By Tim Murr
It’s mom and dad’s anniversary and they hire a new babysitter to watch their three young children. She comes highly recommended and seems like a sweet, smart girl, but the parents aren’t gone long before she starts to strangely assert herself over the children, guiding them into the darkest night of their brief lives.
Even Tommy Shelby wants to see more diversity in TV.
Did you know that April 8 is the day in Queer History that all homosexuals were cured? Hahaha, we’re just kidding. It’s actually the day that homosexuality was removed from the DSM.
And speaking of queer folks, here’s an open letter to the TV industry about why we’re so fucking sick of straight white dudes.
In other TV news, Sachin Hingoo bids farewell to Broad City until next season with the hilarious “Jews on a Plane” and Laury Scarbro reveals how all hell breaks loose on Outsiders in the appropriately titled episode, “All Hell.”
May is the month when the long-awaited Season 3 of Peaky Blinders arrives on our TV screens. Did you know David Bowie was a fan of the show? Try to keep your eyes from leaking when you read about what he sent to the show’s lead actor, Cillian Murphy. (Here’s a recent, wonderful, career-spanning interview with Mr. Murphy that includes some lovely photos.)
Everyone is talking about the talking animals in The Jungle Book movie but don’t forget about Jeremy Saulnier’s follow-up to Blue Ruin, called Green Room. Brian Baker took the plunge and reviewed this ultraviolent, ultra-brilliant film. You might forget about Hardcore Henry after you see it, though, as Tyler Hodg remarks in his review.
Meanwhile, on the home video front, Jeffery X Martin tackles the “bad crazy” with Arrow’s reissue of Niko Mastorakis’s The Zero Boys, Sachin has warm fuzzies over the white foam in the Blu of ‘80s schlock horror The Stuff, and Melissa Bratcher is delighted that Bayou Maharajah, the doc about infamous New Orleans piano player James Booker, is finally available for everyone to see.
Bone Tomahawk was my favorite movie of 2015 but I’ve never seen one entry in Charles Band’s bizarrely legendary Puppet Master series, so imagine my surprise (and delight?) to learn that the director behind Bone Tomahawk is helming the Band-less Puppet Master reboot. Modern Horrors has the deets.
Oh, and if you’ve always wanted to delve into actor Sho Kosugi’s career, The ScreamCast can help with their most recent podcast, “A Show on Sho.”
It’s been just over a week and we’re still trying to come to terms with a world without Prince. Here’s a stupendous 2009 article from the L.A. Times about the side of Prince that most people in the public rarely saw. Then, lighten up with this hilarious YouTube video, a compilation of all the times that Prince threw shade.
We have a ton of new music for you to check out this week: Tim Murr raves over the David Lynch aura of Dark Palms’ Hoxbar Ghost Town and insists that Grindmother’s Age Of Destruction is not a novelty album; Melissa calls The Jayhawks’ Paging Mr. Proust “a record for the ages” and marvels at the depth and breadth of Cherry Red’s latest comp, Another Splash of Colour: New Psychedelia in Britain 1980 – 1985; while X comforts us with the fact that at least Rob Zombie is good at coming up with song and album titles.
Could it be that Ke$ha is finally free? Find out about this and the “boycott Beyonce” movement on Unicorn Booty’s latest installment of NOW HEAR THIS!
Since tomorrow is a Monday (groan!), here is something that might make the day go a bit faster: a list of 11 hilarious and slightly political celebrities that you must follow on Twitter.
All stills courtesy of DVDBeaver
A genuine curiosity, even for B-movies, The Stuff was one of the first horrors I was ever exposed to when it randomly came up on cable one night when I was a kid. Though it may not be scary (a pretty terrible metric for the quality of a horror film anyhow, since everyone is scared by different things) to anyone but althaiophobics, it definitely had a way of getting under my skin. Its singular style and off-beat premise sucked me in almost immediately. It has a much brighter palette and tone than most horrors, and has a charming slapdash quality about it that makes it feel like it’s always just about to go off the rails. Of course, you’ll realize at some point during the film that it was never on rails to begin with.
The Zero Boys is a horror/action movie from 1985 that raises the bar of ineptitude stunningly high. You would have to try with all your might, and maybe someone else’s, to come up with a film this insipid nowadays. It may be a testament to the filmmaking talents of director Nico Mastorakis that a movie as totally brain-dead as The Zero Boys is as entertaining as it is.
