Hello everyone, I’m Dave. I am going to talk to you about comics and zombies. I’m Joe (Jim?) Bob Brigg’s number 1 fan. And I have an interesting taste in music and look pretty rad in Hawaiian shirts.
Ha! I fooled you all!
Do not adjust your phone screen. I am in control of the horizontal and the vertical.
This is an official take over of the Weekly Wail by J.M. Brannyk! And in honor of Pride kicking off this week: I’m here, I’m queer, and I’m asking you to wear your g–d— mask!
This week is going to be a get-real week in horror, as this has been a few weeks of get-real moments, right? A lot of unrest, a lot of hurt people. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you since the social media sites do a good job of overwhelming us with it.
I’m no randy when it comes to get-real fireside chats. I’ve talked about non-binary monsters, racist surfers, HIV zombies, the horror of loss, and queer sexual awakenings alongside reviving the dead.
So, I’m here to bring it to a story, a common story in horror – duality.
du·al·i·ty: an instance of opposition or contrast between two concepts or two aspects of something; a dualism
A tale as old as time, some may say, as many cultures carry their own forms of duality – the human and monster as one entity. The light within the darkness and vice-versa.
We have mother and destroyer in Bloody Mary. There is Frankenstein’s monster in the strange conundrum of both alive and dead. The male and female, both victim and killer, of Normal Bates. We have the up-right Dr. Jekyll and the hideous Mr. Hyde. And these are coupled with other legends and creatures from across the globe (trust me, I’ll be talking about those in the future).
I often feel like this, myself. The social norms of duality – sex, gender, sexuality, and identity. I struggle with this. The same coin of gender and bisexuality is neatly hidden under the pocket of my persona, my “human” face.
Today for this little fireside chat, I’m going to talk about one specific monster, one of the classic Big Five, and its human counterpart and what that means to me as being LGBT.
The Wolf Man
Growing up queer, I didn’t have any role models I could identify with. To be honest, I didn’t even know the words for my feelings. I just had feelings, and I became acutely aware that I was alone in these. As a child, no matter how many Care Bears and Ninja Turtle repeats you watch, you learn very quickly that being different is something to be suppressed, not celebrated.
Being different was a curse.
I remember the first time watching Teen Wolf, the great 80’s Michael J. Fox movie. When our main character, Scott, was absolutely freaking out because he was changing into a werewolf during school and afraid of being discovered as a werewolf, I thought, “Yes, exactly! Yes, that’s me!”
That was how I felt. I had to be careful. I had to hide these “imperfections” and “differences” from others. If I was being bullied for even the slightest of things, there was no way that something so big, so monstrous, would be overlooked. To hide this, I over-compensated. I refused to look at others, to engage with them. In doing so, I protected myself, I thought.
And one would think that I would be relieved that once Scott was discovered to be a werewolf that he became popular, loved, and accepted by his peers, but instead I felt betrayed by Hollywood. I knew that it was a lie, just a convenient lie to push the story. People, especially my peers, were not that accepting and were not that kind.
Unlike the teen counterpart, we usually see the adult human of the wolfman being constantly terrified of his other half, of either its lack of control, the hysteria from the community, or damnation of their soul. Always on high alert, sweaty, and a half-crazed glaze in their eyes. They barely can keep themselves together as humans, let alone their “cursed” side. They could barely be human because of that other lurking just below the consciousness.
This was more my speed. It wasn’t just a complete erasure of my “tells’, but of my feelings, too. This other side of me – this monstrous and unwanted side – was chaotic and wild. It was primitive and dangerous. It was hungry and I feared it.
You see, in werewolf movies, unlike some other types of monster movies, you don’t have a mentor to steer your way. There isn’t an old, grizzled John Leguizamo-type to tell you, “All right, kid, here’s how you do it…”
There’s no hierarchy, no coven. No rules or order.
It is alone: that’s part of the curse.
Very rarely do werewolves have their own family or “brood” in movies. Yes, Underworld, sure, Teen Wolf, and…yes, Twilight.
But if we look at others, the curse of being solitary persists.You are alone to deal with your own curse, even with the rare support of others. They do not fully understand you…and, deep down, they still fear you. You are still a monster to them, no matter how much they love and “accept” you. Some want to change you. Some want to ignore that part of you. Some try their very best, but there is always that void between you.
And, one of the worst points of all, many stories express over and over (The Wolf Man, Ginger Snaps, The Curse of the Werewolf, An American Werewolf in London, Monster Squad, Penny Dreadful), that it is not their fault that they are cursed or are monsters – they just are. Good people by day, hellhounds for Satan’s bidding of carnal lust and blood at night. They have no efficacy or agency in their lives and in their destruction. They are powerless victims of their own desires, their demonic and wicked desires.
Love the sinner, hate the sin.
The werewolves usually all die in the end, by the hero’s hand, with gratitude on their dying breath…
Maybe this sounds hyperbolic to you. And hey, I can’t tell you what or how to think. I can only go based off my own experiences and feelings about it.
