Scream Queens – Season 2, Episode 10: “Drain the Swamp”

FOX’s Scream Queens
Season 2, Episode 10: “Drain the Swamp”
Directed by Ian Brennan
Written by Brad Falchuk & Ian Brennan

* For a review of the penultimate Season 2 episode, “Lovin the D” – click here
screen-shot-2017-01-11-at-2-35-45-pmChanel Oberlin (Emma Roberts) is confronted by the Green Meanie again. She’s trapped in one of the hospital’s dark hallways, as the killer has a baseball throwing machine aimed right at, running full speed. Chanel ducks and dodges, until one of the newest Chanels takes a ball right in the head. Luckily, she’s not dead. Chanel #1 gets away, and we see it’s Ingrid Hoffel (Kirstie Alley) behind the mask.
At the same time Chanel #3 (Billie Lourd) is sneaked up on by the remaining Green Meanie, Cassidy Cascade (Taylor Lautner). But he doesn’t kill his love. They both want to try and convince his mother Jane (Trilby Glover) otherwise. So #3 runs off for a “whores bath” so they can bang, and Cascade threatens Hoffel: leave his girl out of it, or face his wrath. Things between the Meanies aren’t looking good. Uh oh.
screen-shot-2017-01-11-at-2-42-16-pmDr. Brock Holt (John Stamos) apologises for the hand’s actions, nearly strangling her to death, although Chanel doesn’t think much of it, other than it’s progress in their relationship. Yikes. Meanwhile, Hester (Lea Michele) is still kicking around. She’s scheming over Cathy Munsch’s (Jamie Lee Curtis) fortune, who is on the verge of dying. Hester wants Brock to help her steal all her money, then they’ll run off together: “Just two murderers with no one to murder except for each other, but we never will because we love and trust each other.” What could go wrong, right?
Out in the garden, Ingrid gets some nasty ideas when one of the new Chanels is fertilising the tomato garden. Explosive substances. Green Meanie. Murderous impulse. You know what’s coming.
Also, Chanel mixes up the fact Brock is looking at engagement rings for a pending marriage proposal. Only when Dr. Holt calls everyone to Cathy’s room, where she’s lying waiting for death to come, he proposes to the former Ms. Munsch, soon to be the new Mrs. Holt. But he works on Chanel behind the scenes, too. He strings her along.
Cassidy and #3 talk with his mother Jane. He tells her that the “killing and revenge stuff” is all her thing. However, mom isn’t so willing to let all that go. She doesn’t want it to stop until the job is done.
So the wedding of Brock and Cathy goes ahead, right there at the CURE Institute. They’re now officially husband and wife. Then as they snuggle later, Chanel #5 (Abigail Breslin) comes in with information saying that maybe Munsch isn’t dying. She wants to get a sample of her brain, to test for sure. And though Brock isn’t thrilled, Cathy wants more time to be with her new husband.

screen-shot-2017-01-11-at-2-53-16-pmDownstairs, Denise Hemphill (Niecy Nash) is still in cryogenic storage. And Ingrid is down snooping around. She gets a call from Jane, who has her own secrets with Zayday (Keke Palmer) trapped in her cellar. “Now its just you and me,” she says. But Ingrid’s more interested in her latest plan to kill the Chanels.
Things at the hospital are getting tense with Hester wanting Brock to kill Cathy. She doesn’t want to go back to prison where she has to “draw porn” so she can masturbate. Not to mention Chanel can’t deal with Brock and Munsch together, no matter what fairy tale he spun for her earlier. Later, the biopsy goes ahead. Cathy sings “Smoke on the Water” while Chanel plots on throwing her pumpkin spice latte into Cathy’s open skull, which doesn’t work as planned.
Now the verdict: no evidence of the nasty disease, but it’s inconclusive. And she’s still going to die. Maybe. Could even be extreme dehydration. Silly, no? “I only drink scotch, or vodka,” Cathy gasps in a hilarious moment of revelation. She even rinses out her toothpaste mouth with scotch. She goes on to find out the brain eating wasn’t human brain; it was lamb. She’s not going to die!
Everybody heads to the basement for a celebration, champagne included. But it’s all a trick by Ingrid. She traps them in a cage downstairs. She reveals to them all her identity, sister of Agatha Bean who was accidentally burned alive in the deep fryer during Season 1. Out of nowhere Zayday arrives, alongside Jane who doesn’t want to keep on killing after seeing the CURE Institute’s good work. Only Ingrid guns her down, and they’re all left in no better position than before. She further reveals a huge fertiliser bomb, leaving them to die. Afterwards, Denise is alive! And she’s hilariously missed a few things while in her cryogenic coma. Waiting for Denise to defuse the bomb, #5 finally admits she does have teeth in her vagina: “I didnt want to die a liar.”

screen-shot-2017-01-11-at-3-06-53-pmUpstairs the crew chase down Ingrid. They head out back into the swamp. There, Cascade takes a machete right in his torso trying to save #3. In the forest Ingrid runs through a patch of muddy ground which slowly sucks her into the earth. Nobody helps. Until Munsch suddenly feels her conscience tug. She tries to save the woman, but the mud suffocates her and sucks her to the bottom.
Everything is over, and the Chanels have made it through alive. A little worse for wear. You know them, though. They’re bouncing back. #5 is doing her thing at the hospital; she and Zayday are essentially running the place. Munsch hit a rough patch when she finds out someone cleaned out her bank accounts – Hester, of course, who took off with Dr. Holt to an exotic beach on Blood Island. Where they play The Most Dangerous Game. Munsch went on to become a sex expert, like you didn’t see that coming after all her friskiness.
And Chanel, she went on to become a TV doctor with #3 as her executive producer on Lovin the C. So it looks like things have progressed for them after being hunted by the Red Devil killer, the Green Meanie(s). Things are back on track in their lives.
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Or are they?
One night as Chanel leaves the television studio, she finds a small broach in her car inscribed KKT. Who’s that in the backseat? It’s the Red Devil.


Wow, loved this episode, and loved that final scene! Didn’t expect it, honestly. Works great and maybe gives us something to expect for Season 3, which hopefully is on the radar for FOX. What did you all think about Season 2? I thought Season 1 was spectacular, and I’ve felt that Season 2 got even funnier, weirder, and wilder. Overall, a solid season.
Let me know your thoughts, and if you want another season with the Chanels, Cathy Munsch, and that sneaky Red Devil.

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Scream Queens – Season 2, Episode 9: “Lovin the D”

FOX’s Scream Queens
Season 2, Episode 9: “Lovin the D”
Directed by Maggie Kiley
Written by Ian Brennan

* For a review of the previous episode, “Rapunzel, Rapunzel” – click here
* For a review of the next episode, “Drain the Swamp” – click here
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Chanels #3 (Billie Lourd) and #5 (Abigail Breslin) are working night shift, as is #1 (Emma Roberts). They come across a doll wearing a KKT sweatshirt, full of knives. And a bed full of swampy foliage. So obviously there’s one dressed up by Dr. Cassidy Cascade (Taylor Lautner), and the other by Wes Gardner (Oliver Hudson).
Then the Green Meanies appear. You can bet Ingrid (Kirstie Alley) is under one of those masks, too. #3 gets saved, obviously by her Green Meanie boyfriend Dr. Cascade. When the three Meanies argue over flubbing their murders, Hester (Lea Michele) arrives to call them all together. A bit of a serial killer murder orgy poised to happen.
I dont wanna die in this outfit!”


But life goes on, of course. Cathy Munsch (Jamie Lee Curtis) tries to keep things on the level, as Dr. Arthur Annenburg (Ajay Mehta) is poking around with the recent disappearance of their man from the journal. Now the Chanels and their credentials will possibly be exposed. Or can Cathy keep it under wraps? She wants the trio to actually take the MCATs.
Meanwhile, Dr. Scarlett Lovin (Brooke Shields) – star of the show Lovin the D – is at the CURE Institute. She wants Dr. Brock Holt, along with assistance from the Chanels, to perform a live surgery on her show to remove a “sixteenpound tumour” from a young man’s face. Yikes, that’s wild. When Brock drops the bomb that the girls aren’t even medical students, things start going sideways. Except this is the charge the Chanels need to take the MCATs. To be on Lovin the D.
Hester holds a “Green Meanie Summit” so that “no ones feelings get hurt” and everyone gets to kill who they want. Oh yeah, just in case you forgot, Wes is Hester’s father. The four of them sit down and claim all their murders in a game show-type segment. Hilariously written and edited. Afterwards they move on deciding who’ll kill all the Chanels. It comes down to a mutiny when Wes isn’t granted the chance to kill #1, but you can bet he’s not letting that slide. Not to mention, Cascade doesn’t want #3 to die, or will he give in?

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Chanel’s got to focus and try to pass the MCAT. If she doesn’t, no Dr. Lovin, no television appearance. Pretty much left up to Brock because she’s not concerned with learning. Then, out of nowhere, he chokes her. With both hands. Seems like there isn’t only remnants of the murderous hand. Maybe something worse is going on inside Dr. Holt. And poor little Chanel, she has Green Meanies all around her and doesn’t even know it. Plus, Brock’s still trying to strangle her.
With murder on his mind Brock goes to talk with the only person he knows who can relate: Hester. “I still really wanna kill her. More than ever, to tell you the truth,” he explains. She tries encouraging him mostly. “You Dr. Brock Holt, are a killer.” Then they hook up over a dead body.
One Green Meanie kill on a newer Chanel is accomplished. Hung by the neck. #5 does her best to cover things up while Munsch keeps the visiting Dr. Annenburg busy. Wes is the one who made the kill, though he isn’t happy. He goes to Dr. Cascade and makes a case for an alliance against Hoffel, who may or may not have a plan to pin all the murders on them after it’s all said and done. Hmm.

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Poor Zayday (Keke Palmer). She’s stuck down in a well-like structure, trapped by Jane (Trilby Glover). Although she starts figuring out that Dr. Cascade is the baby in the belly from 1985. Then Cassidy turns up with his ladyfriend #3, which doesn’t please Jane, nor does she have any time for some chick who’s “waxing” her “sons knob.” So mom pits him against her and #3. He chooses mother. Now it looks like #3 must die after all.
MCATs have to be done TONIGHT. The Chanels must complete the exam, and pass, as Dr. Phil and others are trying to beat Dr. Lovin to the punch doing live surgeries. So the girls are thrust into writing the exam.
Will they pass? Yes, indeed. Turns out #5 did the best, only 3 points from a perfect score. Shiiiiiet, ladies! But what actually happened is #1 and #3 had earpieces in to Drs. Cascade and Holt. Not #5, although nobody’s super thrilled. Poor thing: “Im a genius and no one cares.” Funny and sad all at once.
With Lovin the D ready to go live, Wes has left a drugged up coffee for #1. Only Dr. Lovin winds up with an all too similar cup. Are they about to mix up their drinks? Could get interesting. Oh, yes. The host takes a drink then foams at the mouth, writhing on the floor. Dead. The show goes ahead anyways. #1 steps up and takes the lead as host while Dr. Holt goes to work on the tumour until the job is done and done well. After the show, the Chanels are offered a show of their own to replace Dr. Lovin.
#3: “Whoa. Thats a lot of tumour. Right, America?”
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Ingrid’s pissed that Wes tried killing Chanel, breaking their supposed pact. Things don’t look good for Wes, as the other two back him towards all that boiling oil Ingrid has cooking. He voluntarily drops in, his last word being “playlist” (remember from Season 1?). Fucking killed me, too funny. The other Green Meanies have themselves a bit of cover when Munsch and Dr. Annenburg stumble across a deep fried Wes. The story goes that Wes was the Green Meanie, back to try killing the Chanels. And in other news, Munsch reveals to the others she’ll be dead in a month.
The Green Meanie is dead… long live the Green Meanie!


This was a solid episode. I love the ones that really walk that line of absolute hilarity and nastiness at once, which is the case in many but a few of them are so perfectly balanced that it works incredibly well. Next episode, the finale, is titled “Drain the Swamp” and I’m hoping Ryan Murphy & Co. take a few shots at the Orange Goblin like they did in an earlier episode.

Scream Queens – Season 2, Episode 8: “Rapunzel, Rapunzel”

FOX’s Scream Queens
Season 2, Episode 8: “Rapunzel, Rapunzel”
Directed by Jamie Lee Curtis
Written by Brad Falchuk

* For a review of the previous episode, “The Hand” – click here
* For a review of the next episode, “Lovin the D”- click here
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Well, well, well – look who showed up again! It’s Wes Gardner (Oliver Hudson) from Season 1. He’s not well. So he came to see ole Cathy Munsch (Jamie Lee Curtis), his old bang buddy at the CURE Institute. He has a big tumour. But we find out more about what happened after the Red Devil murders. They ran away together. He grew a beard and made microbrew. Wrote a book about quarters called Quarters: An American History about “our most important coin.” She drove a wedge between him and his daughter. After which Cathy walked out on him. And now he’s basically a complete mess.
Oh, Wes doesn’t have a tumour, either. It’s a giant hairball: “Looks like Trumps wig,” mutters Dr. Brock Holt (John Stamos).
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With Chanel (Emma Roberts), #3 (Billie Lourd) and #5 (Abigail Breslin), present, Dr. Holt and Dr. Cassidy Cascade (Taylor Lautner) reveal that poor Wes has a condition that causes him to pull out his hair and eat it. Hence the large ball of hair in his stomach. Tony Robbins screamed at him a while and then he was fine, until the ball created problems. Having Wes in the mix makes Brock a little jealous, despite him and Chanel being together. So it’ll be interesting to see how all that tension plays out.
Finally we get more Zayday Williams (Keke Palmer). She does a bunch of videos around the hospital, though her comments are constantly filled by Chamberlain Jackson (James Earl), who’s got no game at all. She lays it out straight for him about it, and that’s pretty honest of her. They don’t let that get in the way of their Green Meanie investigation. Now they want evidence, like a piece of the killer’s costume, to try tracking more information down.
Brock and Chanel hang out while he cooks, talking a bit about himself. She’s a bit too busy with Snapchat. Then they further figure out their large “age gap,” as he talks about M*A*S*H and she talks about Chumbawumba and Boy Meets World. Things get worse after they’re in bed and Chanel looks anything but aroused or interested. Brutally funny scene, especially after Brock pictures Munsch and mumbles her name in ecstasy.

