Ed Wood moment, may he rest in peace. And then that last scene with the van doing a "Thelma and Louise" leap and then an "E.T" flying across the moonlit sky… Sweet baby Jesus. That is a hot mess.

This is definitely one you watch after a lot of alcohol, or whatever substance of choice, because that's the only thing that will make this entertaining. Especially if you get the special double feature edition packaged with "Silent Night, Bloody Night" that is set up movie theater style with the opening concession stand pitches as well as vintage cartoons of Casper and Popeye.

Don't say you weren't warned. Go rent or buy "Black Christmas" instead. Or the super size bottle of your favorite adult beverage.

Nov 202013
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AHS 0080 Tonight on TV: American Horror Story

Oh, let's see where we left off at the end of last week's episode of "American Horror Story:" Madison is back from the dead, but doesn't seem to remember that whole throat slashing incident. Myrtle is somewhat back from the dead, but seems to need a little more watering to fully sprout back to life, courtesy of Misty. Kyle is still not really chatting up with any of the ladies running after him. And Fiona got picked up at a bar by The Axeman.

And oh yes, we found out that Marie Laveau (Angela Bassett) was not the one who threw acid in Cordelia's face. Which begs the very important question… Who the hell did?

So, Fiona (Jessica Lange) is safe from Madison (Emma R0berts) ratting on her for now, but with Cordelia's new power of psychic vision, the preview clip makes it look like Cordelia (Sarah Paulson) is gonna be on to Fiona's little secret, right quick. Since Madison lost her memory when she was resurrected, there's a good chance that Myrtle (Frances Conroy) will come back without memories of exactly what happened. But who's to say how long that will last?

So what is Fiona's biggest threat tonight? Will Cordelia stay loyal when she knows that Fiona killed Madison? Or does Fiona have her hands full tonight dealing with that suave stranger she picked up at the bar, who also happens to be The Axeman (Danny Huston)?

Check out "American Horror Story: Coven" tonight on FX, and check out a preview video and some photos from the upcoming episode below.

 Tonight on TV: American Horror Story
Nov 192013
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108 scn13a 0331 Sleepy Hollow adds a great plot twist

Are we really watching a love story?

Monday night, "Sleepy Hollow" redeemed itself with a plot twist that no one saw coming till the very moment before it was revealed. We shall go to spoiler town a little bit later, but once again this show reaffirms it’s hit or miss status. The main thing here is this show is highly entertaining, and while at times I seem very down on it, it is my job to pull the story apart and present it with my own opinion and prejudices. I think it is pretty safe to say based on the comments I get on Facebook and the like that "Sleepy Hollow" might be horror fans' favorite guilty pleasure. It surely is one of mine.

So this week we are treated to the back story of Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison) and the Headless Horseman (Richard Cetrone), and  -- spoiler -- Crane’s love for his long lost wife Katrina (Katia Winter) was so strong that he created his own nemesis. This is beyond a doubt one of the greatest twists on a familiar story that I can recall. The Horseman is none other that Crane’s old friend Abraham (Neil Jackson) who was once betrothed to Katrina.

Not gonna lie, given what we already learned about how Katrina and Crane met, I was not in love with this angle of the story till it finally came to me, in a shock, their love created The Horseman and that is part of the reason he has stuck around for so long, to get his revenge on Crane, and to get his ultimate prize… Katrina herself.

We are also seeing this show expand the central cast, and that is always good because Crane and Lt. Abbie Mills (Nicole Beharie) being at the center is the core of the show, but there is always room for some "B story." This week we saw Lt. Frank Irving (Orlando Jones) and Jennie Mills (Lyndie Greenwood) get a crucial part of the plot to work through together.

Sure, I could go on and on about how the inevitable loss of power was gonna free The Horseman (as we discussed last week), but if this show is a guilty pleasure and not a hard core cult hit then we can forgive some things. Beyond that I think the show handled the way The Horseman gained his freedom with a bit of clever storytelling. I also very much enjoyed Andy Brooks (John Cho) and his part of the main plot.

