V-Wars #2

This cover:

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I hate it. It looks like a cheesy direct to DVD horror flick. It took me forever to “see” that vamp in the corner left so it appeared to me at first that the woman in the center had her hand down lipring vampire’s pants. Who ok’d this?

A reporter is held hostage by vampires, they’re saying that she doesn’t care about the truth, that she just reads lines. He tells her that vampires aren’t getting due process, that they’re Americans too. He thinks that someone is diverting attention on purpose. He throws around stats proving that humans are more violent.He wants her to tell their side of the story. Yuki Nitobe has to decide whether or not to be their spokesperson. She’s released and calls Luthor (the man from issue 1 who was an expert on vamps, his family turned) . She confesses that she doesn’t like the ratings queen that she has become.

The next day Yuki meets with a vampire named Kyra who has been badly tortured by humans. This scenario happens all the time, “We are the new minority. People are afraid of us and they hate that they are afraid.” That would be reasonable except for that vampires are dangerous and bloodthirsty. Not Kyra, Kyra is a quaker and abstains from violence even as she is being beaten and raped. 

The go to The Red House: a church/cult for vampires to worship and form community.

The black vampire who looks mostly human uses the phrase “One that, like me, can pass” Holy fucking shite with this appropriated garbage. 

Yuki and Martyn go to stop a terrorist plot. Luthor is also there along with homeland security. But when they arrive, it’s not criminals or terrorists, just an abandoned dwelling full of squatters and vagrants, but homeland security open fire while Yuki and Martyn watch in horror. The news reports it as if Homeland busted a volatile terror cell, except for Yuki who asks viewers to question what evidence or weapons they had to show. It nearly costs her her job, but she has a solid contract and great lawyers. Kyra thanks her, but then they are attacked at the Red House. The whole plays explodes. “No one saw anything.” 

She and Luthor drink their problems away and then she goes back on air and proclaims that she is always on the side of truth and she will make sure that the responsible party -no matter who they are- is dragged into the light.

X-Men #14

Part 2/6 of Bloodline. 

Rachel and Monet are chasing down the shooter that seriously injured two students at the Jean Grey school. Monet shows no mercy after the culprit tries to take out bystanders in a trainstation and then suicide, Monet and Rachel go full force at him with disregard to who is watching. 

Back at the school Storm tries to get answers from her future daughter Kymera while Jubilee does what ever she can to teach her infant son to protect himself. “Come on Shogo, push the beep beep.” And Psylocke locks the school down. “Anyone breaches this school. I’ll hear it in my brains.” 

Storm officially made them a team and chooses that they will take a silent vote for leader, no judgements (half of them can read minds… that’s not really going to work). Suddenly there is an explosion in the east wing. The shooter is escaping (because it was a really bad time for a team meeting) the room is burning and the fire suppression has been disabled. Monet and Rachel decide that they’re going to take the guy apart. He’s about to say “You can’t stop the Future” when Kymera comes out of nowhere with her panther and lays the smack down. But she sees a timer on his head counting down. She retreats, a hawk delivers Shogo to her, she calls for her mom then the man explodes and Kymera is sent tumbling (Shogo pushes the beep-beep). 

Outside: Menacing characters plan to attack them again at dawn.

BromoSuperior

with art by Phil Briones. Hellion and co are stuck in Psylocke’s danger room program. This side story isn’t really grabbing me. But Briones’s version of Psylocke is perfect.

Uncanny X-Men #21

There’s so much that’s immediately good about this issue. Cyclops isn’t in control of his powers and he’s attacking the Jean Grey School, Magik tries to mitigate and turns into a demonfaced monster raiser. Storm keeps collected.

And fans are treated to a full page spread of Storm showcasing her badass powers. Stellar.

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Then Dazzler (not really Dazzler, really Mystique) shows up to collect Cyclops. 

In Madripoor: the Blob fiends for mutant growth hormone (that they are harvesting from the real Dazzler). Magneto finds him and sees what has been done to Dazzler. Magneto almost scalpels the Blobs face off, but he relents, remembering long past events he lets the Blob run off and he tends to Dazzler.