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Oh no, Zayday! She’s taking a soak while the Green Meanie skulks in the shadows. Or is she? “Surprise, bitch,” she quips before shooting a taser at the killer. Then Chamberlain takes the Meanie down and a fight breaks out. And even though the Meanie makes it out, Zayday gets a piece of the suit.
Chamberlain gets a bit of help with Zayday from the Chanels. #1 does a bit of cell magic to help him out. I really like Chamberlain, he’s funny and also a good dude, so it seems. Let’s hope there’s more of him.
The wonderfully creepy character actor Bill Oberst Jr. plays a man that owns a costume shop where Zayday goes to figure out where the Green Meanie got their costume. He says that he’s used the fabric before – three scary costumes, different sizes. One in 1986. One a few months back. One only a few weeks ago. He remembers them because he got a “handy” associated with those dates. Anyways, he gives her a bit of information to go on, gets creepier, and Zayday heads off further on her journey towards the killer’s identity.
Hester (Lea Michele) offers her own help to Chanel. She believes it’s a generational thing. So they’re going to learn everything they can about him and his generation, then throw Brock a dinner party to impress.

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With Chamberlain’s phone blocking calls from Zayday until 9pm, he doesn’t get her call for help. She’s headed to see Jane (Trilby Glover), who tries slamming the door in her face. After that she invites Zayday in. Oh, my. Jane looks downright sinister, even if she’s only pouring tea. And Jane says she bought a suit back in ’86, for her brother to go kill the people who killed her husband. She also says that she raised her son to kill in case the hospital opened again, which it did under Munsch. “Why are you trying to bring logic into this conversation? You do realise that we are insane people, right?” Now I worry terribly for Zayday. She’s been drugged. What will Jane do next?
The Chanels are throwing a post-WWII-themed dinner party for Brock, as if he were born in 1920. Hilariously off base. Lots of great confusion over the “Greatest Generation” and other bits, which is perfect and timely after I just recently read a poll where a lot of people messed up the generation they think they belong in. A little later Brock is willing to work things out with Chanel, appreciating her effort despite the lack of knowledge. Only Dr. Holt also wants an affair with Cathy; a long one.
Over with Cathy and Wes, things are getting sexy. They drink, they lie together in bed. Then the Green Meanie attacks. Wes uses body spray to get them out of a sticky situation, but the killer takes off before they can find out any more.
And as I worried, Zayday’s been put in a terrifying predicament, strapped down in a well-like enclosure, the nearby sound of water. Uh oh. Meanwhile Chamberlain isn’t getting any messages, unaware of where his friend’s being kept. When he throws out some trash he ends up finding a receipt stuck in the hairball from Wes’ stomach: for a machete and chainsaw. And a piece of that green fabric. Hmm. So Chamberlain goes to see the man about what he found. Wes talks about how things went bad for Grace after the Chanels ruined her life. Turns out that Wes swallowed all that hair willingly, after getting drunk. He’s there for revenge, to use the Green Meanie as a cover for him hopefully killing the Chanels.
Remember what I said about loving Chamberlain? We won’t be seeing him again.

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Wow. I never saw this one coming! But it’s an awesome addition. I always loved Oliver Hudson in Season 1, so I’m loving that he’s actually a psycho this time around and not just a red herring. Next episode is “Lovin the D” and I can only imagine what’ll happen. A bit of eeriness creeps in with Wes back and certainly with him posing as the 3rd Green Meanie.

Scream Queens – Season 2, Episode 7: “The Hand”

FOX’s Scream Queens
Season 2, Episode 7: “The Hand”
Directed by Barbara Brown
Written by Ian Brennan

* For a review of the previous episode, “Blood Drive” – click here
* For a review of the next episode, “Rapunzel, Rapunzel” – click here
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Poor Dr. Brock Holt (John Stamos) has everybody thinking he’s the Green Meanie. And the worse he feels, the more stressed the hand gets, acting out. Having belonged to a serial killer previously. The more tired Holt gets, the more the hand fucks with him. Even so far as wedgies. He and Chanel (Emma Roberts) have a big night, so he duct tapes his hand to his leg to control it. After dumping a bowl of salt into the pasta sauce he made for dinner. Worse, the hand freaks out and pulls a knife on Chanel. So she does the first smart thing and walks away from an “elegant salty dinner and romantic bone sesh” likewise walking away from their relationship.
A woman named Anna Plaisance (Amy Okuda) has four arms, four legs. She’s come to the CURE Institute for help from Cathy Munsch (Jamie Lee Curtis) and her talented team of doctors, particularly Brock. Will the hand give him trouble? Basically he’s dealing with a surgery involving Ms. Plaisance’s essential twin that grew partly formed in her body. Big time shit. Lots of pressure, too. A ton of media bears down at the will of Munsch. But Brock worries he can’t do it. The hand’s definitely gonna make things shitty for him.
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Dr. Cassidy Cascade (Taylor Lautner) does some crazy martial arts in his spare time out back near the swamp, to “Scarface (Push It to the Limit)” by Paul Engemann. Hilarious. Afterwards he’s joined by #3 (Billie Lourd). They talk, about The Karate Kid and other things. She’s still thinking about the fact Cassidy believes he’s dead.
Cassidy: “I didnt realise you were prejudice against dead people
#3: “Everyone is, Im just willing to admit it.”
Well, #3 – with help from #5 (Abigail Breslin) – gives Cascade a test she’s gone and researched herself. Things come out fine in the first phase, then they go through the rest. Seems he isn’t dead, he has Cotard delusion. Yay for him. Although he’s still ONE of the Green Meanie killers.But wait, #3 didn’t reveal to him what she does to #5: he is a psychopath, likely a serial killer. A-ha!
More and more Brock’s hand gives him grief. It takes him for a ride, as he even tries cutting it off. Only the Green Meanie – one of them – turns up to try killing him. Turns out the hand’s original owner knew a bit of serious kung-fu. He kicks the shits out of the killer, sending him, or her, packing.
A man named Thomas Benderhall (Kasey Mahaffy) comes in under Dr. Cascade’s care. He has what looks like pock marks all over his face. However, accompanied by terrible stomach flu, yet no fever. Yikes.

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Chanel gets no good advice from #3, while #5 speaks the truth and gets shot down hilariously. Hester (Lea Michele), now #6, won’t give up the killer’s identity and plays games with the others, teasing of #3 knowing who it is, and this makes things tense. Meanwhile, Ingrid Hoffel (Kirstie Alley) goes to Cassidy with more information about Holt’s hand. We also see Dr. Green Meanie actually feels a bit guilty. Not guilty enough to stop, though. Now there’s even a bit of blackmail on Ingrid’s end. Very tricky.
With a Northeast Journal of Medicine writer at the hospital, Dr. Holt is having a rough time. Hilarious to watch, but rough. Munsch doesn’t make anything easy for him, pumping things up beyond belief. She’s one crafty lady.
Dr. Cascade thinks that Thomas has been poisoned. By the Russians. Now he’s got to be put in quarantine. Plus there’s a risk of contamination. But Thomas’ girlfriend Shelly refuses to leave, holding the doc to his promise of curing her boyfriend. In other parts of the hospital, the Green Meanie kills one of the newest Chanels, strangling her into a coma. Ah, so the killer’s helping the need of a heart donor for the hospital. And things get worse for Dr. Holt. Not to mention he pokes a bunch of holes in the comatose girl’s arm, that god damn murderous hand!


Finally Cascade figures out that Shelly’s got Munchausen syndrome. She’s poisoning her boyfriend. OH NO – that’s not it? Thomas is poisoning himself because Shelly is domineering, clingy, et cetera. He wants to die. God damn, that’s brutal. Unfortunately #3 feels like loves is a lie, and that maybe she’ll need to turn Cassidy in. Or will he kill her first? Dun, dun, DUNNNNN!
There are other things going on. Brock’s trouble deepens, getting bloodier. Munsch makes clear he has only a couple options, the only good one involving him doing the surgery and doing it well. “I am screwing you,” she admits freely.
Game day: big surgery on the books. Doctors Cascade and Holt wash up, readying for the job. Brock’s made a deal with Munsch that he’ll do the whole thing with his killer hand strapped behind his back. During the operation it gives him a slight bit of trouble, although nothing too serious. Until he has to put the heart in, he can’t finish. Chanel pushes a bit of truth about Brock’s life out of him. A song helped him calm down as a boy, so the Chanels sing “99 Red Balloons” for the doctor. And it relaxes the hand, relaxes Brock, so that he’s able to finish the surgery. But will the heart pump? Oh yes, it will. They’ve done it. More importantly Brock has control of himself, at least a little.


So what’ll happen between #3 and Cassidy? He reveals that he won’t kill her, or Chanel. And that he’s “not the only killer.” That’s all he’ll say right now.
You know that the writer from the journal won’t be making it out alive. He makes a call to a friend about a major “medical ethics scandal” right before the Green Meanie puts a blade through his head. Upstairs, Cassidy gives Brock a present: one of the hands they removed. The twin was male, the hand fits. Cassidy wants to do the transplant himself.
Can they get rid of that serial killing hand before it does nasty damage? Or will it kill Chanel?


Loving this season. So much weird and wild stuff happening. Next episode is titled “Rapunzel, Rapunzel” and it’s directed by the great Jamie Lee Curtis herself!

Scream Queens – Season 2, Episode 5: “Chanel Pour Homme-Icide”

FOX’s Scream Queens
Season 2, Episode 5: “Chanel Pour Homme-Icide”
Directed by Barbara Brown
Written by Ian Brennan

* For a review of the previous episode, “Halloween Blues” – click here
* For a review of the next episode, “Blood Drive” – click here
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Chanel Oberlin (Emma Roberts) hears #5 (Abigail Breslin) from across the hospital. As #3 (Billie Lourd) explains, #1 has developed a “fine tuned” addiction to #5’s pain. Along with Munsch (Jamie Lee Curtis), the Chanels and Zayday (Keke Palmer) find #5, as well as the corpse of Denise Hemphill (Niecy Nash). So now sleazy Cathy has to come up with a story while they dispose of the body. Oh, and they leave #5 to wallow in agony alone. With more dead bodies piling up they’re forced to call the police in.
Downstairs, Munsch shows Zayday a cryogenic chamber she bought with some of the Radwell cash. They put Denise’ s body inside to test it out. Meanwhile, Cathy is still dying little by little.
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No longer blue, Chanel and Dr. Brock Holt (John Stamos) continue getting closer. He apologises for the mix up with the medicine, then goes on about his relationship with Ms. Munsch, how he did it only because of being distraught from missing out on Chanel. But she has no “emotional object permanence” and surely they’ll be together sooner than later.
A week later after the publicity surrounding the murders, Munsch’s CURE Institute is booming again. All kinds of strange illnesses pour in and the place is on wheels. Ingrid Hoffel (Kirstie Alley) is up in her business trying to get more and more all the time. Otherwise things are fine, except the fact Cathy is a complete fucking loon. She winds up on a case trying to treat a woman who’s switching from accent to accent, all over the globe. Her name is Penelope Hotchkiss (Mary Birdsong), and she can’t control the voice she uses. Now that’s an interesting one.
Ingrid gets under everybody’s skin, including the Chanels; she calls them “nondoctor idiots“, “dead inside“, “Dr. Tiny Bitch“, among other names. Usually I find Alley a irritating pain to watch, but the writing is too good not to enjoy. Her delivery is perfectly condescending. She has #1 and #3 doing the worst of chores around the hospital, which they’re obviously not happy about, and thems the breaks, right? Not when Ms. Oberlin’s putting her mind to it. Or, y’know, trying to.
Zayday goes to see Munsch about Chamberlain Jackson (James Earl). Turns out there aren’t any candy stripers. Cathy says she hasn’t hired anybody. Certainly not off Craigslist. Might have something to do with all the serial killing going on. Like Season 1, another baby mystery is at hand, and Zayday decides she’s in to solve the puzzle.


Chanel sent out word she’s accepting applications for more Chanels. Concerned about the Green Meanie. #1 wants “cannon fodder” in case he’s intent on doing her in. So when everybody on their previous list passes, they turn to the patients in the hospital getting a couple new recruits.
Then, they have no choice but to talk to someone named Tristan St. Pierre (Pablo Castelblanco). He started writing explicit, lesbian fan fiction about Chanel. He got extremely obsessed with her. Creepy. Tristan is brought in as a Chanel Pour Homme; brilliant title. They have Chanels #7 and #8, as well. All for human shields in the face of murder.
Dr. Cassidy Cascade (Taylor Lautner) and Chanel #3 try to work on Ms. Hotchkiss. In rushes Brock with information, but then it seems as if the accent issue goes viral. All three of them start talking like Penelope, shifting accents themselves.
In the lower levels of the hospital, Chanel gets a scare from Hester (Lea Michele). She tries to ingratiate herself to the Chanels again. And #1 lets her back in. She’s intent on finding the Green Meanie. No matter how crazy things must get.
Zayday and #5 go visit Jane Hollis (Trilby Glover) about her husband who died that night two decades ago. She believes Dr. Mike and the nurse covered that up. Obviously Chamberlain is out of the running for the baby. Or is he? Because Jane’s husband was black.

