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The Doctor is…IN! That’s right Payne takes over Stream’ Demons as Jimbo goes on special assignment. Will Box’s friend Noir (aka PG-13) ever forgive them? Will Box discover that Mom’s Spaghetti is actually from a can?!? Will Payne ever find out that the show’s name is Moon Knight and not Moon Knightrider?

All this and more on the next Streamin’ Demons!

If you want to watch Moon Knight or Cabin in the Woods click on down (these are sponsor links)

Real skull. Don't ask. You wouldn't believe it if I told you.

Movies n TV

House of the Dragon S2 E1: Episode 1 Review and Recap – Son of a Son of a Sailor

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Alright, buckle up, mofos! The dragons is back, and oh boy, do they mean business. With the premiere of House of the Dragons, our thirst for the high-flying, fire-breathing drama that we’ve been missing since Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings new new new series, the boys, and uhh…possibly your toilet after a ghostpepper whopper is finally being quenched (unlike your bottom after said whopper).

Lets dragon-dive headfirst back into the twisted, power-hungry realms of Westeros, where the names Targaryen, Stark, and the rest of the totally not hard to spell/remember names reign supreme.

Usually, I write these reviews on the fly (no pun!), but since KYRIE CANNOT MAKE ONE DAMN MORE ASSIST (not his fault, he tried the rest couldn’t shoot for crap after the passes)…errrmm…I mean, I think I was watching the game that I definitely did not lose a few grand on. ONE LOUSEY ASSIST! errmm….HoD…right.

Let’s drink to remember all that happened last season cuz..well…yeah….I mean, doesn’t HBO have two elf looking series set in middle earth at the same time? I honestly don’t know if this is the one with Dumbledore or Legolaissisis or the Bowtie Doctor or…. well, you get the picture.

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We’ll remember what we totally forgot from last year, break down the key plot points (because who can keep up?), dive into the nitty-gritty details of this episode’s events, and speculate wildly about where Daemon and Rhaenyra Targaryen are taking us this time around in House of the Dragon season 2. So, if you’re ready to relive the glory, the gore, and the downright gut-wrenching politics of it all, stick with me. We’re in for a wild ride.

Immediate Recap: Remember last year? Me neither

So in this one:

Oh man, if your memory of last season is as foggy as mine, don’t sweat it! Let’s dust off those cobwebs and dive into a quick recap before we get lost in the new shenanigans of “House of the Dragon” season 2.

Basically, a bunch of white kids had sex with their King Daddy and that King Daddy went to one of the womens he was NOT *I think* sleeping with and said I will make YOU the heir to the throne–as long as nothing happens to me between now and the moment I will make this public and then yeah, you guessed it.

Ned Stark 2.0

I guess reusing old story lines is a good way to start a new series?

Now that you’re caught up…Let’s move to this new Season of “Who dey sleep with now?”

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The Wall and Starks are even more boring in the olden days?

So, here we are again with the Starks and that big old icy Wall. Remember how we left off with Jacaerys Velaryon flying up to Winterfell to buddy up with Cregan Stark? Yeah, me neither. I guess the only person to really remember is the North. Cregan gave Jacaerys the whole ‘Winter is coming” spiel—classic Stark move, right? Maybe one will live beyond this season?

Who dis? Who dat? (Robot Rollcall of faces n names)

Alright, let’s roll call because Westeros’ lineup can be harder to keep track of than a Hanson/Lindsay Lohan convention.

Not gonna lie. I can’t tell these people apart. One dude wears a bowtie and the other is a pirate or something.

Key Plot Points and Themes in Episode 1

Narrative and Character Development

Oh, the drama unfolds! In the heart of Dragonstone, Rhaenyra Targaryen’s world is rocked not just by political upheaval but also personal tragedy. As she comforts her son Lucerys about his heritage (Okay, so Jim had to google this because he forgot the kid was a bastard…like, seriously, that’s how much of an impact the whole ‘who the daddy’ thing made on Jim). Then people try to get some sort of alliance going but –again– since we can’t tell one character from each other, no shits were given.