The phony Dazzler is pushing the X-Men to hand over Scott Summers to SHIELD. It’s Maria Hill who tells Beast that he has an hour to straighten out what has gone wrong with Cyclops. The helicarrier is poised to attack as back up… but it suddenly starts firing. Beast takes Cyclops and Magik to his lab in hope to find what is seeking to destroy them. Quentin Quire (who I have some affection for because he reminds me of my gawky and grungy punkrock nerd boy high school friends) grabs Maria Hill by the head and asks her what’s up. 

And at the end of the issue: Beast has found who is behind the attacks, but it isn’t revealed to the reader. The villain is hidden in a spacesuit.

Chris Bachalo’s art is a little weird, there’s 4 inkers which I think adds to the weirdness. Hank McCoy looks more bizarre than usual. The facial expressions are on point, the action scenes are legit: easy to follow but very detailed. Cyclops shut the heck up this issue. That’s weird. The focus was mainly on the action (with one brief emo hiatus to see Emma Frost pensively fretting for Scott Summers).

Predictions for next issue: Who is in the spacesuit?

Comic book Catch-up #5 -DC Edition!

Forever Evil #7 (thank gods that is over!) & Future’s End #3 + #4!

Forever Evil #7

Batman is still strangling Luthor and Catwoman is trying to stop him. She says “this lightning rod is from the future, maybe we can use it to, I don’t know, save him or something!” 

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DO CPR!!!! What the Hell?! 

Wait. It get’s worse. Luthor zaps Batman with electricity (Catwoman still does nothing) and then he reveals that he flatlined Dick after, get this, giving him a pill that would paralyze the muscles around his heart… he needs a shot of adrenaline NOW. He gets the shot and wakes up. A sweet moment is had between Nightwing and Batman (and Luthor and Bizarro) and then Cyborg busts in, he took out Grid. blah blah. Ultraman and Deathstorm debate about what to do now that Mazahs is free. The theorize that they can use Superwoman’s lasso of submission. But she’s not here.

“Is she with Owlman?” Ultraman questions.

Nope. She’s with Mazash. And pregnant with HIS child. And Ultraman gasps, “Lois? You traitorous witch, why?” and she says, “Because Alex is stronger than you, Clark.” Cause all women are either hoes or incompetent in this piece. 

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A million middle fingers for Geoff Johns. 

Ultraman and Mazahs duke it out and Deathstorm confronts Superwoman, “You manipulated us all.” and she calls them “Stupid men.” (Hay awesome, her secret weapon is manipulating men, hahaha… ugh) but she gets him wrapped up in her lasso and Mazahs prepares to feed on his nuclear power. 

Mazahs kills Bizarro. Luthor kills Mazahs. Owlman joins the Batfamily. Sinestro and Black Adam move the moon so that the sun weakens Ultraman (what? how was the moon there that whole time? This is stupid) And all of the exiled heroes from this world climb out of Firestorm (again.. what?) but Superman is dying. Luthor pulls the sliver of kryptonite out of his head. Well, that’s unlikely. He also meets Ted Kord and doesn’t buy Kord industries and encourages Ted. He knows Bruce Wayne is Batman and it ends with an apocalypse baby, Darkseid returning and the Antimonitor vowing to consume him. So it ended. With the heroes coming back which was a huge “duh” because there is no way that all DC’s heavy hitters would get roasted. And then a not real ending. Suck.

Futures End #3

This one is actually getting good, we get backstory on Grifter and Firestorm (who are fighting against each other) the stories flow cohesively between Firestorm giving some ladies a sunny day, to the same babes at a bar where they get harassed by someone who just won a celebrity death pool with the death of Green Arrow. They get bounced by… Red Robin. Lois’s mysterious package lead her there and she immediately knows who she’s looking at. Meanwhile, Mr Terrific knows that Batman (but not which Batman) is looking into him. Light on Batman, good amount of backstory on DC’s B-List. Still not a lot of women, but at least the ones there aren’t bimbos. Thumbs up.