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The accent virus keeps going strong, changing in everybody. The writing does a smart job poking fun, as they even make fun of how bad the accents are, too. Great little bit. They also drop a lot of movie references. Also, Doctors Holt and Cascade and Chanel #3 come up with a treatment to help Ms. Hotchkiss. Moreover, Dr. Holt figures out they’ve contracted “Madonna syndrome.” They have to lock themselves up watching American films to get themselves back on track.
Zayday keeps on trying to figure Chamberlain out. He explains his presence there is only about making people feel good. “Ima let my freak flag fly,” he tells her going about doing his Willy Wonka hospital routine. In other news, Cathy has a talk with Ingrid; to fire her. She doesn’t dig the way Ingrid treats the staff. The woman has a drug addiction, however, she knows of Cathy’s disease – blackmail.
The Chanels have a big night planned. A slumber party, including makeovers. Never a good sign when the girls are being nice. Chanel #8 has to go to the morgue to find a gift they’ve supposedly left her. A “sacrifice” to the Green Meanie. Will he take it? Tristan confronts #8 because he wants the gift, putting himself in the way of possible death. When #8 turns up it’s clear who’ll be killed. And boy, is he ever dead.
Naturally, Munsch is pissed. The Chanels are always bringing her more trouble, as if she doesn’t have enough on her own. Chanel #7 is now down with being a human shield, and #8’s been in for a while. Now, Cathy has three more Chanels for admittance; #11 even has eleven fingers. #1 has the girls put to work already cleaning up #5’s “monster dumps” in her bedpan. Man, the writing kills me sometimes. I rarely laugh out loud by myself unless something is really funny; this series does it to me often. Anyways, Munsch wants to find Hester, and she wants #1 to give up the info.
The Green Meanie kills #11, after first doing a bit of homemade machete surgery on her extra finger. That poor girl didn’t last long.
Most intriguing is the finish, as Jane Hollis receives her son for dinner: it’s Cassidy. He was the baby in the belly. And now he tells her that their secrets will be safe: “Ill take care of everything.”

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Solid episode. Well worth the wait!
Next up is “Blood Drive” and I anticipate more intensity, foolishness, and more importantly – MURDER.

Scream Queens – Season 2, Episode 4: “Halloween Blues”

FOX’s Scream Queens
Season 2, Episode 4: “Halloween Blues”
Directed by Loni Peristere
Written by Brad Falchuk

* For a review of the previous episode, “Handidates” – click here
* For a review of the next episode, “Chanel Pour Homme-icide” – click here
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After the bloody events of Chanel Oberlin’s (Emma Roberts) would-be wedding to Chad Radwell ended with his death, she weeps over the body, as everyone wonders exactly what’s happened. Cathy Munsch (Jamie Lee Curtis) is of course ready for the whirlwind of another serial killer in her midst. Denise Hemphill (Niecy Nash) continues with her conspiracy theories, as everybody goes a little mad. #5 (Abigail Breslin) oversteps her boundaries and sets Chanel off on a rant against them before being carted off in a fit of madness. Taking the lead is Denise, but can she be trusted? I’m not saying she’s a murderer, though she is completely god damn foolish. We do get a window into Chad and Denise’s roleplaying, involving some Brokeback Mountain stuff. Weeeeird.
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So Denise dresses like Mrs. Chad Radwell for Halloween. She and Munsch go to see the Lecter-ish Hester Ulrich (Lea Michele), who spouts mostly ominous bullshit.
Everybody gets together for Chad’s will – his family died on the way trying to stop him from marrying Chanel. Haha, dig it. Turns out that Chad – in sound mind and “bitchinbody” – leaves his estate to Cathy Munsch. Wow. And he changed it just before dying. Hmm, coincidence? Red herring? Either way, Chanel absolutely flips out, charging at the accountant reading the will before beating the shit out of him a bit.
But there’s still Chanel-O-Ween! She decides to send out terrifying gifts this year to separate herself from the masses: “For my disgusting hippo fans.” And they positively eat it up to ridiculous lengths.
In other news, Dr. Brock Holt (John Stamos) checks Chanel out, she’s not feeling so hot. From mind to body. Can’t be nice having another serial killer in her life. Is it Dr. Holt? Or maybe the literally dead Dr. Cassidy Cascade (Taylor Lautner)? No telling for sure, not yet.
At home Chanel wakes up after taking the colloidal silver Brock gave her for a rash on her leg – to find her skin is blue. As if things couldn’t get any worse for the rich white girl.

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The night before Halloween, Denise is setting up decorations on one of the hospital’s floors at the nurse station. Then the power goes out. Uh oh, Mrs. Chad Radwell! In the darkness of a nearby room the Green Meanie comes at her. They tussle a bit, but you know Denise can kick some ass, boy. She gives the Meanie a run for his money, eventually pulling a gun. Although the green killer makes off without taking a bullet. This sends Denise to get Hester: she’ll be wearing an anklet for the Halloween party, then later she has to give up the killer’s identity. Even gets a Jason Voorhees mask to put on. Denise then hilariously goes on to mix up Michael Myers as being played by Mike Myers, y’know, after Wayne’s World. Love her and love the dialogue the writers give her.
Lots of shade thrown around between Chanel and Denise, as they stand toe to toe in their costumes. And again, more of the roleplay between Denise and Chad – this time, American Beauty. Christ, this episode is awesome and funny, too! Lots of movie references flying around usually. This episode is on another level, and doing so wisely.
Finally, Chanel goes to see Holt about her tinted skin. He says there’s no cure. Yikes! Well right now Holt also has himself an alibi, he can’t be the killer – he was boning Munsch while Chad was killed. Holy christ, Cathy gets around, doesn’t she? Good on you, ma’am. But now Chanel is taking off, sick of all the bad luck she’s immersed in. Then someone in an Ivanka Trump outfit turns up, silent, trying to murder her. No change in that luck. Oh, and it’s Hester underneath that mask. Where’d she get it, though?

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Tsk, tsk, tsk. #5 is outed now. Zayday (Keke Palmer) and #3 (Billie Lourd) reveal they helped #5 find herself an Ivanka Trump costume earlier in the day. GASP! COULD IT BE? Nah, we know the truth. However, everybody turning on #5 – more so than usual – isn’t any good. It doesn’t look good having her left all alone, especially during the Halloween party. Chanel warns her plainly: “If you show up to that party, well kill you.”
October 31st hits and the party is on. Zayday is Isis – no, not like caliphate-style, like the Egyptian goddess. Again, hilarious! Then#5 turns up as Ivana Trump, not Ivanka. They make a super funny and kinda disturbing point about the Donald and his daughter. Then there’s the fact Ivana is still wandering around, Hester in disguise. She disappears through the halls when a Halloween party full of people turn up puking and going crazy. Seems that they were bobbing for apples and ergot (a fungus) was growing on them, making people quite sick. Although, Zayday doesn’t believe that diagnosis from Dr. Holt, she challenges him.
Meanwhile, Denise and Chanel are conducting a Ouija board ceremony, fighting over the dead Chad Radwell. He event contacts Chanel over his goat, the one he keeps for milk – being lactose intolerant and all. He also tells Chanel he loved Denise more than her, but doesn’t quite get to tell her about the killer before everyone rushes off somewhere.
And all alone is #5 just as I suspected. As if Ivana Trump hasn’t been through enough married to Donald all those years. Eventually Ivana comes across Ivanka. Hester doesn’t kill #5. She lets the Green Meanie do it instead. Ohhhhh shit.

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With the help of a girl dressed as Snow White, Zayday and the others figure out what happened at the party. She saw the Green Meanie changed out the apple bobbing water: the water got dosed, as I suspected again, with DMT. Yowzahs, very wild. Anyways, things are settled at the hospital. For the time being. But maybe the Meanie didn’t want to kill him. Perhaps he needed “a distraction,” as Zayday notes. Now, there’s trouble.
Denise comes across a stabbed #5, and once more she’s also confronted with the Green Meanie. The killer tosses a punch bowl all over Denise before shocking her with some paddles. Is she dead, or can her heart take it?

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An awesome, exciting episode. Really dig this season so far. Next up is “Chanel Pour Homme-icide” and I bet we’ll get more Hester, too! Can’t wait.

Scream Queens – Season 2, Episode 3: “Handidates”

FOX’s Scream Queens
Season 2, Episode 3: “Handidates”
Directed by Barbara Brown
Written by Ian Brennan

* For a review of the previous episode, “Warts and All” – click here
* For a review of the next episode, “Halloween Blues” – click here


So with that poor young man, warts and all, burned to a crisp, Chanel Oberlin (Emma Roberts) puts the ladies on notice: there’s another serial killer lurking about! Duh, Chanel. Although she goes on accusing #5 (Abigail Breslin), as well as suggesting she had a part in some of the first murders last season. Just being a proper bitch. But #3 (Billie Lourd) is the voice of reason. Somehow. Before they can figure out what to do, Cathy Munsch (Jamie Lee Curtis) herself shows up. You know she wants things covered up just as bad. She also lets slip that she may be dying, although the girls don’t fully catch on right away.
Out in the swamp, #1 and #5 get into a “comparative wetlands” argument, a good bit of typically hilarious dialogue. Just like back in 1986, a body gets dumped into the waters. Only somebody is watching in the woods.
Meanwhile, Randal (Kevin Bigley) seems to have gotten better. No more freaks out. Suddenly the Green Meanie arrives for a brutal, bloody slasher kill. Yowzahs!
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The ladies are gone back to see Hester Ulrich (Lea Michele) in her Hannibal cell. “Sweating to the Oldies 2” is a bit of a psychological torture on her while she rots away in there apparently. Quid pro quo. “A room with a view” becomes A Room with a View, which does not help with Hester who pushes hard to get a transfer over to her hospital. Munsch ain’t playing that shit, though.
Chad Radwell (Glen Powell) has issues with a serial killer running loose in the hospital. He’s worried about Dr. Brock Holt (John Stamos) and his transplanted killer’s hand. Well, Chad and Holt get into a “sperm off,” or they almost do. Afterwards we see Holt’s hand get a bit wild, too. The whole scene is drop dead hilarious, even once Munsch disses Chad as possibly being the worst lay she’s ever had. I loved the first season. This season is already defying any expectations I might’ve had about this one not being as good. Almost better already.
Dr. Cassidy Cascade, Chanel #3, and Munsch talk with a woman named Sheila Baumgartner (Cheri Oteri). She has orgasms, constantly. Not in a good way. So Dr. Cascade does his best to start a course of treatment. Later, he and #3 are alone cleaning up in the morgue. He mentions to her that Chad was in there earlier chopping up bodies and swearing a ton. Great. More than that he tells #3 that he’s dead. Like a “Highlander” who must wander the Earth. Haha, jesus. I’ve never watched Lautner in anything before, to be totally honest. He cracks me up in this role so far.

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Zayday Williams (Keke Palmer) and the Chanels are hanging out together, as #1 rants and raves about her skin. All of a sudden, Zayday has an epiphany while paying Scrabble and playing the word nurse.
Again in the showers Chad confronts Dr. Holt. Naked. “Just airinout my scrote, bro,” he tells Brock before also letting him in on the fact he’ll be doing the new hand transplant to get rid of that pesky serial killer organ.
Out on a hunt, the Chanels, Zayday, Munsch, and the ever hilarious Denise Hemphill (Niecy Nash) go to where Hester suggested they start on their search for the truth behind the Green Meanie. Turns out they discover the guy behind Esrun skin cream was there the night the Green Meanie killed all those people. He was paid $5-million to keep his mouth shut, all from the hospital. He claims Nurse Thomas (Laura Bell Bundy) told him a story about the year prior, when a doctor and nurse threw a dead body in the swamp. So is the woman whose husband died, or the child she later had?
Idiot Chad is trying to prepare for the big hand surgery. However, Munsch shows up to reveal Chad is actually her “prime suspect.” Holt cannot be the killer, she says. Nobody’s out of suspicion fully. Not yet. There’s certainly a bit drama building between Dr. Holt and Chad. Something nasty will come of it.

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Together, #3 and Dr. Cascade try figuring out Mrs. Baumgartner’s problem. #3 gets into the yoga pose she was in when the orgasm problem began. Things get slightly sexy, before the doctor recreates what happened to make Sheila slip into full-time orgasm mode. A-ha, they’ve cracked the case! Like a millenial slasher version of House.
Things aren’t going well for Chad. He’s trying his hardest to impress Chanel. He even goes ahead, asking her to marry him. Yet in the distance is Brock, watching strangely. An eerie moment.
#3 and Dr. Cascade get a bit freaky right after surgery. I mean RIGHT AFTER. Eventually they move back to a bed, at least. Music troubles make their sexy times a bit tough for the first few moments. Cassidy’s worried about his deadness. So he shows her a thermometer for proof.
Surprisingly enough, Chad tries asking Dr. Holt to be his best man. Truthfully he has cold feet about it, he wants help to go through with the marriage. Brock agrees, though I can’t help wondering: what’s his endgame?

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Chanel #1 is beaming. She wants #3 to be a bridesmaid. Zayday, too. She only wants #5 as a ring bearer. Dressed like a dog. Hahah good lord. The wedding’s tomorrow because rich white people are crazy.
After Sheila Baumgartner’s recovered and heading home she says the media has been alerted of the great care at Munsch’s hospital. Nothing lasts long, as Sheila sees the Green Meanie down the hall, tossing a scythe at her long distance. Sheila has her head lopped off. Chamberlain Jackson (James Earl) gets a slasher across the belly. But Zayday? She only challenges the Meanie: “Lets go, bitch.” The killer runs off, leaving the question, why Zayday?
We get an awesome Hannibal mask on Hester when she’s brought over to the hospital. With the Esrun lead, Denise pulled some Quantico strings to get her transferred. Things are only getting creepier though, as Hester’s sure the Meanie has killed again already.

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At the Chanel-Radwell wedding things are underway. Poor #5 is wearing her dog collar. A few witnesses, including Munsch, are waiting. And wait they do. You didn’t think Chad Radwell was getting married, did you? Nope.
Or is it more than that?
When Chad’s dead body falls from the ceiling of the church right next to Chanel, all bets are off.

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Who is the Meanie? My early bet is on Dr. Brock Holt, or the mysterious Ingrid Hoffel (Kirstie Alley). There’s no proof yet, really. So let’s see what happens in “Halloween Blues” next week.
Oh, in case you want to rock out to the wedding song before Chad’s bloody entry, here’s “Baby Love” by Regina from 1989.