Remember the original GOT? How we had our FAVORITES and we would really go “fuck these people’ if one of our favs died? Some of us even had a ditching kill point (mine was Tyrion or Arya). We don’t have that here. Would I be upset if Matt Smith’s character dies? Probably, but only because there would be one less person I could remember (that and eye-patch guy).

Oh, and Smith’s character pays two people to kill someone and they, of course, don’t kill the right guy just some baby rando.

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In short, nobody cared about any of the characters dying in this episode.

Conclusion and Looking Forward

As we wrap up our recap and analysis of “House of the Dragon” S2 E1, we have a lot to look forward to. We can look forward to (hopefully) character development so shits are given who is on throne or not or dead or not or fucking someone or not. So far, that hasn’t happened. The reason falls squarely on the shoulders of how they did Season 1: So. Much. Time. Shifts. Hard to care about someone you keep quantum leaping through their life at random.

I do hope this season has more plot and character development. I want to like this series. I think I can like this series, but honestly–if you did a side-by-side of the hobbit series and this…I couldn’t tell you which char was from what universe, and that’s not a good thing for either franchise.

This episode gets a pure rating of ‘maybe next time’ 2 out of 5 stars (2 / 5)

Seriously, if you think Jim is kidding about the two franchises looking alike, well….did you notice that he used LotR screenshots instead of GoT for some of these images?

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Movies n TV

Suburban Screams, Phone Stalker

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We’ve reached the last episode of John Carpenter’s Suburban Screams. And now that I’ve seen the entire season, I’d like to say something directly to John Carpenter if I may. Mr. Carpenter, I’m a big fan. Have been since I was a child. So I ask this with all due respect. Did you lose a bet? Do you owe people money? Is that why you did this? Because otherwise, I’m entirely confused.

The story

Our last episode tells the story of a woman named Beth Spierer. Her life is shattered when someone starts to call her and deliver horrific, violent messages.

These calls and texts get worse and worse. They often include pictures of her with scratches over her eyes or pictures of a dildo. The calls start coming to her work as well.

Beth tries to change her number, blocks calls and even goes to the police. But no matter what she does, she can’t escape the horrifying calls from the violent stalker.

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What worked

The acting in this episode was fairly good. At least when compared to most of this season. It isn’t good when compared to most other shows, but for this episode it was fantastic. All of the actors involved knew what they were doing. And they are not part of the criticism I’m going to levy in the next few paragraphs.

Julie Stevens as Beth in Suburban Screams.

What didn’t work

I can honestly say that this episode of Suburban Screams should not have been made. Full stop, this episode should have died before it breathed its first breath.

My reasons for saying this are twofold. The first is that the story just isn’t that interesting. Please understand, that I’m not being dismissive of Beth’s plight. What happened to her, and what continues to happen to her, is horrible. I have nothing but sympathy for her. But her story, while touching, isn’t unique. Lots of people are stalked, harassed, threatened. A content creator I follow had someone try to break into her house with a screwdriver. My husband had a stalker before we were dating. A friend of mine had to stay in a shelter for a while because she was being harassed. And I don’t know a single person, man woman, or nonbinary, who hasn’t gotten an unwanted genital pic on social media.

It’s like finding out someone you don’t know and have never heard of before has cancer. It’s sad, but it’s not news.

Again, this isn’t at all to say that I don’t care about care about what’s happening to Beth. I care about her, and her wellbeing. This is the second reason why this episode should never have been made.

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There is no doubt in my mind that if Beth’s stalker is still alive, they know about this episode. They probably have a Google notification set up for Beth’s name. And we just do not know how this stalker is going to respond. Maybe they’ll get off on it. Maybe it will enrage them and they’ll do something even worse to Beth. Maybe they’ll feel so much shame for this they’ll decide to take out themselves and Beth in one go.

There was no effort to hide Beth’s name. Or the names of her friends. There was no effort at all to protect her from whatever fallout there was from this.