Futures End #4

Frankenstein confronts SHADE about why they are trying to kill him. They just wanted his attention, turns out. Who the fuck is SHADE? run by Father Time (now inhabiting a young girl) SHADE fights against monsters.. with even worse monsters. Bad asses. Fathertime calls attention to the destroyed Stormwatch space ship. The theorize again that THE storm is coming. Red Robin/Cal Corcoran is out for a jog with the babely Madison Payne. He won’t talk about his past, she’s suspicious they’ve done this dance before. Cal lays eyes on the new Batman and it’s clear that he has a grudge against Batman’s Batfamily. Lois is trailing them in a get up that no one has worn since 1990 and no one would wear in the future. Plastique and Key lure Coil out of retirement with a “grail mission” the “last job.” That Grail? It’s in Terrifitech. Grifter is hunting Daemonites and other aliens that prey on addicts when Faraday catches up with him. Faraday paralyzes Grifter, and says he’ll reverse it if Grifter comes and works for him. 

Penny Dreadful- episode 3

So pumped to figure out why that Creature climbed through Proteus last episode.

But we flashback to Vic’s childhood. His dog died, Victor found him with maggots crawling out of hollowed out eyes.his mother comforts him then suddenly falls ill, choking on blood and spattering it onto him. Hauntingly soft and white he agrees, “Death is not serene.” His mother dies soon after.

Then we appear in the moment that ended last weeks episode. Most this week’s episode centered around Victor Frankenstein and his first creation, Callaban. When the Creature came to life, Frankenstein was scared and left his monster all alone. The Creature was terrified and in agony. Slowly, he watched out the window at home humans interacted and concluded that he was less than, that he was an animal. We get a slowpaced story (recounted while Callaban threatens Victor and they’re both covered in blood, this show is so committed to atmosphere).

Brona and Ethan are having sex, and we get to see as much of his bare ass as we do hers (thanks Showtime!) It was sort of sweet and sexy. Maybe just for me. I’ve crushed on Hartnett for a while. There’s this moment when she almost pushes him away from kissing her (because she has consumption) but he kisses her anyway, choosing to be close with her instead. When she gets out of bed she’s coughing and he asks if she has any medicine, she replies, “Who has money for that when there’s eating to be done, lad.” and smiles it off. But he doesn’t. And he goes to see Sir Malcolm and Vanessa and join in for the monster hunting again.

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They at first believe that he intends to take this job so he can travel back home, but Vanessa finds out that this is about a woman. It doesn’t really matter, of course, because they are desperate. They think that they have found where “The Master” maybe and that Mina might be there as well. They’re rather desperate for the help. Which is great, since Ethan is more desperate for the money. 

Meanwhile we get to the heat of it that Callaban’s angry at Frankenstein for creating and then abandoning him, and vows to see that Victor ends up as alone as he has been… unless Victor makes him a wife doomed to the same misery he is.

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Out with Sir Malcolm, Vanessa and Ethan they encounter some wolves, which I thought for sure would be werewolves, but they don’t appear to be or reveal themselves to be anyway. I’m not committed to them being regular wolves yet. -More on that later.

Ethan lets the aforementioned wolves sniff his hand and they retreat. Vanessa and Sir Malcolm share a look that clearly says *what the hell was that about* and moments after they find a young vampire chewing on some raw flesh. He tries to attack Vanessa, They wind up chaining him up, Sir Malcolm beats him while shouting ‘where is your Master?” and asking Victor over to concoct a treatment. Ethan remarks that the vampire is still a child and that torturing and experimenting on children isn’t something he wants to be party to.

Victor says “Oh, killing Redskins and wiping an entire race into oblivion is more your style.” Ethan doesn’t deny and says “How did you know I was in the Indian Wars?” and Victor gives him a *haha tricked you* I didn’t. Which would have made the Englishmen there seem morally superior IF they didn’t have an African servant who doesn’t speak or contribute to the story in any manner leaving the audience to conclude that when he isn’t waiting on Sir Malcolm he’s doing nothing of his own. 

Vanessa finds that Sir Malcolm used her as bait, he knew Mina had been moved but he wanted to draw out the Master and isn’t entirely pissed off enough. At some point, Vanessa had also counted to Ethan that Mina was supposed to marry Jonathan Harker but that she took up with “another man, if he is a man at all.” You know he’s not. You know he’s a vampire… why would you say that? But it has me wondering if Van Helsing will cross paths with them at some point.