Scream Queens – Season 2, Episode 2: “Warts and All”

FOX’s Scream Queens
Season 2, Episode 2: “Warts and All”
Directed by Bradley Buecker
Written by Brad Falchuk

* For a review of the Season 2 premiere, “Scream Again” – click here
* For a review of the next episode, “Handidates” – click here
screen-shot-2016-09-28-at-12-45-44-amWith murder on the hospital grounds, Cathy Munsch (Jamie Lee Curtis) has more trouble on her hands again. Chanel #5 (Abigail Breslin) is being sweated by the police, even though she was stuck in the hydrotherapy tub the entire time. Lots of whodunnit already! Chanel #1 (Emma Roberts) and #3 (Billie Lourd) arrive to circle their other namesake, berating her about not getting any dick at all, especially in light of Dr. Cassidy Cascade (Taylor Lautner) and Dr. Brock Holt (John Stamos) respectively asking them out. Of course, it’s like nobody believes #5.
screen-shot-2016-09-28-at-12-46-46-amBack with Drs. Cascade and Holt, along with Zayday (Keke Palmer), the Chanels suffer through another consultation being insensitive as usual. This latest guy, Tyler (Colton Haynes), essentially has these tumours forming bumps like pebbles under his skin, all over. Wonder how this might play into the episode, or if it’s just a bit of background mess. In the meantime, Zayday worries about Munsch and her motives for running this hospital. Zayday doesn’t like how things sound about the latest murder, and well, she was around for Season 1. She knows what that crafty bitch gets up to now and then. “I think she wants revenge,” Zayday says re: Munsch. And she asks Chamberlain Jackson (James Earl) to help her out with a bit of low key investigating.
Out at the movies, Dr. Holt and Chanel #1 bond over being horrible people. Ironically The Hand is playing (as well as Pieces). We start seeing more of Brock’s “out of control hand” and she talks about “his hot mouth” – I can’t wait to see where this whole hand transplant thing is headed, because I love it. Meanwhile, #5 is bonding, too. With Tyler. And she comes round to deciding she’ll help him raise the money for the surgery he needs.
Late in the night, Chanel #1 is on duty at the nursing station. Power goes out. Screams. The Red Devil Killer shows up! He lifts his axe, and then removes his mask: it’s Dickie Dollar Scholar, Chad Radwell (Glen Powell), bitch. Who else?
Now that’s an interesting return. His buddy Randall can’t stop screaming, so there he is to get a bit of help. As well as discover that Dr. Holt and Chanel may be “boning.” This scene is god damn hilarious. When Brock keeps clicking the pen, showing off Randall’s exaggerated reactions. In between we find out that Chad’s started a band: “Goldplated Nutsack.”

screen-shot-2016-09-28-at-1-44-37-amscreen-shot-2016-09-28-at-12-58-43-amZayday’s digging. Plus, Chamberlain went and got some of the microfiche for her to help, along with a machine setup downstairs. They come across the Halloween Massacre at the hospital. We zip back to 1986 with Dr. Mike (Jerry O’Connell) and a bunch of partygoers, other doctors, all rock out. When a couple of them head to take a few shots alone, they encounter the Green Meanie Killer who promptly chops them to bits. He then pulls a Michael Myers on Dr. Mike, lifting him off his feet impaled before chasing down his next victim to Tiffany’s “I Think We’re Alone Now” and tossing a machete through her midsection. Wickedly nasty sequence. Dig that.
Ingrid Hoffel (Kirstie Alley) asks suspicious questions about whether Zayday might let her know where the Chanels are at all times. She makes a case, but seems pretty sketchy. I wonder what her deal is, I hope she’s got an interesting story.
In the showers, Chad tries to stand his ground against Dr. Holt. They argue over the “dateable guy checklist” and who’s most fit to be dating Chanel #1.  This scene gets more homoerotic by the second, as Chad gradually works his way further and further until literally being tip-to-tip with Brock in the shower stall. I laugh way too hard at Chad Radwell. He’s the ultimate douche and he’s written as such. Powell plays the role incredibly well.
With #1 and #3 convincing #5 that Tyler won’t like her anymore if he gets the surgery, #5 is quite on edge. She kicks the shit out of two dudes who make fun of Tyler in a diner before screaming: “I do not have teeth in my vagina.” Another role played way too funny, written wonderfully, is Chanel #5. Breslin is magic.

screen-shot-2016-09-28-at-1-09-15-amMunsch says she could “really use a friend” and so with Chamberlain and Zayday at her door, they agree to listen to her secrets. She tells them about having awful headaches, bad joint pain, a ton of various symptoms. So it looks like Cathy may be straight up this time around. Although there’s no telling if she’s even being truthful. You know how underhanded she can get. Oh, and a lurking figure outside – is it #1? Or is that Ms. Hoffel? – hears all. A little later in the dark corridors, Munsch winds up confronted with the latest Green Meanie Killer. Luckily she has some ass kicking experience. Fighting hard she downs him. When Dr. Cascade and #3 come across Munsch, this distracts her, and the killer gets away. In a meta moment, Curtis goes off on those moments when somebody kicks the killer’s ass and nearly unmasks him but gets distracted. Fucking awesome! This episode is full of fun writing.
Still, Drs. Cascade and Holt are trying to cure Randall of his screaming. In an aside, Brock’s hand acts up again, scrawling a note; that only Chad cares to read. Funny enough it seems to be a grocery list for a fancy dinner. Hmm. Afterwards playing squash, things get tense between Chad and Brock, though the latter asserts his dominance, as well as possibly a homicidal streak? We’ll see.
You know Denise Hemphill (Niecy Nash) is kicking around, apparently an FBI trainee at this point. She calls Zayday a “stone cold hoe” and believes it’s likely her killing people. Even though she already barked up that tree last season to no avail. But Nash is outrageously funny and I love every time she’s allowed to let loose.

screen-shot-2016-09-28-at-1-21-29-amAnd the moment we’ve all been waiting for – or at least I have – the return of Hester Ulrich (Lea Michele). They’ve got her in a Hannibal Lecter-like cell, even talking like Hopkins a bit and there’s plenty of homage dialogue, the dungeon cell area highly reminiscent of The Silence of the Lambs – a patient even throws… birthday cake mix… at Chanel #1. So the crazy Hester locked away has demands for helping with their case. One of which includes transferring to Munsch’s hospital. “Bitch, aint nobody got time fodat,” Denise tells her. But I’m guessing they’ll be enlisting Hester soon enough.
So we get a good dose of story about the hand Holt has now. The guy was a world class squash player, finding people to play with and then killing them. That menu Brock wrote down is the last meal he had before going to jail. The guy was executed, a notorious serial killer, and gave up his organs for donation. Chad brings this newfound information to Dr. Holt and they have a bit of a face-off. We also see another tiny slice of that possible crazy person inside Brock.
Munsch talks of going to Papua New Guinea, which Zayday believes led to her having a disease cannibals get from eating human flesh. There’s nothing they can do: less than a year to live. Yikes. We further discover Ms. Hoffel has a bug planted in Munsch’s office, and she knows everything.

screen-shot-2016-09-28-at-1-29-17-amscreen-shot-2016-09-28-at-1-30-59-amscreen-shot-2016-09-28-at-1-35-09-amSeems as if Tyler’s been trying to help #5, finding information on the Green Meanie Killer. And then all of a sudden, his surgery is switched, someone wheels him off. Problem is that Drs. Cascade and Holt are gone home to have a “Handsome Contest.” With Tyler on the table, the Green Meanie puts an end to his prying. Tyler gets the laser all right. The Chanels are too late to stop his untimely death.
screen-shot-2016-09-28-at-1-37-31-amLoved this episode! Maybe one of my favourites of the entire series, honestly.
Excited for more. Next up is “Handidates” and I can only imagine what we’ll see judging by the title.

Scream Queens – Season 2, Episode 1: “Scream Again”

FOX’s Scream Queens
Season 2, Episode 1: “Scream Again”
Directed by Brad Falchuk
Written by Falchuk & Ian Brennan & Ryan Murphy

* For a review of the Season 1 finale, “The Final Girl(s)” – click here
* For a review of the next episode, “Warts and All” – click here
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The bitches are back, bitches!
This season opens on October 31st, 1985 (just seven days after my birthday). In a hospital people are partying. But one woman’s husband is in trouble, and she can’t find anyone to take her seriously. Until they come across Dr. Mike (Jerry O’Connell), who – after a bit of prodding – takes care of the man. He and one of the nurses plan to dump a body out back in a swamp, let the animals and nature take care of him. She talks about the “Green Meanie” – an urban legend from when she was younger, a monster that stalked the swamps. Now, heading to the present, are we going to see someone taking revenge for this crime? You betcha.
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It’s 2016. Cathy Munsch (Jamie Lee Curtis) is all over the place as the face of “new feminism.” Meanwhile, hands Doctors Cassidy Cascade (Taylor Lautner) and Brock Holt (John Stamos) are taking care of a Ms. Catherine Hobart (Cecily Strong); an unfortunate lady who’s had to deal with werewolf syndrome. So we come to find out it’s Dr. Cathy Munsch. She received the honorary doctorate they “stripped from Bill Cosby.” Mostly she’s a lot of talk. As usual. But she’s awesome, and she opened up the hospital. Via voice-over, Cathy takes us back through how she got to this point. A fun little romp with Jamie Lee Curtis; ever cool, ever hilarious in a dry, sly way.
And what about the Chanels? Chanel Oberlin (Emma Roberts), #3 (Billie Lourd), and #5 (Abigail Breslin). We go back over their court case, the involvement of Denise Hemphill (Niecy Nash) in her crack up testimony during trial. There’s a bit of Hester Ulrich (Lea Michele) on tape claiming “double jeopardy” while arguing with Denise: “Its single jeopardy!”
Then there’s Zayday Williams (Keke Palmer). She’s in med school, trying to get by like many students. Munsch is swooping in on her, offering to pay for her tuition, offering a position at the hospital. Too good to be true? Well, Zayday takes her up on it. Whether that’s a good thing will have to wait a while.

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Starting her schooling, technically a direct entry residency, Zayday meets the obnoxious Dr. Cascade and the weird Dr. Holt. Particularly we get a story about how Holt actually lost a hand a few years back. Lost a ring in the sink, garbage disposal got turned on, and VOILA! These days he’s doing surgery like a magician. His speech is both tragic and hilarious – the way he keeps hitting things, scaring Cascade and Zayday made me laugh. Lots of eeriness, all the same. Cascade seems like an ass, as well as the fact he’s strikingly cold to the touch. Best is when Chamberlain Jackson (James Earl) shows up. His charm is undeniable, if not a bit in your face.
Zayday makes a big with Munsch to get more women around the hospital. You know what that means. Oh, yes.
Chanel and her “idiot hookers” are back. Everybody hates them now to the point they’re having shit thrown at them in the streets. They majored in Communications, they all got jobs. Not exactly what you’d think. Especially after ending up poor, tired, and knocked down a few social pegs. Once Munsch shows up, everything changes. Naturally the girls are sceptical of the former Dean’s extending her hand, asking them to enrol as students and work at the hospital. But really, what else will they do? Their arrival throws Zayday for a loop, too.

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So the fashion clash begins when the Chanels realise they have to wear scrubs. Although things feel more palatable after seeing Dr. Holt taking a shower. Curious: #5 notices a tattoo, sort of like a coat-of-arms with an H in the shield. Hmm. Anyway, the girls each have their jobs. After a bit of brutally funny banter on the term ‘ghosting’ as per Munsch: “Isnt ghosting when you do a number two and you look down at the paper and theres nothing there? And so you stand up and you look in the toilet and theres nothing there either because the turd somehow got shot down the hole before you even flush?”
The Chanels don’t have much bedside manner. Neither do Dr. Cascade or Dr. Holt, the first rambling on a Nietzsche-like thought and the other texting. Poor Catherine, the werewolf lady, is trying to get a bit of sense out of the doctors. Only one providing that is Zayday. We also get introduced to Ingrid Marie Hoffel (Kirstie Alley), R.N., who doesn’t have time for Chanel or any of their bullshit. Speaking of which, Munsch puts the Chanels on academic probation because of their treatment of Catherine earlier. Everything quickly feels like it’s crumbling beneath the Chanels after discovering they also don’t get paid, only free room, board, so on. So they head back to their room and brainstorm about what to do next: find a cure for “werewolf girl” first.
Chanel goes to talk with Dr. Holt about Catherine’s case. We see a bit of his weird, transplanted hand. In the midst of everything, Holt and Chanel figure out there may be a testosterone problem in Catherine, which prevents any further hand madness. Thus starts the fierce competition between Zayday and the Chanels. After a bit of treatment, Catherine loses ALL her hair. Not just a little. Every last bit. They give her a bit of a makeover, so that patches things up for now. Making Munsch’s hospital look great and pissing Zayday off.

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#5 is on graveyard shift while the other two have dates. While she helps Catherine with a bit of hydrotherapy, someone watches in the shadows. #5 opts to get in one, as well. Both of them locked in a tub. Smart move, dummy. Then, a green-masked intruder appears with a couple blades in hand. He puts on a bit of music for the occasion. Before lopping Catherine’s head off.
And we end on a last chop: is it to #5? Or to the head? Or maybe just a last scare? We’ll find out next week.

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An exciting, weird, creepy first episode for the second season of Scream Queens! Really loved this one. Can’t wait to see “Warts and All” next. Lots of promise, new characters, new setting, and a fun mask for a new killer, too.