James Booker collected nicknames like some people collect vinyl. The New Orleans piano great has been called (by himself or by others) The Piano Prince, The Ivory Emperor, the Black Liberace, and the Bayou Maharajah. Filmmaker Lily Keber went with the latter, Bayou Maharajah, as the title of her documentary, now being released on home video.
By Tim Murr
The follow up to 1985’s cult classic comedy gorefest Re-Animator, 1989’s Bride of Re-Animator, was a wild and rollicking film, amping up the craziness and gore with comic book flair. Directed by Brian Yuzna (who also directed the next sequel, Beyond Re-Animator) on a very short time frame, Bride picks up several months after the “Miskatonic Massacre” that ended Re-Animator.
The Death Walks Twice box set from Arrow Films highlights two gialli by director Luciano Ercoli. One is better than the other, but they follow the gialli formula to the letter and are both a lot of fun on a party night where Apples to Apples just won’t cut it.
Documentaries about alternative religious belief systems are always a dicey watch, especially if the religion being examined doesn’t jibe with your own or sounds totally off the wall. The temptation to snicker or outright mock the people who believe this crazy stuff is always there. But religion is such a personal thing; laughing at someone about what they believe just feels disrespectful.
Iggy Pop has a new album out March 18, along with Northless, Lust For Youth, and Soft Fangs. There’s also the Wayfaring Strangers compilation and a reissue of Haircut 100’s Pelican West.
It’s time to spring forward with pop culture news.
Tyler Hodg has finished watching all 13 episodes of Fuller House on Netflix and we’ve got the reviews to prove it. What’s the verdict? Is the show good, bad, or somewhere in between? You’ll have to read to find out.
Sean S. Baker’s film Tangerine, filmed on an iPhone and focusing on the life and struggles of a transgender sex worker, is currently on Netflix, but you should also check out his short film Snowbird.
Divorced Dad may not be on Netflix (yet), but it’s something you should see. Here’s the problem: it’s not available yet! The new webseries from the Astron-6 collective (Manborg, Father’s Day, The Editor) is still seeking funding to finish the series, but for now, here’s a teaser trailer. (P.S. I’ve seen the rough cuts of a couple of episodes and I laughed until I thought I was going to throw up. It’s that weird and funny.)
At Popshifter, we watch TV so that we can talk about it, then you can read about it, and you can then feel better about all those thoughts you’re having and feelings you’re feeling. This week, we’ve got two episodes of Broad City, and while “Rat Pack” may not be as tight as “Game Over,” the show continues to be one of the funniest on TV. Outsiders finally gives us the character development we’ve been waiting for, while The Walking Dead gives us welding, crying, but still no sign of Negan.
New music reviews this week include the deep freeze of Northless’s Cold Migration EP, the emotionally raw yet gorgeous Let A Lover Drown You from Penny & Sparrow, a preview of Soft Fangs’ The Light (out on March 18), and one you might have missed: Voivod’s Post Society EP.
There were lots of movies to think about this week. Ron Howard’s tribute to Jaws and Moby Dick, In The Heart Of The Sea, hit home video this week and while Jeffery thought it was a beautiful waste of time, I had more positive thoughts on the film. Arrow Video’s American Horror Project Volume One, however, left no doubts in Tim’s mind: it’s a must-see, must-own box set.
We all have that one friend who hasn’t seen those iconic classic films that everyone else has already seen. At Unicorn Booty, that person is Matt Baume. Witness his reaction to his first viewing of Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure. You might also enjoy his liveblog of the first time he watched Hackers.
It’s OK to admit that you are a fan of Archie Comics. If you haven’t been keeping up with the students at Riverdale High out of a lack of time or fear of public shaming, there has been some news. Did you know that Jughead came out? He’s not gay, but… well, you should read about the full details for yourself. Also on the Archie news front is this fascinating podcast called Radio Free Riverdale hosted by Torontonians Lucy Cappiello and Evan Munday. This week’s episode features the podcast’s first ever special guest, comedian Adam Wilson.
In other comics news, Marvel seems to be making greater strides towards gender inclusion. Here’s our own Laury Scarbro with some thoughts on what this might mean for the future of comics.
What happened this week on Today In Pop Culture? Frankenstein, The Incredible Hulk, Barbie movies, The Fillmore, and songs about telephones.
Ron Howard’s whaling adventure In the Heart of the Sea is an ambitious film, reaching into a few classic sub-genres, but ultimately, finding no purchase there. What remains is a pastiche of retreaded ideas and some weird-looking CGI. As the true story behind the novel Moby Dick, viewers have a good idea of what they’re getting into, but will wind up with less than they expected.