So now here are my predictions: (and unfortunately- I don’t like some of them) Ethan has some weird mojo with wildlife and/or is a werewolf. I think it is more likely to be the former than the latter, I think that it will tie in to some Native American friends he made after some convoluted story that has him riding the redemption train for his misdeeds against the Native Americans. Also, that Brona is going to be near death from consumption soon and that Victor will resurrect her to be Callaban’s wife. I would put money on both of those. 

31 Horrifying Days- Day 20: A Fantastic Fear of Everything (2012)

This is one of my favorites that I’ve watched since starting this project. I’m behind, I know, but I’m catching up.

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The film centers around Jack; a crime novelist whose research on serial killers has turned him into a paranoid, delusional, insomniac wreck must confront his worst fears when a film executive takes a sudden interest in his movie script. He assumes that the exec is planning to kill him of course. He’s suspicious of the only person who’s still speaking to him: Clair (Clare Higgins, “The Night of the Doctor”). Clair is his friend with money who buys him lunch and fluffs his hair and affectionately tells him that he’s sensitive. Clair also wishes that he would go back to writing children’s books. But Jack is past that. His new effort is consuming him. And he doesn’t understand why she doesn’t understand.

#1 I frigging love Simon Pegg and he really brings horror comedy to the next level.

#2 I love when academics/artists/workaholics get pushed to the brink.

 I have undying affection for anyone who does anything so wholeheartedly that it eats them alive. So Jack starts carrying a butcher knife everywhere, losing time, seeing things out of the corner of his eye, falling in to narcoleptic naps, seeing a “psychopathic stare” in people’s eyes, narrating his own life, envisioning Vietnamese crimelords and concocting relationships between people that make o sense.

“I’m not here to hurt anybody. I’m a professional writer.”

His terrifying moments jump from seeing ghosts with eyes in their mouth to the humiliation of tossing his dingy underwear across the laundrette in front of a beautiful woman, Sangeet (played by an actress who is of Sri Lankan descent. Diversity is cool). 

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For any aspiring professional, not having clean dress clothes for an important last minute meeting is as terrifying as any serial killer. 

Visually magnificent, great soundtrack. Written and co-directed by Crispian Mills, it’s his first feature and it’s truly outstanding. Chris Hopewell co-directed. For two unknowns especially: it’s outstanding. Part of it is reminiscent of James and the Giant Peach

Towards the end of the flick Jack and Sangeet end up in real danger, held captive by a madman. Can Jack pull it together and help get them out of it? Or will he crack? Or will Sangeet save them? Or will art save them?

But is it scary? Parts are actually creepy because you don’t know what to expect. But really? It’s just a ton of fun and amusement.

5/5

 

31 Horrifying Days- Day 19: We Are What We Are (2013)

And what the Parkers are… are Cannibals.

At the beginning of the film, the matriarch is out to get groceries from a shop while torrential rain pours down. She stumbles, becoming confused. Then her nose starts bleeding horrifically and she falls dead.

Their father, Frank (Bill Sage, American Psycho), is a descendant in a long line of cannibals. Scenes of long dead relatives from the 1780s intermix with those of 14 year old Rose (Julia Gardner, Last Exorcism Part II, Sin City:A Dame to Kill For) and 17 year old Iris (Ambyr Childers, 2 Guns) after their mother dies. They keep people like cattle in barns, unhappy and hungry. After a flood, bones wash up in town and a few suspect that they may be human remains and start checking around, well intentioned neighbors get too close to the very secretive family and Frank starts descending into madness either from grief or Prion disease. Their father practically starves the girls and their young brother until they can have a proper dinner… where they dress like colonists and it’s creepy. 

The film is very creepy all together, drab tones, bad weather, nose bleeds, sickness, bludgeonings… eating people.

A man Iris has sex with gets killed on top of her. Their young brother Rory gets a fever and the neighbor tends to him, he clasps her hand, then sucks her thumb and bites her saying, “I’m hungry.”

After an autopsy is performed on their mother, Dr Barrows finds that it was not Parkinsons that they originally thought, but Prion. Barrows suspects that they are cannibals and that his daughter was their dinner and he confronts Frank. That sets in motion one hell of an ending.