Halloween: Resurrection – Rosenthal Does Nothing for the Series

Halloween: Resurrection. 2002. Directed by Rick Rosenthal. Screenplay by Larry Brand & Sean Hood.
Starring Jamie Lee Curtis, Brad Loree, Busta Rhymes, Bianca Kajlich, Sean Patrick Thomas, Daisy McCrackin, Katee Sackhoff, Luke Kirby, Thomas Ian Nicholas, Ryan Merriman, and Tyra Banks. Dimension Films/Nightfall Productions/Trancas International Films. Rated 18A. 89 minutes.
Horror/Thriller

★★
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So at this point, the Halloween franchise has all but ran its course. Honestly, I do enjoy the previous film a bit. More than that I’m a fan of the entire series. Even the less than great entries can still be a lot of fun, as opposed to some of the later Friday the 13th entries which I find virtually unwatchable at times. But most of Halloween: Resurrection is just bad. Not everything is horrible, not at all. However, the lion’s share here goes to bad horror, forced comedy and not enough of the classic horror which makes Michael Myers so scary.
The effects in many scenes are well done, they’re also pretty gruesome and frightening. The acting is almost laughable in terms of the main cast – they’re almost upstaged by the rambling mental patient who rattles off serial killer trivia, from John Wayne Gacy to Ted Bundy, and so on. And too many times you’ll find yourself wondering how low the series will sink, starting with the opening sequence involving Laurie Strode and Michael in their final confrontation. Director Rick Rosenthal did an amazing job with the first sequel, Halloween II, but 21 years later he came back with a fistful of shit and did no justice to any of the other good movies throughout the franchise.
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Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) decapitated Michael Myers at the end of the last film. Turns out, Michael actually managed to switch his clothes with a paramedic. He made his way out and hid for three years, while Laurie rotted in a mental asylum. Although, she spent that time preparing for a showdown that had to be coming eventually. When it does finally, Michael ends up once and for all killing his long lost sister: what he always set out to do.
But evil never rests. Michael Myers goes back to the only place he ever knew outside of the walls of a psychiatric ward: home, Haddonfield. Only an internet show is being broadcast from the old Myers place. Freddie Harris (Busta Rhymes) and Nora Winston (Tyra Banks) at DangerTainment have set the whole thing up, selecting six young people to spend a night in the “birthplace of evil in its purest form“. Things don’t go so well, once it’s clear Michael has more definitely come home.
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Usually, if anything, I’m able to find a few good kills in any of these films. This one is no exception. Even while almost everything else happening is total junk, there are some interesting and very brutish kills. For instance, what slasher horror is complete without a nice impaling? Well, some of them are, I suppose. But the bad slashers, such as this one, really need those sorts of kills. If not, everything gets stale. Here, we have a character impaled by Myers, which ups the gory ante. Earlier, someone gets stabbed viciously in the head. Later on, the strength of Myers is once more evident in all its savage glory, as Michael ends up crushing a guy’s head into bloody chunks. An homage to the original Halloween sees a victim pinned to a door, hung by kitchen knives, almost similar to one of the deaths in John Carpenter’s masterpiece. But best of all, I do dig how people watch on while the others die, live streaming into the house. And to think – this was 13 years ago now. Today, the bloodthirsty internet audience might actually love this sort of thing. So, despite all the shortcomings of this mostly unnecessary sequel in the franchise, I can find a few little things to enjoy here and there. But not too much.
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One thing several of the Halloween films have in common, and make them more enjoyable than their lesser counterparts, is there have been good, solid performances. I can’t say that, at all, about Halloween: Resurrection. While I have a love for Busta Rhymes and his music career, the sentiment does not extend to his acting abilities. All the same, he’s probably the most fun of all the actors because at least Busta seems into it. Otherwise, it’s a cast filled with pretty-to-look-at people who can’t exactly act up to the level they need to in order to make this sinking ship float. With American Pie alumni Thomas Ian Nicholas, the geek goddess Katee Sackhoff, a terribly miscast Tyra Banks and Ryan Merriman whose most well-known credit to date is either The Ring Two or Pretty Little Liars, the entire cast couldn’t save this abomination. Perhaps if better actors wanted to be in this sequel, it might be different. As it stands, the acting doesn’t do anything to push the film to higher heights. I don’t mean to disparage these actors, I’m sure they’ve all done decently in other work, but this movie falls apart quicker than it should due to the lack of much talent, or at least effort, in the respective performances.
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I can give this sequel a 2 star rating without feeling too bad about it. Definitely does not deserve any more. With a good deal of brutality and decent make-up effects, some of the slasher elements of Halloween: Resurrection are up to speed with certain other entries in the franchise. Though, this is where the goodness ends. Including too much laughable acting, a terrible and unjust opening sequence involving Laurie Strode, and overall a story that does nothing for the franchise other than try to milk more money out of hardcore fans (who’ll see anything with the name Halloween on it if involving Michael Myers), this really is an abysmal sequel. Not saying there aren’t others, but this is absolutely one of the worst in the entire series. You don’t need to see it for any other reason than to be a completist. I even own it on a collection including the last three movies of the franchise, on Blu ray no less. But only because I’m a collector, and because I love Myers; regardless of how the Hollywood machine decides to pimp him out.

Scream Queens – Season 1, Episode 13: “The Final Girl(s)”

FOX’s Scream Queens
Season 1, Episode 13: “The Final Girl(s)”
Directed by Brad Falchuk
Written by Brad Falchuk/Ian Brennan/Ryan Murphy

* For a review of the previous episode, “Dorkus” – click here


With a seemingly shocking reveal by Hester (Lea Michele), high heel in her eye at the end of the penultimate episode “Dorkus”, #5 (Abigail Breslin) was pointed to as the other Red Devil Killer.
This finale episode begins in January 2016, with Zayday (Keke Palmer) and Grace (Skyler Samuels) at the head of the sorority. Even further, Dean Munsch (Jamie Lee Curtis) is there smiling. Plus Hester (Lea Michele), who has an eye patch, and she claims via voice-over she grew up in a mental institution, she is the only Chanel left. Her 20-year plan went off just as planned. Wow! Really? I was all bent on #5 actually being the other killer, but I’m slightly surprised now with Hester’s revelations. We get great flashbacks to Gigi Caldwell (Nasim Pedrad) teaching little Boone and Hester in the asylum all about chainsaws and hammers, and the terrifying things for which they’re quite useful. A ton of fun moments with Hester in the asylum, ranging from darkly comical to full-on horrific. Hester specifically talks about her rockin’ bod, therefore it was necessary to find a “cloak of social invisibility” which came to be the huge brace.


Hester: “What Ive noticed is that the more weird and gross you are, the less people wanna know about you. No one asks the kid with terrible acne what their favorite movie is or where they were born.”


Then Gigi and Hester found the Red Devil costume, ironically killing the Red Devil as their first victim. Very eerie scene where Gigi stabs him to death, sort of shrouded in a little darkness and looking completely insane. The filling in of back story is good fun, explaining how Hester and Boone (Nick Jonas) never went to high school, so it became hard for them to get into college; Hester slipped in due to Munsch’s idiocy, Boone simply showed up among the Dickie Dollar Scholas and pretended to be a student. Best of all is watching the eye patched Hester doing a voice-over, as Grace and Zayday talk to the new sorority pledges.
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Gigi: “Hammers are good for bashing people in the skull and watching them bleed to death.”
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Then we’re back to Hester preparing to jab herself in the eyeball with the high heel shoe. A perfectly nasty little scene. We see her being rushed out by paramedics, still claiming #5 is the Red Devil Killer. Everything is looking rough for poor #5, how could I have doubted her? Well Chanel #1 (Emma Roberts) and #3 (Billie Lourd) are especially convinced, throwing all kinds of accusations at her. New Chief Denise Hemphill (Niecy Nash) strolls in talking about a male body with chiseled abs and possibly a “gay face“, even though everyone is already aware Boone is dead and gone. Still, Grace and Zayday are convinced of Hester’s guilt. Then the crazy shows up, her eye patched with gauze, claiming she was home schooled and that’s why her high school transcript was faked, et cetera. She continually blames #5, trying to sway everyone to believing her obviously fabricated truth. Then up shows Hester’s father and mother, so she says; it’s obviously a fake family, they even say they’re in the CIA, but they’re clearly a couple actors. Chanel #5’s parents show up and they’re not more interested in her than any of her sorority sisters are. They give up a story about her being adopted from Gigi: a flashback sees Hester going to #5’s parents, they actually hate her claiming “our daughter sucks“. So many ridiculous notions flying around. Denise still thinks Zayday is the killer, too.


Chanel #1: “I think youre a serial killer because I know you, #5! You bite your own toenails!
Chanel #5: “Okay, I am flexible. Why would I waste my money buying toenail clippers when God already blessed me with toenail clippers in the form of teeth in my mouth?


On top of everything, #3 is accused as being in cahoots with #5. We get more hilarious Billie Lourd here, talking about bathroom duties: “I was past number two. I had to go: number three.” I mean, I actually fucking choked laughing at this part. Especially when Lourd refers to taking a dump as “laying pipe“. Then there are more inclusions of #3’s father as being Charles Manson – letters from prison talking about killing people, strapping bombs to people, and so on. Another laugh out loud moment: “Dirty Helen.” So much back and forth between Chanels #3 and #5 and Hester, with occasional interjection from Chief of Police Denise Hemphill. But basically what happens is Hester accuses all the Chanels, even #1, of being in cahoots together. Except we actually see Hester dressed up as #1, buying things at a home improvement store. Not like we don’t already know what’s happening. But I still dig how they’ve combed through so much fabrication on Hester’s part.
The sequence afterwards where the Chanels are arrested, perfectly by a bunch of deputized male strippers in police officer uniforms, all of which is accompanied by a great tune.
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Flash to May 2016. Dean Munsch is very happy, about the campus open and free, the Chanels having their bail revoked, and other fun stuff. Turns out Chad Radwell (Glen Powell) and Denise Hemphill have broken up their long steamy affair, including her TLC “Waterfalls” quotes; great return to the pilot with reference to the song. “We got too close to the sun baby, we shined too bright,” she says. To which Chad replies: “I promise Ill never bang anybody like I banged you.” Moreover, Chad starts a ridiculously abbreviated charity in the name of Roger, Dodger, Earl Grey, and the boys. He can’t exactly explain to which charity the money will go, “I dont know all of them.” Then there’s Munsch with a book out on “new new feminism”, making lots of light of her past terrible year. So when will all this break? When will the lives of these survivors be impacted by the reality that Hester was one of the Red Devil Killers?
Then, Dean Munsch reveals to Hester she knows the truth. She remembers the baby in the bathtub, the girl, she knew it was Hester all grown up. To all this, Hester replies she needed a real father, she needed good influence instead of the painful upbringing she experienced. Even with all her amorality, Munsch knows the death of all those people was wrong, they did not deserve her wrath. Only Hester strikes a tentative deal: she won’t say anything about Munsch covering up the death of her mother those two decades ago, or the suspicious death of her husband, if dear Cathy won’t say anything about her murderous rampage. Deal struck. For now.


Grace is showing Wes (Oliver Hudson) around the new sorority house, including lifelines for girls like his wife who were forced into situations like happened twenty years ago, when she gave birth and died in that bathtub. They have lots of nice father-daughter catching up, including some typical hilariousness.
Then the courtroom scene with the Chanels is pure comedy gold. Especially when we see the jury’s ballot as marked NOT GUILTY, before Chanel #1 makes a scene, then the jury foreman crosses those decisions out and marks off GUILTY on “all 47 charges“. There are amazing instances of surreal comedy throughout Scream Queens and this whole scene is a perfect example of that. Even while the Chanels are complete pieces of shit, there’s something tragic about them being sent away to an asylum while Hester still walks around, murder in her heart. My favourite part of the episode is when the Chanels are shipped off to the asylum, as Simple Minds’ hit “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” plays throughout. Even after a bit Chanel #1 & #5 become best friends, as well as they all gorge on food because there are “no boys to stay skinny for“. Most laughs here: Chanel becomes House President of the asylum, toasting with prune wine brewed in lock-up. I mean, how can you not laugh? Such a downright funny sequence.


In the night at the asylum, Chanel tries to go to sleep. Only above her bed appears the Red Devil Killer. And so comes the end of Season 1.
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I know others weren’t as pleased as I am, but I’ve got to say: I loved this finish. The whole thing didn’t wrap up completely, so Season 2 will come organically out of this finale. I’m excited to see where Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan take their unique horror-comedy vision for the next season. People are saying it was a predictable end. Why does everything have to be so twisty that you NEVER see it coming? Part of the fun of a slasher movie, and in turn a slasher styled series, is that you keep guessing. Sure, maybe you guessed with blind luck early on. Or maybe you guessed, then second guessed yourself, over and over, until finally your first guess was right. Either way, it’s all part of the fun. If you didn’t enjoy it, be done; don’t tune into Season 2. Me, I’ll be back with bells on. Looking forward to more hilarity and horror mixed together, with new adventures for the remaining Final Girls to look forward to down the road.
Will Dean Munsch pay for her indiscretions? Will Chanel #1 survive? Is Hester still the only one in the Red Devil Killer costume, or does she have new help? We’ll see next year.

