Showing posts from November, 2017

Beyond the Walls

BEYOND THE WALLS is a French miniseries that proves horror on TV can be great (ahem, AHS). Find it on the very fun Shudder site/app.

Coco ~ Review

COCO is beautifully realized, richly emotional storytelling, and a resonate love letter to Mexican traditions. It's Pixar's tried-and-true formula of a kid on mission but set against a dazzling Dia de Muertos backdrop. It also has an acute cultural perspective, checking off the many icons of Mexican life (pushy abuelas, abundant tamales, tequila, mariachis, and the dreaded "chancla") along with cultural phrases that were never translated or explained. Will it play to non-Mexican audiences as broadly as other Pixar films? For example, the music is wonderfully authentic and while I was joyfully tapping my toes, my movie companion seemed nonplussed at eschewing recognizable tunes ( The Book of Life's music is definitively pop). Yet there's more than enough ghoulish touches to satisfy the masses obsessed whimsical skeleton shenanigans. But skeletons are for Halloween right, not Thanksgiving. The release date seems puzzling but COCO soon reveals a tender core wit

American Horror Story: Cult ~ Season Review

American Horror Story: Cult , the seventh installment of the anthology series, is thankfully behind us. It started by trudging through the misery of 2016's election night, followed by an uninspired stretch of roaming clowns, nasty murders, weird neighbors, and one cringe-worthy ugly cryer. Tedious does not cover it. But it did shift from a pointless political fever dream to an acerbic commentary on gender and power. There was a brilliant episode with an unhinged Lena Dunham as an extreme feminist/serial killer that showed some real promise. Yet from this high point the show teetered between relevancy and repetition through the bitter end. Ultimately, it didn't add much to the discussion and preferred to be perverse than provocative. As usual for AHS, the story veered towards the absurd (gather around for sleeping bag storytime cult henchmen) and implausible (my lesbian partner didn't vote for Hilary Clinton so I will drive her mad by exploiting her phobias and join a

Halloween Village 2017

For my 2017 Hauntsville Village, I featured the Nightmare Before Christmas pieces released this year  from Department 56. I kept it to a very small footprint which has its own set of challenges. What do you think? View below or find the album at

Halloween 2017 Post Mortem

Halloween 2017 is dead and buried (in bins in my attic)! All Hallow's Eve was another frightfully fun night with a 306 tricksters begging for treats. To thank my many minions who helped me out, I made my annual Haunt Stew, an Irish beef and stout stew that's a nod to Halloween's origins. The recipe will be posted on my soon. In the meantime,  view pictures of My Scary House ! This year my fiends and I had a lot of fun at Halloween attractions. October started with a trip to Fear Overload Scream Park in San Leandro, CA which featured two mazes including a pitch black maze you had to find your way through. It was a nice appetizer to what was to come. In Chicago, we attended the best haunted house in my life: 13th Floor . This is literally a living nightmare housed in a warehouse on the outskirts of Chicago. The walk through seems go on forever with fully realized, detailed scenes, the numerous actors in elaborate costumes, trap doors, excell

Day of the Dead Inspired Movie Artwork

Has anyone else noticed the alternative artwork being used on the iTunes Movie Store? Many of the "classic" (ahem Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter ) films feature new covers that all seem to embody nuances of day of the dead flair with their focus on faces/skulls, swirly motifs, and vibrant colors. According to Bloody Disgusting the artwork was created by artist Orlando Arocena and used for reissues of 20th Century Fox & MGM Home Entertainment blu-rays in celebration of Halloween. iTunes then used the artwork in it's "Horror Through the Years" sale. I own several of these and the covers changed on my Apple TV. I wonder if they will change back after now that the season and sale are done.

Feliz Dia de los Muertos!

Happy Day of the Dead!