Was it scary? It was gross and creepy. If I lived in a small town I’d be looking over my shoulder. Atmospheric and totally sick. 

It premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and got a limited release, it’s an art film about cannibals. The blood and gore could have been amped up a little more… but man that ending is perfect.

4.25/5

This was directed by Jim Mickle who also directed 2010’s Stake Land which is about a vampire epidemic, I was impressed with We Are What We Are and might have to seek out that one as well.

31 Horrifying Days: Day 18- Fright Night (1985)

A teenager, Charley Brewster (played by newcomer William Ragsdale) is watching horror flicks and trying to coerce his girlfriend Amy (Amanda Bearse) into having sex with him. She relents and agrees when he becomes distracted by someone moving in next door. They have what appears to be a coffin. The new neighbor, Jerry Dandridge (Chris Sarandon, who returned for the 2011 remake) is charming, handsome …and has fangs. 

Charley figures this out after peeping on Jerry’s date with his binoculars. There are so many times where an immature nerd boy with binoculars has intruded in on some shit: Twilight Zone, the Simpsons when Bart broke his leg and Disturbia to name a few. Mind your neck! 

Anyway, Amy decides that Charley is an immature nerd boy and not worth her virginity. When he shows up telling her about the creature of the night neighbor, she assumes it’s a ploy to get her back. He tells his mom, he tells the police and when everyone thinks he’s a damn idiot… he enlists the help of Amy, pal Evil Ed and a horror host named Peter Vincent to vanquish the bloodsucker.

Jerry is not fucking amused. He sneaks in through Charley’s mother’s window (as a bat. a vampire shapeshifts into a wolf later which makes no sense to me, but whatever). He offers Charley a chance to forget about him and just let him be. Or else. Or else he’ll kill Charley’s mom and turn Amy. Ohhh snap.

All the women as potential fridging victims?

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But what I do like is that Charley feels the need to protect his mom. Lot’s of media with teenage protagonist have the parents written out, usually in some tragic backstory to explain why their child is galavanting around at night acting like frigging Van Helsing and they just could not even be bothered. Charley gets a little of that in that his mom is divorced (hence, he’s “the man of the house” and the protector). 

When they confront Jerry together initially the others had the intention of proving to Charley that Jerry was not a vampire. He drinks “Holy water” and isn’t harmed by crosses. But Peter Vincent notices that Jerry has no reflection. The cross didn’t work because the weilder had no faith… and the Holy water was tap water. Who thought he’d be a real vamp? Once Jerry knows they are on to him he turns “Evil Ed” and sends the boy to do his bidding. Mission #1 Attack Peter Vincent: Mission FAILED. Peter maims him with a cross. Mission #2 Find Charley’s mom: Mission FAILED. Charley’s mom is at work. 

Meanwhile, Jerry chases Charley and Amy. The couple duck into a club. While Charley calls for help, Amy is seduced on the dancefloor. She happens to bear a strong resemblance to Jerry’s lost love (because every vampire is Dracula). And he abducts her. 

Charley and Peter partner up and break into Jerry’s house, they take on a guard and Evil Ed in wolf form. Charley gets taken and brought to Amy… who is turning into a vampire. Peter concludes that she can turn back into a human if they kill Jerry by dawn.

But was it scary? Nope. And Amy was annoying and Charley was stupid. 

Jerry was the quintessential suave vampire next door. The movie would have been better if he seduced Charley’s mom and then Marcy from “Married With Children” saved her along with the kid who looked like Ferris’s friend and the Giles prototype. Because hundred year old grown men who look like 40 year old men dirty dancing with teens is fucking gross.

The effects were really 80s. They were really good for the 80s. 

It’s directed by Tom Holland, who would later direct Child’s Play and Psycho II

I understand why people like this.

But I didn’t really like it.

I gave an extra .5 for ugly vampires.

3/5

And I know I’m going to get hate for that, but the cool parts weren’t played up enough and the characters were fucking wack, with the exception of Sarandon who nailed it as Jerry.

Penny Dreadful- Episode 2

Seance.