Scream Queens – Season 1, Episode 11: “Black Friday”

FOX’s Scream Queens
Season 1, Episode 11: “Black Friday”
Directed by Barbara Brown
Written by Ian Brennan

* For a review of the previous episode, “Thanksgiving” – click here
* For a review of the next episode, “Dorkus” – click here
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The beginning of “Black Friday” is naturally sassy. Chanel Oberlin (Emma Roberts) and her crew of brown nosers are in their glee. This is their favourite day of the year. Chanel loves it so much because she’ll buy cheap presents for her friends, making them question the bonds of their friendship. She also loves the stampede of piggish Americans forcing their way through the doors, charging one another and so on.
At Kappa House, Dean Munsch (Jamie Lee Curtis) is consoling Zayday (Keke Palmer), who reluctantly admits Gigi’s roasted head actually smells sort of delicious. However, Munsch and the Chanels have a bit of a confrontation. #1 talks her down, like only she can with brutal sorority house vigour.
Wes (Oliver Hudson), Grace (Skyler Samuels) and Pete (Diego Boneta) show up at the police station. Turns out the mayor is pissed about the Red Devil Killer. He went ahead and fired most of the cop. But makes sense doesn’t it? The lead detective was an idiot.
At the mall, the Chanels end up in the darkened halls, the doors locked and chained. Then from behind the glass, outside, it’s the Red Devil with what looks like a crossbow. The Chanels all run screaming. The Red Devil is inside now coming for them. But instead of running with Hester (Lea Michele) and the others, Chanel #1 goes to confront the killer. She taunts the Red Devil, before taking an arrow to the chest. Though, before the killer can take her out, up shows Denise Hemphill (Niecy Nash) who is now Chief of Police after all the nonsense. Of course the killer gets away.
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Denise: “Man, why didnt I shoot him when I had the chance? I was busy talkintoo much
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Chanel survives, and back at Kappa she rallies about who the killer is: Dean Munsch. Not everyone believes it. However, Grace somehow ends up on the same side as Chanel #1. She gives an impassioned speech to all the others stating: “I’m willing to do whatever it takes to stop her. Dean Munsch has to die.” A consensus comes up between Chanel and Grace: they’ll poison Munsch. Really? Let’s see how things go down.
Hilarious douche Chad Radwell (Glen Powell) stands up at the podium giving a Dickie Dollar Scholar speech, but everyone is dead. Aside from Pete, who is there for some reason. Chad reads out Boone’s supposed Last Will and Testament. It’s full of things left to – dun, dun, dun – Pete Martinez. Strange, right? Chad’s convinced they’re gay lovers. But fact is, Pete seems to have been using Boone as an undercover source for his investigative reporting. Through all the foolishly funny nonsense Chad spews, he eventually asks Pete to join the Dickie Dollar Scholars. Pete refuses, as if he would ever say yes.

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Chad: “Your body, Pete Martinez, is not a wonderland.”
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Grace and Chanel #1 take a meeting with Dean Munsch at her place. They put on a ton of fake charm and sincerity. Honestly, I’m loving the writing from episode to episode, just because of how Ian Brennan/Brad Falchuk/Ryan Murphy & Co. take down a lot of the dumb things our society today has brought forward.
But there’s lots of mystery and suspense, as the girls bring Munsch a jar of apple cider. One which they’ve poisoned with fish venom. The Dean drinks a whole jar back quick, giving off a burp and exclaiming: “Yesabsolutely nutmeg! Excusez moi.” Jamie Lee Curtis is absolutely perfect for this role and I can see why it was specifically tailored for her. Not only has she gotten the chance to play off previous roles she played in horror films, even her mother’s performance in Psycho. Curtis gets a great chance to show off her comedic chops. She’s one hell of a funny, witty person.
Another thing I love is, again, the suspense. There are plenty of excellently suspenseful scenes throughout this first season. We get more of them in this episode, aided by an equally good score (as usual). The music of the series is beyond cool.
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When Grace decides to change her mind about taking Dean Munsch out, Chanel #1 and the others – even Zayday sort of – decide to kick her to the curb. Back at home with her dad, and Pete apparently, Grace learns what the two have been up to. Wes confirms he didn’t know much about Gigi, to the point of not even knowing how to spell her last name. Doesn’t matter – her name isn’t Gigi Caldwell, but possibly Jess Meyer, a name she checked into the asylum with. A couple eerie, twisting plot points here. Plus, I find it funny Wes and Pete are bonding in any sense of the word because the whole dynamic with Grace and her father is a crack up anyways. Only makes things funnier. But then there’s also the fact Wes fathered the two Red Devil Killers, whose rampage has not yet ended even with Boone dead. So there’s a good deal of complexity happening, even among so much silly fun.
Chanel #1 has a plan for Dean Munsch. A bit of cryotherapy. Chanel and the other girls watch as the Dean heads down into the big chamber, waiting until she freezes to death. Except when they bring her back up, expecting her to be a frozen corpse, tough ole Cathy is still alive!


Pete receives a call at his place. Someone we don’t hear. He asks: “Why do you want to take this any further?” Then he ominously opens up his closet, looking at the Red Devil costume hanging there like we saw a bunch of episodes back when he and Grace were at his apartment. What’s Pete’s connection? Did he help any of the killings, or is he merely aware of it all?
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The Kappa House girls all try to think of how Dean Munsch could’ve possibly survived. #5 (Abigail Breslin) rambles about Teen Wolf (the movie). Hester talks about Rasputin, and the tale of his supposedly vicious death after the first several attempts on his life did not work. A creepy little scene just from the way Lea Michele recites the whole story. So the final plan ends up with Munsch headed for a drowning, says #1.
Only when the signal goes out to the other Chanels, they’re busy being idiots. At the campus pool, #1 ends up alone. She and Munsch are there by themselves now, with #1 bringing along a bunch of chains. Nothing happens, only a bit of back-and-forth between them. This prompts Chanel to end up writing a missive, surely reminiscent of the Delta Gamma letter which took the internet by storm a while back.
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Grace comes to Pete, wanting to give her body over to him. Yet he’s reluctant. Then he drops a bomb before the episode ends: “I don’t want your first time to be with a murderer.” What, Pete? What?
I’m beyond excited to see the next episode, “Dorkus”. Stay tuned with me to find out more about Pete and his revelations!

Scream Queens – Season 1, Episode 10: “Thanksgiving”

FOX’s Scream Queens
Season 1, Episode 10: “Thanksgiving”
Directed by Michael Lehmann
Written by Brad Falchuk

* For a review of the previous episode, “Ghost Stories” – click here
* For a review of the next episode, “Black Friday” – click here
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Another week at Kappa House, and the murder certainly isn’t stopping!
With Boone (Nick Jonas) dead by the hand of his yet to be revealed twin sister, the other Red Devil, how will things go now?
Chad Radwell (Glen Powell) says his “wanger is way stressed out” because of everything going on. Though, Chanel #1 (Emma Roberts) reveals the situation with Hester (Lea Michele) – not only is she not pregnant, she’s pretty dead. But tragedy for Chanel when she shows up down at the meat locker and – surprise, surprise – the body is not there. Smarty Chad asks whether or not Chanel checked if Hester was actually dead, to which she obviously replies no. These two are made for each other – a murderer, and a guy with a seriously creepy fetish for corpses.

Chanel #1: “Duh. I put it in the meat locker. That’s where we’ve been putting all the dead bodies.”
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Gigi (Nasim Pedrad) sits with the remaining Red Devil, who of course is silent. They’re having “room service Thanksgiving” together, the Red Devil eagerly cutting out paper hearts and who knows what. This whole scene was a RIOT! Pedrad is a crack-up, coupled with the other killer whose silence is almost even funnier, the way she gets excited, wringing hands over the approaching dinner. Still, there’s also an unsettling, unpredictable quality about their relationship. Now that Boone is dead, will the twin sister under that mask find it just as easy to get rid of Gigi? Hmm.
Even funnier, and one of my favourites of this series, is Billie Lourd as Chanel #3. I mean, her at times deadpan delivery, the uninterested eyes, so many awesome facial expressions; she’s a good hand at comedy. In my mind, anyways. But the best of it is the family, alongside her character. They’re the Swenson family, similar to Swanson yet not quite. Makes it downright hilarious when she goes home, they’re all sitting at separate La-Z-Boy chairs, each with a tv tray in front of them with a microwaved frozen dinner on it and six separate screens on the wall, individual football games playing on every one; maybe even a couple are just the same game. I couldn’t get enough of it, especially once Chanel #3 flips and calls them on their bullshit. Brad Falchuk wrote a great script for this episode and it had me laughing out loud at this point.
Back at Kappa, Dean Munsch (Jamie Lee Curtis) tells #3 all about the turkey they supposedly pardoned: “It’s more like a stay of execution“. These two together are as close to a classic pairing as you can get. Overall, I love this section of the episode because we’re getting, among the comedy and the horror bits, a look at different families, different versions of Thanksgiving. Poor Grace (Skyler Samuels) is at odds with her father Wes (Oliver Hudson), but they manage to work things out slightly.
Then there’s the Radwell Family Thanksgiving at the ranch where Chanel #1 is introduced, sassily, to the family – including patriarch Tad Radwell (Alan Thicke), mama Bunny Radwell (Julia Duffy), plus brothers Brad (Chad Michael Murray), Thad (Patrick Schwarzenegger), and Brad’s wife Muffy (Rachele Brooke Smith). Falchuk hauls out all the stops in this part of the episode. Each of the Radwells gets up and introduces themselves, ridiculously. A ton of wildly funny moments happen in such a short time, from Chanel #1 threatening to strangle Mrs. Radwell, to a still alive Hester showing up, and Chad Michael Murray doing a perfectly brief cameo (I laughed pretty hard at his introduction/talk). Although, Hester still claims to be pregnant: is it more nonsense from her, or too true?


Bunny (to Hester): “That’s not a baby bump, that’s a poo belly.”


At the cobbled together Thanksgiving in Kappa House, Dean Munsch proposes a game of sorts – they’re going to go around and say who they believe the remaining Red Devil Killer to be. First up, Munsch believes it’s Chanel #3. Lots of deliberation, concerning #3’s claim of having Charles Manson for a father mostly. But #3 fires back at Munsch, saying it’s she who is the killer.
Tad Radwell confronts Chanel #1 in the bathroom. He wants to pay her off to leave, to never see Chad again. Then downstairs, Chad is getting more ridiculous by the minute – they’ve got a nasty dessert looking similar to the recent Jell-O + mayo concoction in the news, as well as the fact he starts telling Chanel maybe she ought to leave and Hester should stay. Messed up right?


This episode is one of the funniest out of the first season so far. It’s killing me, a contest between Kappa House or the Radwell Ranch for who is being more hilarious. Furthermore, there’s lots of suspicion getting thrown around. Zayday (Keke Palmer) and Grace each have their share to throw at the dean. Things get sticky for Munsch, as #3 reveals seeing her eating a bologna sandwich, something which couldn’t be, right? All due to the bologna stuff when her ex-husband was killed. But even wilder, daddy Wes accuses his OWN DAUGHTER of being the Red Devil Killer. Crazy! He says he can explain away all doubts in regards to everyone else, aside from his own little girl. “Thanksgiving” on Scream Queens reminds me of a Murder on the Orient Express sort of situation; excellent stuff. Pete (Diego Boneta) shows up at the sorority, while Wes is grilling his daughter about certain dates, events, et cetera. Is there actual credibility to any of this? Red herrings? Well, Pete throws his hat in the ring and accuses Wes right along with all the other mix of suspicion boiling over.
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Dean Munsch: “God, I hate you people.”

The Radwell shitshow continues with Pictionary, which quickly devolves into savagery. Someone replaced the card HORSE with NECKBRACE WHORE. A terribly vicious round of Pictionary goes down with insult after insult being hurled at Hester. This actually prompts Chanel #1 to give a sort-of-apology to Hester, but also pushes her to give a verbal smackdown to the Radwells. The insults begin to spill out of Chanel, going between every last one of the Radwell clan including a breakup with Chad; a forever split this time apparently. Then the two slighted sorority ladies leave in a huff: together.
Wes is in the hotseat at Kappa. Junior investigative reporter Pete starts giving him the business, laying out a supposed motive and plan which Wes has been working off the whole time. The eager beaver investigator seems to have drummed up old pictures from a party, so long ago, speaking to a possible way Wes may have known enough about the sorority house in order to sneak in/out, and so on. Craziest bit yet? Wes was caught on camera in the meat locker, spray painting over its lens; he claims it’s due to the paleo diet, he couldn’t afford all the meat and stole it from them. That’s what he says. But more comes rolling out of Pete, who has a “friend at the Maury Show“: Wes is Boone’s father! WHAT!? Grace’s half-brother and half-sister are out there killing, neither her nor her father had any idea of the link. It feels like Wes truly didn’t know. I’m still not sure, though. He freaks me out at times.
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Wes: “And it was the 90s, so nobody wore condoms.”
Dean Munsch: “Pffbelieve me
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The finale brings Chad back to Chanel #1, with everyone sitting around the table for Thanksgiving at Kappa House. Only when the lid comes off the platter on the table, Chanel reveals the dead head of Gigi.
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I knew she was about to get it earlier, the Red Devil wasn’t having any of her bullshit anymore. Now, will there be more and more terror? More bodies to drop? Only a couple episode left.
Stay tuned for the next one, aptly titled “Black Friday”.