This is not Beth’s fault. She has had to do enough to protect herself. This was irresponsible of the showrunners. And if God forbid, something happens to any of these people, the showrunners will have to bear some of the responsibility for that.

I liked it so much better when we were talking about wet ghosts and pizza box ouija boards.

Is it real?

This question for this episode is, unfortunately, a no-brainer. Yes, I believe that Beth Spierer was stalked and harassed by an unknown assailant. Yes, I further believe that when she went to the police the detective probably sexually harassed her.

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This is why we chose the bear.

In short, of course, this episode is real. I honestly wish it wasn’t.

All in all, this whole series was a huge disappointment. And threatening the wellbeing of a stalker survivor was just the last straw. I don’t know if another season is planned. But if it is, I doubt if I’ll be tuning in.

1 out of 5 stars (1 / 5)

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Original Series

Nightmarish Nature: Assassin Fashion

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I thought about featuring some sort of Father Nature bit for Father’s Day, but having already explored Perilous Parenting I decided to focus on more creepy insects instead. Because we love creepy insects here at Haunted MTL. Thus, I present Assassin Fashion, featuring the Assassin Bug…

Assassin Bug drawing by Jennifer Weigel
Assassin Bug

Fashion Plates

Now I don’t know about you, but my first thought after snagging my prey and slurping out their dissolved innards is that I totally want to wear the dried up husk of their now lifeless body. Like that necklace made of nothing but shrunken heads. That is some first-rate fashion right there, and no one would dare to say otherwise lest they want to become a part of the dead-flesh coat… And this is exactly what the Assassin Bug does. Like a spider, it stabs its unsuspecting prey, turns it into a giant protein shake inside of its insectoid shell-glass, sips it out, and then attaches the corpse’s carapace to its ever growing collection atop its back.

Aside from being totally badass, these nightmarish embellishments serve a number of additional functions. They help the Assassin Bug blend in among its prey, masking its own odor and helping it to appear as a mass of insects that belong in or near the nest (especially among those more social networking creepy crawlies like ants and termites). In fact, it may even draw the attention of those clean up crews seeking to bury their dead, luring them in to become part of the body snatched horde. And the horrifying additions also act as a sort of armor and potential decoy for other predators like lizards and birds, who can end up with a mouth full of dead bug bodies rather than a bite of juicy Assassin Bug.

Wearing the Latest Trend in Dead Ant Bodies, drawing by Jennifer Weigel
Wearing the Latest Trend in Dead Ant Bodies

Kissing Sucks

And Assassin Bugs don’t just carry around one or two dead bodies, they may totally pile them up, as well as use other insects’ and plants’ secretions to their own advantage. Here’s a cool video from Deep Look that shows a partnership some Assassin Bugs have with Tarweed, keeping moth caterpillars from eating all of its flowers so that it can itself reproduce and spread.

Fortunately humans are too big to be susceptible… Or are we? There are also parasitic Assassin Bugs known as Kissing Bugs or Vampire Bugs that feed on mammal’s blood at night; they even act as a vector for other parasites that can cause disease years after feeding, which are associated with Chagas disease and are transmitted to mammalian hosts when the Assassin Bug poops while feeding and the host animal smears the poop into the bite when itching it.

pencil drawing by Jennifer Weigel
Pencil Drawing by Jennifer Weigel

So here’s a pencil drawing I did of a dead bug I found (I had a whole series of these back in the day). I hadn’t at the time known what it was, but it turns out to be an Assassin Bug. I wonder what its fashion sense was like…

So remember, if you want to be at the forefront of creepy horrific fashion, just look to the Assassin Bug for inspiration. If you’ve enjoyed this segment of Nightmarish Nature, feel free to check out some previous here:

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Vampires Among Us

Perilous Parenting

Freaky Fungus

Worrisome Wasps

Cannibalism

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Terrifying Tardigrades

Reindeer Give Pause

Komodo Dragons

Zombie Snails

Horrifying Humans

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Giants Among Spiders

Flesh in Flowers

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