I do, however, still think The Headless Horseman’s story line is forced a bit, it unfolds a tad too fast, and I would prefer the writers drag it out a bit and build up the drama. Maybe that is too much to ask of a show that is unapologetically over the top.

While I would prefer it to be a serious horror show, this show continues to do good ratings the way it is. Even though I got a lot of comments from women who watch this show for Mr. Tall, Dark, and British, the business of TV doesn’t care why people watch, they just want them too.  It is something that is understandable, but the horror nerd in my wants it to be something more.

In the end I want more episodes like the one I watched last night, and less like the ones I watched last week.

"Sleepy Hollow" airs Monday nights on Fox. Check out some photos from the episode below.

Joshua Lobdell

 Sleepy Hollow adds a great plot twist
Nov 132013
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AHS 0654 Tonight on TV: The Axeman cometh on American Horror Story

After the big news that Stevie Nicks would appear on an upcoming episode of "American Horror Story," dishing on what might happen on tonight's episode almost seems anti-climactic.


So, with the help of a few photos from the episode itself, there are a few questions that come up about what might happen. Namely, a photo of Madison (Emma Roberts) looking very alive and well. Now, that could be a flashback, but judging from that scarf around her neck, it sort of looks like she's trying to cover up where Fiona did a number on her neck with a knife. And if Misty resurrected myrtle after last week's bonfire, hey, why not bring Madison back.

The only question is, how much will Madison remember? Will she remember what Fiona did to her? More importantly, will she remember Spalding's tea parties? And most important of all, will any of us ever get recover after that whole living dead girl tea party scene? Just thinking about it makes me feel dirty all over again. And not dirty in a good way.

Anyway... Another interesting photo from the episode tonight shows Cordelia looking normal without any burns or the blinding. So, is that a flashback or is Cordelia healed somehow? Healed, in this case, meaning physically healed, because I sorta like it when she can see what her dirty, rotten, no-good husband's been up to. (And for what it's worth, I knew exactly what he was going to do to his little girlfriend. I could see that man was far more evil than the witches in the house.)

And how about Myrtle? You know Myrtle is gonna be wanting some revenge after Fiona framed her for Madison's murder.

I had thought it would be Nan who would step up as the new Supreme, but with all this resurrecting going on, Misty is sure looking good as a possible replacement for Fiona. Given that Misty can even resurrect herself after being burned at the stake, I think Fiona might have her work cut out for if she tries to get rid of Misty.

So let's sum up just who all is out for Fiona's blood here: resurrected Myrtle, Madison if she gets resurrected, Marie Laveau, and hard telling how many other people are gonna crawl out of the woodwork to try to give Fiona her due. You'd think as smart as she is she would learn to play nice. At least to people's faces.

But then I guess she just wouldn't be Fiona then, would she?

Tune into FX tonight for the next installment in "American Horror Story: Coven." Here's a preview video and some more photos from the episode that airs tonight.

 Tonight on TV: The Axeman cometh on American Horror Story
'Sleepy Hollow' Horseman rides through time and plot holes

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Is Stevie Nicks joining the coven on 'American Horror Story?'

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Tonight on TV: 'American Horror Story' lights a match

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Brace yourself for an action-packed episode of “American Horror Story” tonight on FX. When we left off last week, Cordelia (Sarah Paulson) was blinded by acid thrown in her face by that evil Marie Laveau (Angela Bassett), who also conjured up the whole yard full of zombies to come after the girls at the charm school for witches. Which is to say… it’s on between Fiona and Marie. (Sorta sounds like a Vegas lounge act doesn’t it?) Of course, there ain’t a whole lot of kindness and gentleness on the other side of the fence in Fiona’s camp either. Let’s [...]

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Even before Tuesday night’s finale on “Face Off,” seeing the previews that the final challenge involved ballet, I went in thinking it would be Laura who won. I love Roy and Tate, but those big brutes creating makeups for “Swan Lake?” Or, as Roy said more succinctly, “Oh, crap. Ballet.” Hmmm… that challenge sure seems geared to Laura’s wheelhouse of elegant, beautifully painted makeups. But was I right or did one of the boys show they could pull it off and take home the top prize? Well read on… Like on previous season finales, former contestants came back to help [...]