Halloween H20 or How To Stop Worrying and Learn to Love Michael Myers

Halloween H20: 20 Years Later. 1998. Directed by Steve Miner. Screenplay by Matt Greenberg & Robert Zappia.
Starring Jamie Lee Curtis, Adam Arkin, Michelle Williams, Adam Hann-Byrd, Jodi Lyn O’Keefe, Janet Leigh, Josh Hartnett, LL Cool J, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Branden Williams, and Nancy Stephens.
Dimension Films/Nightfall Productions/Trancas International Films.
Rated 14A. 86 minutes.
Horror/Thriller

★★★1/2
halloween-h20-poster I’m not saying this is a spectacular entry in the Halloween franchise. Nor am I saying this is a wonderful slasher horror movie. That being said, I find Halloween H20 a decent enough sequel. Especially taking into consideration the last couple of the series entries are fairly haggard, specifically the one previous to this – The Curse of Michael Myers.
To see Jamie Lee Curtis come back after 18 years is pretty special. While the movie isn’t anything overly dramatic, there’s enough for Curtis to do. Even further, a young Josh Hartnett and Michelle Williams, plus a sassy LL Cool J make things fun. Even while I do like a couple of the sequels, I enjoy how this one retroactively takes on Michael’s story from after the first two movies. Add to that a return to more simplistic serial killer Michael Myers and this is easily a better sequel than the last. With the series’ iconic mass murderer back to terrorize his long lost sister, H20 doesn’t quite make it above mediocre. However, it has heart in the right place – a cold, bloody slasher heart.
halloween_h20_120 years after the events of Halloween/Halloween II, Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) is now the dean of a private school in Northern California. Her name is now Keri Tate. Better yet, she has a son named John (Josh Hartnett), a boyfriend named Will (Adam Arkin), and she does a great job running Hillcrest Academy.
Unbeknownst to Keri/Laurie, her brother Michael Myers (Chris Durand) has survived. He tracked down a colleague of Loomis, Marion Chambers (Nancy Stephens), killed her, and found a file on Laurie.
With Michael headed towards her, no clue, eventually Laurie must confront her buried past. Not only that, her son and anyone else in Michael’s path must also come to deal with the past Keri a.k.a Laurie Strode has tried so desperately to leave behind.
h20-1There are some great moments in this screenplay. For instance, I love how during one of the classes they’re talking about Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, which almost directly parallels Laurie’s own feelings about her and Michael, as if he’s almost an entity she created now, giving him power over her. Or, it can sort of foreshadow the deadly events to follow in the wake of Myers and his serial killer tendencies. Either way, it’s a perfect scene, great dialogue including both Curtis & Williams. As well, it brings us back to the original film where a similar employment of literature is used. Such a stellar use of this technique, which brings us full circle with John Carpenter’s original. Also nowadays many other horror movies have done the same thing, emulating the first Halloween. So it’s fun to see that here in this 1998 revival. Too bad the studio couldn’t cough up the money for Carpenter; between his would-be duties here and all the money they rightfully should’ve paid him for the first movie of the series, $10-million was probably a decent price tag.
The writing in this one isn’t nearly as dreadful as the last couple. Particularly when you look at the young people, Hartnett and Williams specifically, there’s good dialogue. Nothing groundbreaking, just not weak like so many slasher films saturating the market. Surprisingly enough, there’s no onscreen sex to be seen, nothing like that. So you don’t really fall into many of the sub-genre tropes often used in these movies. Even LL Cool J’s minor character as the security guard I found enjoyable; he’s idiosyncratic, he writes and reads his writing to his wife over the phone while on-shift, and he is fairly bad ass. Too many of the Halloween series characters are one-dimensional, that’s including some of the major/lead characters. However, despite its shortcomings Halloween H20 has a few characters whose identities are fleshed out enough through the screenplay that I find the movie totally competent on that end. I’m not a huge fan of everywhere the plot weaves, certainly not nearing and including the end, but the one solid aspect of the writing is definitely the script’s characters.
tumblr_ncq5cabvfA1rml3nvo1_1280Skate to the face of Joseph Gordon-Levitt! This is only one of the good kill scenes in the film. That one comes fairly quick, too. While there is a nice shot of the skate itself, it isn’t exactly overly gruesome. Does the trick, though. There are a few brutal slasher moments, from the skate in the face, to a hanging dead body, to lots of good stabbing on Michael’s part. It isn’t the bloodiest of all the sequels. Still, we get to see some real proper killing for Michael and his insatiable bloodlust. Again his strength is on display – has anyone noticed if Myers lifts a person up in every one of the movies? He does Laurie’s new boyfriend in pretty rough, a hard stab in the guts then lifts him up in the air a foot or more to make a point. Always with the tough guy routine, Michael. I love it, all the same; his nasty style is part of why I love him as a slasher villain, he’s a tough, messed up dude who’s power is all human yet totally evil.
65455_originalWith a decent little welcome back to the slasher sub-genre of horror, Jamie Lee Curtis leads one of the better sequels since the first couple Halloween films. Even though I’m not a fan of the ending, I can still say this is a 3.5 out of 5 star horror. There’s some good performance, from Curtis to LL to Hartnett. Plus, we find Michael Myers away from the supernatural murkiness that started to make things terrible in the past couple sequels. Back again is the psychopath, the serial killer Michael, which is the one we know and fear/love. So don’t expect this to be one of the best, however, I wouldn’t be afraid of it either. Don’t expect this to fall in line with the last couple entries of the series, there are better things here; even if it isn’t amazing, H20 tries to please. If things were tweaked a bit more, maybe even add a couple more nasty scenes for emphasis on Michael’s return to a more real killer, it’s possible this one could’ve added itself into a sort of trilogy with the first two movies. Either way, I think it’s good enough to warrant being watched and enjoyed – who doesn’t like slasher kills and Jamie Lee?

The Fog: A Chilling American Ghost Story

John Carpenter’s The Fog. 1980. Directed by John Carpenter. Written by Carpenter & Debra Hill.
Starring Adrienne Barbeau, Jamie Lee Curtis, Tom Atkins, Janet Leigh, John Houseman, Hal Holbrook, Charles Cyphers, George ‘Buck’ Flower, and Jim Haynie. AVCO Embassy Pictures/EDI/Debra Hill Productions. Rated R. 89 minutes.
Horror

★★★★★
the_fog_poster_by_cakes_and_comics-d5ht3iy
An impressive aspect about John Carpenter, other than stuff I’ve already talked about in reviews, is that his filmography as director has covered such ground in terms of genre. While a lot of it is horror-centric, within horror he crosses over into science fiction, the thriller, and even ghosts/the supernatural. He can cross any genres and make them work well with his slow and steady pacing, his suspenseful style. The ghost story style plot works for Carpenter, as he has a way of creeping up on you, every frame draped in the lurking presence of danger.
The Fog is a super interesting story of ghosts looking for revenge and a town with deep, dark secrets. Carpenter and frequent partner-collaborator Debra Hill came up with a nice screenplay, which he in turn crafted with style into one hell of a creepy horror movie.
tnt24.info_Mg³a_-_The_Fog_1980_Horror_HDRip_XviD_AC3-HQVIDEO_RUS_.4060__97446In Antonio Bay, California, a one hundred year celebration is about to happen. Kathy Williams (Janet Leigh) is busy preparing the town for its big shindig, while Father Malone (Hal Holbrook) is playing his part well enough, except his church is obviously in financial ruins; all the money flowing into big parades and such for the centennial. Then there’s Stevie Wayne (Adrienne Barbeau) who keeps herself and her son afloat, barely, by owning/operating the lighthouse radio station. At the same time, Nick Castle (Tom Atkins) rolls into town with a hitchhiking young woman named Elizabeth Solley (Jamie Lee Curtis).
But things start to go wrong, or at least they begin to get strange. A boat full of men doesn’t come in like they usually do, which prompts Nick to go looking for a friend who’d been on it. Once they track down the boat everything gets weirder, and not a soul is found aboard.
On land, Father Malone happens to find a diary lodged in the wall of his office at the church – it paints a gruesome picture of the residents in Antonio Bay during 1880 who did terrible, unspeakable things all under the guise of keeping their citizens safe from sickness. What has begun to happen in the little town turns out to be the revenge of those beyond the grave… those who will rise up from the water, in the fog, to come for every last descendant of the ones who took their lives.
FOG_1 screenshot_27Said it before, I’ll say it over and over: Carpenter’s scores are undeniably infectious. The swell of the electronic sound he often lays under a scene, how the swell then builds and builds, it’s so effective. I think that’s a big reason why I’ve always been so in love with 1980s horror – not only was I born in the ’80s, the music of those films was always so interesting, so brooding; not every last one of them, but so many, even the shit ones some times. But Carpenter infuses each of his films with such an intriguing sound in that way. It helps his style so much, the way he works off of suspense and tension. The music really lends itself to that. Particularly I love it here because the way the fog creeps in during many scenes almost matches the sound of the score. There’s more to simply throwing a bunch of special makeup effects and a fog machine into the shot – Carpenter actually crafts an atmosphere of genuine tension, his ghostly apparitions sneak into the frame and into our heads, they slowly take over the small seaside town. At the same time the terror slowly works its way up your spine and seeps into your brain. I’m not one to get JUMP UP AND SCREAM SCARED. But I love a good slow burning, deeply tense horror movie. Carpenter almost exclusively does this type of work.
Another big part of this film are the landscapes Carpenter includes. The cinematography from Dean Cundey, a Carpenter-collaborator on the regular, is fascinating. So beautiful, at the same time it sets up this incredibly desolate feeling. Much like his work in The Thing. Here, the way he captures so many of the wide open spaces, the ocean, the hills, it’s really disturbing in a gorgeous visual sense. There’s always a feeling of isolation in Carpenter’s work, whether it’s Assault on Precinct 13Halloween, or The Fog. Cundey is able to provide big lush visual feasts in which the suspense/tension of Carpenter comes out perfectly.
the-fog-1980-Screenshot-4There are plenty films which use radio deejays as plot devices, such as Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing and Don McKellar’s Last Night. What I enjoy about Adrienne Barbeau in this film, as lighthouse personality Stevie Wayne, is that she’s not used as a plot device. Rather, Stevie is just a solid character who we come to know intimately through her soft and silky voice going out over the waves in the dark of night. Then once her plight begins, things feel more tense.
And this comes back to the fact I feel Carpenter and Hill are good writers. They’re not trying to do anything crazy here, nothing metaphorical or anything (though you can absolutely take away stuff like that if you want/look into it enough). But really they craft a nice story with good characters. They’re able to get you to care for these people and pity them for being caught in the crossfire caused by their ancestors; while hating what the people of Antonio Bay did back in the latter half of the 19th century, these genuine, nice characters don’t deserve to die for that – do they?
Stevie Wayne is not the only good character. I love them all. Hal Holbrook’s Father Malone is solid, right to the end. Aside from him there’s the always charismatic Tom Atkins, who I was recently enjoying in the underrated (and misunderstood) Halloween III: Season of the Witch. And last but not least, not at all, the wonderful Jamie Lee Curtis in another early horror movie performance; she is funny, sweet and has great presence in this film whenever she’s onscreen. The chemistry between Atkins and Curtis’ characters is phenomenal and adds a little something extra to their subplot, as they try to survive their time in Antonio Bay.

So many creepy moments and scenes. One of my favourites is when Nick (Atkins) is telling Elizabeth (Curtis) a story, then first a locker tips over scaring her before an actual body, its eyes gouged out, falls against her back; what an awesome two-punch technique! Love that one. Usually I’m not one for jump scares, but I love them when done right. Carpenter utilizes them appropriately a lot of the time, much as he started doing back in Halloween. He knows how to do them with an interesting touch instead of heavy handed, making it a cheap scare tactic.
But the best spots in The Fog are those that slowly catch you. Like when the fog overtakes everything in Antonio Bay, and one by one people start to get sucked in and killed by the ghosts of the lepers. I love how you know what’s coming, yet Carpenter draws you in and makes things incredibly suspenseful.
A top pick for favourite moment has to go to when Stevie (Barbeau) ends up climbing, climbing the lighthouse trying to outlast the fog coming for her. I’m afraid of heights (even though I once worked as an electrician in Alberta at ridiculous heights; never again), so this part really grates my nerves. In the best filmic sense. Also helps that this scene comes nearing the finale, obviously. There’s a great intensity watching Stevie try her damnedest to survive. A real trooper.
Another top pick – Elizabeth encounters a reanimated man. I won’t say anything further. Wildly creepy scene.
the-fogAnother 5 star ’80s classic from John Carpenter. He and Debra Hill did so well with this story. It’s a gothic, macabre piece of writing. Pile onto that the excellent cast, the score, all those awesome shots and effects – it’s a real masterpiece of ghostly horror. I can’t recommend this one enough. Always a huge fan of Carpenter, I consistently come back to this one because it’s spooky, it has great writing, and I’m always entertained. You’ve got to add this to any Carpenter marathon, as well as any proper Halloween/October movie list. It has a ton of great qualities, especially for a creepy night with the television on and the lights off.

Scream Queens – Season 1, Episode 2: “Hell Week”

FOX’s Scream Queens
Season 1, Episode 2:
 “Hell Week”
Directed by Brad Falchuk
Written by Ian Brennan/Brad Falchuk/Ryan Murphy

* For a review of the previous episode, “Pilot” – click here
* For a review of the next episode, “Chainsaw” – click here
IMG_2031The “Pilot” ended with the Red Devil – masked and mysterious – running over deaf, now dead, Taylor Swift – a.k.a Tiffany Something. This was a great close to the first episode, now we’re heading into the nasty aftermath at the Kappa House sorority.
Really great opening in this episode, “Hell Week”, as Dean Cathy Munsch (Jamie Lee Curtis) brings us into the modern world. I think people aren’t giving this show enough credit. Not that it’s reinventing the wheel, so the speak. However, Dean Munsch is a no nonsense type of person. She lays out the silly social media world in which we currently live, hurtling headlong into the 21st century, as well as this new foolish sense of self-entitlement people have nowadays. There’s an incredible skewering of youth culture in the beginning, which I found

Lea Michele is someone I’ve never seen before personally, other than her one-off episode appearance on Sons of Anarchy (the Season 7 episode “Smoke ’em If You Got ’em”). But straight up, she has been slaying me as Hester Ulrich here. Everything from the body language to her weird and matter-of-fact style of delivery has me cracking up almost each time she’s in a scene. Plus, Hester is kinda of creepy.
When Chanel Oberlin (Emma Roberts), the remaining Chanels #3 (Billie Lourd) whose earmuffs and dry tone
Furthermore, Denise Hempville (Niecy Nash) shows up in this episode, hired by clueless national sorority president Gigi Caldwell (Nasim Pedrad; also a crack-up). Denise is not so much sassy, as black women so often end up being described, she’s a straight to the point type. I swear, when she got on about the walkie talkie, all that stuff, it was almost perfect.
Some reviews and opinions I’ve seen online keep saying that the comedy outweighs the horror. Is that a bad thing some times? I don’t think so. Not to say there isn’t any horror, but definitely the comedy is more a focus at certain points than blood, mayhem, murder.
IMG_2033A new, strange relationship brews between Dean Munsch and the father of Grace Gardner (Skyler Samuels). When Wes Gardner (Oliver Hudson) meets with the Dean, she gets a bit frisky. Either way, Wes wants a job on campus so that he can be closer to his daughter, to keep her safe. At the same time Dean Munsch both wants to keep everything covered up as long as possible on her campus, and also wants to find her way into Wes’ pants apparently.
Meanwhile, Grace is snooping around the sorority house. She’s told a mysteriously locked room is only able to be opened by the president, who has the key. Later, Grace finds some of the old relics of the 20-year old death at Kappa House.
SHOCKER! Dean Munsch, and also Ms. Bean (Jan Hoag), helped to cover up the dead girl in the bathtub back then. Honestly, I didn’t actually see that one coming. Mostly I was thinking the Dean was one of those tough yet ultimately helpless authority figures, trying to stave off the media and the coming onslaught of public opinion that might negatively affect her college/its reputation. Turns out, the ole Dean is actually trying to cover up the fact she covered up a young girls’ death, the birth of that baby in the tub. Nice, interesting twist.
IMG_2034 IMG_2035People can say what they want, this show constantly makes me laugh.
The scene between Boone (Nick Jonas) and fellow douche extraordinaire Chad (Glen Powell) is unbelievably funny. I’m able to separate my personal feelings about certain types of people and how I can enjoy a character, even if I don’t particularly LIKE who they are. For instance, these guys – Boone and Chad. They’re such outright knobs, yet they’re hilarious. When Boone asks to get in bed with him, then there’s all the wiener talk… I mean, it’s not even immature, it’s a fucking gut buster.
IMG_2037Why don’t you go in there and ogle his big old broner?