Ethan wakes up (under a pier in the dirt), heads to the nearest bar and gets right to the sauce, he’s well in his cups when Billie Piper- I mean Brona enters. She’s Irish and recently came to London after her position in a factory was eliminated by machines, while she finds London to have the same issues, she says: “There’s always a way to make a living when you’ve got a bit of flesh isn’t there?” Ethan: “I can’t say.” Brona: “I bet you can.” (recurring theme over here, but many occupations involve “selling your body” or “degrading yourself” and sex work is just work) “I’m off to look for work that a machine can’t do. Yet. Anyway.”

Victor Frankenstein, who has taught his creature to eat helps him choose a name. Proteus. Then he goes off to see Sir Malcolm and Vanessa and the mummy. Universal monsters everywhere.

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Brona’s job search leads her to the decadent residence of Dorian Gray -a character created by Oscar Wilde who owns a painting that gets uglier everytime he sins who sold his soul for eternal youth. He asks Brona to undress and she coughs up blood. She expects to be sent out, but Gray approaches her. He undresses as well and they have sex standing up while someone photographs, “I never fucked I dying creature before. Do you feel things more deeply, do you feel pain?” Startled, she asks him, “Do you?” and she tears into her back with fingernails.

Brona suffering from consumption references early vampire mythos.

In Dr. Frank’s basement, Proteus cries for the whale in a book. Frankenstein hypothesizes that Proteus had been a whaler and sets to find out who he is. 

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Gray attends a party that the Egyptologist Niles is hosting where Vanessa is a guest as well. He profiles Vanessa concluding that she thought it would be a wasted frivolous evening, and that she is not a frivolous person. He grabs her hand and acknowledges that she is the only ungloved woman and that she wants to touch while her head wants to appraise. For some reason this is romantic? They almost kiss. It seems out of character for the reserved and BUSY Vanessa (and Dorian is supposed to be gay). They are moved to another room and Madame Kali enters, Vanessa say skeptically “I believe we’re about to convene with a spirit” -really? that blase about it? You have telekinetic powers and hunt vampires. Madame Kali starts the ritual and Vanessa reaches for Gray’s hand. She channels a young child and at times seems mocking, telling of how he went on an adventure with father (Sir Malcolm is impacted by the rant, apparently this was his son) and got dysentery. Sir Malcolm starts crying. Then Vanessa lets her hair down. Cracks the table and says cunt a lot. Basically. Sir Malcolm’s son caught him having sex with Mina in the hallway and Vanessa says “When did you know you wanted to fuck her?” And then bends herself like the Last Exorcism 2.

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Then she has sex with a man in the street. While Malcolm sits at the cracked table, shaken.

The next morning Brona and Ethan are inside the same bar again. She tells him that now she’s a model. “For the calendars and such?” he asks. She replies, “If you keep your calendar in a whorehouse.” He offers to buy her a proper breakfast, when she declines he asks for dinner. She questions his motives “You like things back alley?” and he replies, “I like things to be what they are.” Normally, I’d be annoyed at the stereotype that a sex worker (particularly one as frank as Brona) must see herself as less than, but since the day before she’d been referred to as “a creature” by someone who had the power to dictate whether or not she would have money for food -I’ll allow it. Ethan’s no peach either, he’s an alcoholic and a fugitive. He’s a fuck up with questionable employment.

Niles is mad his party was ruined. His wife was mortified. 

But none the less he translates the hieroglyphs for Sir Malcolm. He references the hidden goddess with a monster within her. And then decides “You must forget you ever saw it.” Perpetual life by feeding on the souls of others. Amunet and Amun-Ra conjoined means the annihilation of man and coming of the Beast. 

Victor takes Proteus outside. He gets overwhelmed at first, but as they journey the fear turns to amazement. They see Brona and Ethan on the street and Proteus is taken with Brona, he offers her a chestnut and they introduce rather awkwardly. Later Victor explains “friends” and Proteus decides he will have many friends WHEN SOMETHING CLIMBS OUT OF HIS BODY HOLY WHAT?! With a “Your first born has returned, father.”

Well that’s baffling.

My favorite parts of this episode had nothing to do with the supernatural happenings. Weird. I like Brona and I like her portrayal. I like her with Ethan. I like them as equals. 

There is a lot going on.