Even now, as a much more healthy and authentic adult, I am quiet. I am selective to whom I out myself to in my “human” persona. In this unsteady environment, it’s scary and it’s dangerous. Even now, to this day, as my “human” self, I am cautious, nervous. I feel out the situation several times, smell the air for danger, before I can be open with someone.It’s not much different from villagers with pitchforks, except it’s losing my job, losing my house, and losing the very small scraps of support I allow. I am discrete. I am passing. But, I also feel alone.
When people ask about me, there are places I don’t or can’t go into. To be honest, atheism is easier to talk about than my queerness because that was a choice. These feelings and pull of duality were not a choice.
However, the lesson is that this isn’t a curse, and more importantly, we are not alone.
Just yesterday, after several minutes of coy questions, goose-stepping, feeling out, and taking a leap of faith, I found out that one of my friends, a “human” friend, that I’ve known the past few years is a “wolf” just like me. And to find that connection is both saddening and relieving. Sad that to this day, there is so much vetting between two people, two friends, that needs to be done to feel safe.
But we are not cursed. We are not monsters. We are not a duality, but a mix, as all humans are.
Yesterday I was relieved because I realized that there are more out there, more that are smelling the air, watching for signs. We are afraid, but we are not alone. And that’s the thing, my friends, my silent and anxious LGBT+ werewolves out there, we do have our own brood, our own coven. We have a family. We’re not alone in this.
We just have to be brave enough to find it.
Thank you to all our allies out there. We don’t always know you’re there, so it’s always a delight to find you.
Crashin’ in Roswell NM: Road Trippin’ with Jennifer Weigel
So on my recent road trip to Miami AZ USA for my menstruation art installation, we decided to detour to Roswell NM en route home. To be honest, this was one of the best decisions of my life, up there with road trippin’ from Arizona to San Francisco along CA-Highway 1, and I will go into the details of why here soon.
Roswell NM USA has totally embraced its alien history of the UFO crash in the late 1940s and subsequent government cover up. The whole town is alien-happy with beautiful hand carved wood totems, murals and statues everywhere celebrating otherworldly denizens of all types, though predominantly the gray aliens of the crash (and their green counterparts). Even the city logo features a flying saucer as the center of the letter “R”. It really is kind of incredible.
One of the biggest draws is the International UFO Museum and Research Center, housed in the wonderful old theater building. This museum details the crash history as well as celebrating aliens in movies and media and examining newer alien sightings and abductions. It is very thorough and includes maquettes, statues, written accounts and an extensive research library, as well as an interesting art collection of various items.
And there are TONS of fun alien themed curiosity shops. I will give a shout out to the newer Invasion Station north on Main Street where there had once been an old car dealership. I love the quirky nature of this particular store as well as their strong desire to promote local artists. Most of their wares are hand-painted in NM and feature designs by prominent local artists including one of the lead muralists in town (I bought a magnet of his). They also feature really alternative kitsch like KISS and Ace Frehley alien bobbleheads, marijuana and anal references, and such. All in all, our own Haunted MTL’s kinda folks…
And the city is a huge tourist draw internationally, so you can meet some amazing and interesting folks from all walks of life who have caught the alien bug or at least want to check out all the hype. As a result of the tourism, the residents seem really laid back and accommodating (kind of like Hawaii but not quite as much) and there is a thriving art scene. And it’s totally my kind of art – weird and a little creepy. Anyway, I feel like I’ve finally found my peeps and am eager to return someday.
American Horror Story Season 12, Delicate
Killer Queens, I wasn’t expecting to be back so soon with American Horror Story info. But yesterday we were blessed with a teaser for the intro of Season 12, which we believe will be titled Delicate.
We are looking at a Summer release for season twelve, but won’t know for sure until June, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Here’s what we know right now.
First, yes Kim Kardashian is starring alongside Emma Roberts in a role that was written specifically for her.
That’s the bad news. The good news is that AHS favorites will also be involved. According to IMBD, Charlie Carver, Rebecca Dayan, Cody Fern, Leslie Grossman, Billie Lourd, and Denis O’Hare will be included this season.
AHS Delicate is different from other seasons in many other ways. It’s the first season to ever be written by just one writer, Halley Feiffer. This isn’t a writer most of us as horror fans will be familiar with. She’s written episodes of shows like Kidding, SMILF, and American Crime Story. The last one can at least be seen as a sister show to AHS.
As far as I have found, Feiffer has never written horror content. She is now the sole writer for an entire season of the most popular horror show in America. I’m not saying this is a bad thing. It’s just not what I would have expected. Most AHS writers are staff writers, actors from the show, or at least people I’ve heard of. So as we don’t have any former work to look at, we can only wait to see how she does.
We also know what the source material is for this season. It’s a book called Delicate Condition, by Danielle Valentine. This book will be released in August of this year. Which also seemed strange to me. Normally a book would be, you know, published before it inspires additional work.