Grace is getting closer to Pete Martinez (Diego Boneta), self-styled investigative reporter. Poor Pete gets attacked by the Red Devil himself. Waking up, he’s hung in front of the school by his pants with a note saying “MYOB” (mind your own business). Only problem is that back in his dorm room, Grace discovers a Red Devil costume in his closet; he claims it’s for mascot duties during football games. But Grace is tainted – she asks how old he is, discovering him to be on the verge of twenty: “exactly how old the baby would be if it grew up“. She storms off and leaves poor Pete behind – for all his faults, we the audience know Pete is not the Red Devil, as we’ve seen him be attacked by the Red Devil.
Or will this series play with our expectations? Did we really see Pete get knocked out? Or did we see what Pete wanted us to see? We can only wait and find out. Personally, I don’t think it’s him as the scene with him being knocked out would be HIGHLY misleading and manipulative.
IMG_2038Personally, I’m loving the music from Mac Quayle in this series so far. He’s done music programming and composed additional music for films like Nicolas Winding Refn’s Drive and Only God Forgives, as well as the Season 4 episode “Monsters Among Us” from American Horror Story, the episode “Crutchfield” from the fantastic series The KnickFary Cry 4, and My Life Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn. Not to mention Quayle has composed music for another twelve episodes of AHS and the new breakout television series Mr. Robot. Here, he instills many of the scenes with either a pop-ish twinkle, or in others it becomes this ominous, foreboding, even grating at times, score which takes us into the heart of the horror in these episodes. While things remain light and fluffy in a horror-comedy/parody/satire way, Quayle’s music really adds some extra weight to certain scenes and moments with a neat style that’s all over the place, in a great way.
IMG_2039Worst comes when the Dean sees Wes meet Gigi – they go off for coffee together, as he leaves his daughter and the girls alone (funny how he just drops safety as soon as Gigi hits on him), and as Munsch watches them with an evil eye.
The Red Devil tries to grab Chanel #1, but she manages to wriggle free and get back to her sorority girlfriends. When they all go back upstairs – hilariously without new security guard Denise or her partner Shondell (Deneen Tyler) – they find a threat to Kappa House scrawled in blood red on the wall. I found Denise (Niecy Nash) awesome in these few moments, just absolutely dropping the ball and having a laugh doing it! When she finds Shondell dead in the cop car, having been visited by the Red Devil, it was HILARIOUS. Great scene.
Poor Boone, though. He finds himself confronted with the Red Devil – “What am I supposed to be scared?“. Yes, Nick Jonas – yes, you ought to be scared!!
The other frat bros find Boone, throat cut, laid out perfectly over the dining room table. Very creepy, very cool, and all set to “I Wear My Sunglasses At Night”.
IMG_2040IMG_2041BUT A BIG SHOCK AT THE END OF THE EPISODE!
When the Red Devil goes to the morgue, which I’m assuming that is, where Boone’s body is being kept after death. The Devil opens up the cabinet where he’s being kept: AND BOONE IS ALIVE! Honestly, never expected that. Wow. A great finisher to the episode, as Boone pulls the slit neck makeup off and whips it away. What does this mean? Who is the Red Devil, or better yet: who’s Boone, really? They’re connected and we’ve got to wait another week to find out.
IMG_2042 IMG_2043Stay tuned, friends! I’m loving this series already. Let those who don’t enjoy it not enjoy. The rest of us can have a little fun with some twistedness mixed in. See you next week for “Chainsaw”, which is directed by

Why the fear of John Carpenter’s Halloween endures nearly 40 years on

John Carpenter’s Halloween. 1978. Directed by John Carpenter. Screenplay by John Carpenter & Debra Hill.
Starring Donald Pleasence, Jamie Lee Curtis, P.J. Soles and Nancy Loomis. Compass International Pictures. Rated R. 91 minutes. Horror/Thriller.

5 out of 5 stars
John Carpenters HALLOWEEN 1978 v1 Beyond Horror Design
When it comes to movie reviews, more often than not I try to bring something new to what’s being said about a film. Whether I actually succeed or not is another story. But try, try, try, you know?
With John Carpenter’s masterpiece of slasher horror, Halloween, there’s really not much more I can say about it that hasn’t been said. Maybe someone, some day, will come out and say new, innovative things about this classic horror nobody has ever thought of saying. Maybe, though, I doubt it very much. But that’s not to say that we can’t appreciate it. Furthermore, we can continue to appreciate it more and more by hearing how others react to it. That’s honestly one of my favourite things about cinema and the film experience in general: seeing the way other people feel about it. For instance, the way I get scared or creeped out by a movie is not necessarily the same as the next person, or perhaps anyone else. Filmgoing is a unique and personal experience. While some movies thrive off that group experience, ultimately I think most movies you’re going to see have a quality about them which makes you want to look inward, if you think about it hard enough.
A lot of people might look at Halloween and think it’s simply Michael Myers, the mental ill little boy who hacked up his sister on the night that’s meant to be fun and games and candy, stalking down teenagers and killing them in the night, terrorizing the whole fictional town of Haddonfield. Is that all the movie can be? Not at all. There are different reasons people find the movie scary, so what I’d like to do with this review is ignore talking too much about the actual plot, and more so I would like to bring attention to the bits which truly got me, the scariest moments, the best technical pieces, and why I think that Halloween continues to last in our collective horror movie memories as a classic – one that continues to inspire, even 37 years after the fact.
halloween3One of the great bits on the Blu ray is that John Carpenter does an incredibly thorough commentary, which also includes the ever wonderful Debra Hill (R.I.P) and the original Scream Queen herself, Jamie Lee Curtis. We get everything from moments where Hill talks about the budget and how they were able to execute certain scenes, shots, et cetera, to bits with Carpenter where he discusses the music, the cinematography, the script, character, and even a few jabs at the silliness of believing movies and television and games warp our minds; his sly comments are always the best. Carpenter is one of those strong auteurs in the horror genre. He’s made a couple movies I don’t particularly find that great, but honestly he has made so many great pieces of film I can forgive him a DOZEN bad ones (though he only has a couple – nowhere near a dozen). To hear some of his opinions while watching Halloween is truly good stuff.
We also get a window into Carpenter’s mind, in the sense of what he finds creepy, what scares him and how he tries to make his own films scary. The reason I love him so much, and why Halloween is such pure dread at times, is because Carpenter knows exactly how to build up suspense and tension. If you’ve read any of my reviews, which you’ve probably not, you’ll know that suspense and tension is what I find actually builds up a horror to where it ought to be in order to actually, genuinely scare people; without resorting to a ton of jump scares. Another reason I find this movie so creepy and particularly enduring is because it does not go for a bunch of those, instead Carpenter uses the cinematography, the music, and he builds things up slowly. This movie has a dreadful air about it, which makes you feel like anything could happen, at any time.
So many times we watch Michael Myers creep around in the back of shots. There are actually moments that, if you don’t keep an eye on the shot, you could miss Michael in the background. While there are jumpy moments, I think they’re not as jarring as some of the modern horror we see these days, essentially relying solely on sudden movement to spook people. Here, Carpenter makes us jump slightly, however, it’s what happens directly afterwards that makes you get really creeped out.
1280x720-nC3Jamie Lee Curtis, in the commentary, brings up an amazing point I always loved, which everyone has certainly noticed time and time again – when Michael pins Lynda’s (P.J. Soles) boyfriend to the wall and steps back, he tilts his head, as Curtis points out, just like a dog. This is one of the moments you realize Myers is human, but he’s not quite fully human. He has animalistic, primitive qualities, aside from the fact he’s a total mute.

And there are a bunch of moments happening like this. Another excellent scene is when Michael goes back up to the room where Lynda (Soles) is, and he has the blank sheet ghost costume on, with her boyfriend’s glasses over top. Like Carpenter says in his commentary, the scene takes its time to build. We know that it’s The Shape/Michael underneath the sheet, while Lynda does not, and it’s like that old Alfred Hitchcock idea: show them the bomb, then let the audience sweat out the results. As the time goes on, things get more and more tense, until finally Lynda is dispatched by Michael. He picks up the phone and just listens, something I found super creepy. He’s frozen in that primitive child-like stage from when he first committed murder at such a young age. Bits of the Myers character come out from a role that’s played with no spoken words at all. Pretty impressive to me, not sure if that was all scripted or if some of that came out on-set as Carpenter had the cameras rolling.

Once the terror kicks in full gear, I think the most genuinely frightening bit for me is when Jamie Lee Curtis is trapped in the closet, curled up in the corner, and Michael is beating his way in through the folding doors, the light is swinging around and his hand is smashing through – just a genius bit of horror that always gets my heart rate pumping! After Michael goes down a little later, then in the back of a shot as Jamie Lee Curtis tries to regain her composure he rises up and looks over ever-so-slightly, I’m absolutely floored, each time I see it. Creepy as all hell.
halloweenSomething I think that helps Halloween is that Carpenter and Hill, in their script, didn’t go for a teenage bloodbath, as so many of the films which came after it, attempting to emulate its success, ended up doing. In opposition, Carpenter and Hill focused more on building up that suspense, scene after scene, and making the characters feel believable instead of a bunch of young people who nobody cares about and consequently nobody gets too frightened when they’re killed. There’s a tiny bit of blood in this movie, other than that – virtually nothing at all. Every bit of horror we get comes from creepiness that extends out of all that slow building Carpenter goes for with the tracking shots via Steadicam, the quiet bits of Myers lurking in the back of shots, and so on. If Carpenter instead tried to make everything bloody, pumping the gore into each kill, I really think that would’ve taken away from the important aspects which actually frightened me. Blood doesn’t equate to a good horror movie.
extrait_halloween_9Finally, I’ve got to mention the music. I mean – how can you not? The fact John Carpenter is so excellent at writing his own little pieces of score makes him that much more of an auteur. Who doesn’t recognize the iconic Halloween theme? I don’t know if there’s anyone over the age of 25 who doesn’t. Even before I’d actually seen it at twelve-years old, I knew the theme from pop culture. So to think that Carpenter crafted every little piece of this film to his liking, it always strikes me as one of those genuine horror masterpieces. Everything in this movie has Carpenter over it; though many people were involved, his fingerprints and DNA are inside this and you can tell by watching other bits of his work. There’s something amazing about this movie because it’s not simply Halloween – it truly, truly is John Carpenter’s Halloween. Something which will always set it apart from the pack of horror movies out of the 1970s, and even everything after. One of the greatest horror films ever made.
Also cannot forget – to have Donald Pleasence in this film is a true stroke of genius on the part of Carpenter. One of the most iconic rivalries in all of horror is that between Myers and Dr. Loomis. The way Pleasence plays the role is absolutely perfect, I don’t know if anyone else could’ve brought what he does to the part. There’s a craziness to him, but also this cold, sane rationality. May actually be my favourite performance of any horror just because of Pleasence’s performance; the character isn’t even that developed, other than his connection with Myers as psychiatrist, however, Pleasence brings a special something that makes this man feel full, real, and very intriguing. He’s definitely seen a lot, knows even more, not to mention he’s a stark opponent of evil.
screen-shot-2012-10-14-at-7-05-32-pm-2Ultimately, I think what makes Halloween so enduring – almost 40 years now since its release – is the fact that, while it is horror, one of the earlier slashers (not the earliest as some claim but close), John Carpenter crafted a really beautifully filmed, expertly suspenseful piece of work. The character Jamie Lee Curtis plays is also so relatable, with the angle of babysitting and such a quiet, middle-class neighbourhood, and I think it helps lull people into a sense of security like the way in which she sees the world. Then, once Carpenter is done building and building on all of what he calls his “maximum dread”, the finale of film breaks out and brings the terror.
Such incredibly executed techniques on Carpenter’s behalf. Another shot I love is when Jamie Lee Curtis stumbles back into a corner, then we see Myers’ mask slowly appear out of the darkness. SO INCREDIBLY UNSETTLING! Subtle and terrifying all at the same time.
To have a horror film pay attention to the technical elements, to try and go for genuine horror/scares, it makes things worthwhile. There’s nothing worse than seeing too much attention paid to the wrong aspects, in the end rendering a movie useless in the horror department. Instead, Carpenter pulled out all the stops, even on a film that’s budget was only about $300K. He made sure there was tension, like a good helping of Hitchcock mixed in with the stuff of pure nightmares. Added to all that, Carpenter busts out a creepy score that adds an extra dimension of terror.

I can’t express my love for this film enough. The Blu ray is fantastic. I’ve watched it about a dozen or more times; before that, I had the DVD, before that it was VHS. So who knows how many times I’ve seen Halloween, in the end it doesn’t really matter. Dig it, or don’t dig it. I will always tout this as one of the best horrors on film, which it will continue to be until I die.