If Sir Malcolm molested his daughter Mina, if it wasn’t the ramblings of a demon… it would be insanely irresponsible to make him a sympathetic character. That’s fucking gross. No wonder she ran off with Dracula. I don’t care how much I love 007 and Timothy Dalton, axe him. Sir Malcolm Murray is not the good guy.

I want to like this show… and I do… but there’s so much happening and getting the ball rolling on all at once is… a little much. I think that’s why I liked Ethan and Brona’s less intense plotline. Her tie in with Dorian was wonderful, while Vanessa’s was a little much. And why a mummy? There are Catholic elements: demonic possession and a deal with the devil. There are vampires. Reanimated corpses. Jack the Ripper. If you think that there’s any reason to have a Egyptian mythos thrown in along with that other than “to hit a Universal Monsters trifecta” I would love to hear it. Why not a fucking swamp monster at that point?

Not that there’s not time for that.

31 Horrifying Days- Day 17: Maximum Overdrive (1986)

Stephen King will write anything. He’ll write about an off the rails writer who kills his cheating wife, a haunted hotel, alternate dimensions that little a little boy can travel to via some old whiskey that a blues musician gave him. He’ll write about a travelling side show of Romani who curse a glutton or a town that gets an indestructible dome dropped on it. He’ll write about a clown in a sewer or a teenage telekinetic. Werewolves, creepy kids and zombie pets. He’ll write about a killer dog, a killer car… and if that’s not enough: a slew of killer Mack trucks and other machines run amok.

Specifically, the plot of Maximum Overdrive is that a meteor passes close to Earth and all the machinery takes on a mind of it’s own. Gas pumps, electric knives and tractor trailer trucks… Who recruit construction and military vehicles to try to destroy a groups of people taking refuge at the truck stop. 

It sounds like a 5th grade writing prompt, but it’s based on the Stephen King short-story “Trucks”.

Stephen King usually won’t launch into a scientific explanation for his work, he just throws his characters into these crazy situations and lets them fight their way out. So “a meteor did it” is about as logical response as… 

Well… no.

But! The characters!

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Laura Harrington (Devil’s Advocate) and Emilio Estevez (Repo Man) play the lead. a couple of sweaty badasses who band the rest of the stragglers together. Harrington’s Brett is hitchhiking through while Estevez’s Bill is working as a short order cook at the Dixie Boy diner. He’s a recently paroled and his boss forces the ex-cons to work longer hours for no pay. Brett and Bill try to keep everyone calm (while outside little league coaches are being bludgeoned by projectile soda cans from soda machines, people are hypnotized by arcade games and hacked up by electric knives) while devising a way to make the trucks leave or get themselves out of there.

What’s weird and NEVER happens in media?

Nope, has nothing to do with the cars taking on lives of their own. That has happened. (Herbie: The Lovebug, Cars, Cars 2, Christine)

When Brett breaks down and starts crying he says to her “If I put my arm around you, would you stick me with that thing?” -“that thing” by the way, is a straight razor. And she quickly corrects him that you don’t stick someone with it, you kind of slash. And then she says it would be alright and they hug.

And I know some of you might be like “What the french toast are you saying, SkeletonGrrl?” here it is. They were flirting. But he didn’t just assume that she would want him all up on her. So he fucking asked her. Unlike so many films/books where crying women are treated as hysterical children and scooped up into some big man’s arms, Bill recognized that this is weird and terrifying and instead of assuming that she needed him to comfort her he respected her and asked if that would be appropriate. Holy shit.

Holy fucking shit.

Anyway, they appease the trucks with fuel, but then when the stop runs out they have to go on the run (with the now refueled trucks… not a good plan) they destroy a few and escape on a boat someone attempts to explain this away …something about UFOs and Russian weather balloons… whatever.

Among other cast mates, Yeardley Smith (voice of Lisa Simpson) plays a nagging newlywed, the young boy scout Deke is played by Holter Graham (who voices video games recently “Red Dead Redemption” and “Star Wars Old Republic”)

Is it scary? No. It makes no sense. It’s more action than anything and it’s a really fun 80’s flick with badass characters and evil Transformers that don’t transform. 

4.75/5