Even so, Delicate Condition seems like a fascinating story. According to Goodreads, it’s the story of a woman named Anna. Anna is trying to get pregnant but starts to believe that something dark is working against her. Her doctors don’t believe her. Her husband doesn’t believe her. Is she losing her mind?
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t deeply interested in this book. And I have to assume that Feiffer and Murphy already have hands on it, to jump to this sort of decision.
By the way, Valentine at least is not an untested writer. Her first novel, How To Survive Your Murder, also made it right on my TBR pile. With a rating of 3.7 out of 4 on Goodreads, I think we can assume Valentine knows what she’s doing with the written word.
This is all that we know about American Horror Story Delicate so far. What follows are my thoughts and opinions only.
My first thought is that this season is going to be dealing heavily with women’s reproductive rights. This is a topic a lot of us are concerned about right now, as it feels like every day women lose more and more rights to our bodies.
(By the way, if you want to help fight the good fight for body autonomy and get some spooky stories, we have an anthology for that. I have a story in it, as does the horrifyingly talented Jennifer Weigel. All proceeds go to support organizations that help women make their own health decisions.)
American Horror Story has handled important political issues before. Last season, AHS NYC discussed the AIDs epidemic that went largely ignored in the 80s and killed hundreds of young gay men. They did this in the best way possible, in what this critic believes to be the only way fiction should handle heavy topics. They rooted the issue in a good story. A story that was pure fiction, but also true.
However, this season has a lot of red flags. Never before have I seen the guest star be the main focus so early. Never have I seen any franchise bank so much faith in an all but untested writer, basing work on a book that isn’t even published. And frankly, I’ve never been much of a fan of Kim K, or anyone else who’s famous seemingly just for being famous.
I’m not rooting for this season to fail just because I don’t like the guest star. If Kardashian is good at this, I’ll be thrilled. I’ll be the first one singing her praises. But when everything we know so far is added up, I’m a lot more concerned about AHS Delicate than I am excited.
The Last Drive-In Season 5 Premiering April 21st Exclusively on Shudder!
They say good things come to those who wait, and boy have we been patient. It has been close to a year since our eyes have indulged a full season of ‘The Last Drive-In with Joe Bob Briggs’, in fact, the season 4 finale premiered on Shudder July 1st, 2022. Since then, we have been able to satisfy our appetites with festive holiday specials sprinkled throughout the past year. Specials such as ‘Joe Bob’s Halloween Hangout’ guest starring horror’s favorite Mistress of the Dark, Elvira (played by the legendary Cassandra Peterson) and ‘Joe Bob’s Ghoultide Get-Together’. Last month was a treat in itself, as we were able to witness Joe Bob Briggs and co-host Darcy the Mail Girl (Diana Prince) marry one lucky couple for the first time on the show with ‘Joe Bob’s Vicious Vegas Valentine‘ special.
While the current changes in staff at Shudder have left fans questioning whether we will receive a new season of the popular series, I can happily say mutant family, we need not worry. In fact, to our wonderous surprise, Joe Bob Briggs has officially announced via Twitter, season 5 of ‘The Last Drive-In‘ will be premiering April 21st, exclusively on Shudder! One thing that is noteworthy, is unlike previous seasons, it has been reported by 1428Elm that season 5 will be broken up into two parts of five double-feature blood-curdling episodes. Though we have not been provided the official release schedule for the second block of season 5, here is a sneak peek of what we can expect for the first half of the season:
April 21: Season 5 Launch Party!
April 28: Walpurgisnacht Part 2!
May 5: Cinco de Fucking Mayo!
May 12: Mama’s Day!
May 19: Dysfunctional Family Jubilee!
Unfortunately, we do not have an official list of the brand-new double feature films for the first half of season 5 but, with amusing episode titles such as these, one can only imagine what grindhouse-classics will be joining ‘The Last Drive-In’s’ already eclectic list of sloshy goodness. For those impatient mutants eagerly waiting for more hilarious Joe Bob rant-filled commentaries, or those newcomers who’ve yet to experience the magic that is ‘The Last Drive-In‘, all previous four seasons, including past holiday specials are currently available to stream now on Shudder.
If you are just as big of fans of ‘The Last Drive-In‘ as we here at HauntedMTL are, please be sure to follow us on Twitter @HauntedMTL and join us April 21st as we tweet along with Joe Bob and Darcy the Mail Girl for the season premier. As is tradition, we will be hosting live watch parties every Friday with each new episode, including fresh holiday specials. The road to season 5 is upon us…let the countdown begin!
April 21: Season 5 Launch Party!
April 28: Walpurgisnacht Part 2!
May 5: Cinco de Fucking Mayo!
May 12: Mama's Day!
May 19: Dysfunctional Family Jubilee!
. . . and that's only the beginning.#TheLastDriveIn pic.twitter.com/WfeTx0shNa— Joe Bob Briggs (@therealjoebob) March 16, 2023