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The journey of horror in cinema has carved its path through the hearts of audiences for over a century, evolving from ground-breaking classics to modern thrillers that keep us at the edge of our seats. Classic horror movies, with their chilling narratives and iconic villains, not only frighten but also captivate, making them unforgettable experiences that linger long after the credits roll.

Diving into ‘A Bucket of Blood’, ‘Teen Wolf Too’, and ‘Natural Born Killers’, this article explores the diverse facets of horror and satire, from its early satirical horror to the thrilling depths of psychological terror. Each film showcases unique storytelling that has significantly contributed to the horror genre, reflecting the cultural and societal shifts that influence audience preferences over time.

A Bucket of Blood (1956) – A Satirical Horror

Dive into the quirky depths of “A Bucket of Blood” (1959), a film that spins a web of dark humor around the unsuspecting Walter Paisley, played by the charismatic Dick Miller. Here’s the lowdown:

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  • Title & Crew: Directed by Roger Corman and penned by Charles B. Griffith, this satirical horror flick was a product of Alta Vista Productions, showcasing the talents of actors like Barboura Morris and Antony Carbone among others.
  • The Plot Thickens: Imagine being a busboy turned overnight sensation in the art world, all because you accidentally turned your landlady’s cat into a “sculpture.” As bizarre as it sounds, Walter’s journey from obscurity to fame takes a dark turn as he delves into serial murder to maintain his newfound status.
  • Why It Stands Out: Shot in just five days on a shoestring budget of $50,000, the film’s dramatic claustrophobia and manic energy are palpable. It’s a satirical masterpiece that critiques the art world’s pretensions and the commodification of bohemian culture, all while serving as a love letter to beatnik culture‘s frivolousness.

“A Bucket of Blood” captures the essence of classic horror movies with its unique blend of comedy, horror, and satire, making it a must-watch for fans of the genre and a fascinating case study in how constraints can fuel creativity.

Jim’s rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5)

Teen Wolf Too – Comedy Meets Werewolf Legend

Rolling into the scene with a howl and a half-hearted punch, “Teen Wolf Too” (1987) brings us the tale of Todd Howard, portrayed by a fresh-faced Jason Bateman. A sequel with a twist, this werewolf comedy film swaps basketball for boxing, but keeps the fur flying high. Here’s the scoop:

  • Cast & Crew: Alongside Bateman, we’ve got Kim Darby as the supportive teacher, John Astin playing the fiendish dean with a plan, and James Hampton as the uncle who knows a thing or two about moonlit transformations.
  • Plot: Todd’s just your average biology student, until he’s not. Discovering his werewolf lineage, he becomes the unexpected star of the college boxing team. Picture Rocky, but with more hair and less training montages.
  • Cinematic Elements:
    • Special Effects: A throwback to the practical magic of 80s horror/comedy, where the werewolf transformation is less CGI and more artistry.
    • Soundtrack: An 80s pop and rock fest that’ll have you tapping your feet, even if the punches don’t land.
    • Cinematography & Music: Jules Brenner captures the action, while Mark Goldenberg’s tunes add to the ambiance.

Despite its efforts to blend comedy and horror, the film faced critiques for its storyline and character depth, described by some as a “Bingo Night imitation of Rocky.” Yet, it’s the slapstick humor, rooted in the absurdity of werewolf woes, and the themes of self-discovery and friendship that give “Teen Wolf Too” its charm. Whether it’s a frog-fight in the biology lab or the struggle with newfound popularity, Todd’s journey is a hairy ride into the heart of 80s nostalgia.

Box gives this one a 2.5 out of 5 stars (2.5 / 5)

Natural Born KillersA Controversial Gen X Cult Classic

Strap in, folks, because we’re diving headfirst into the whirlwind that is “Natural Born Killers,” a film that doesn’t just push the envelope—it shreds it. Let’s break it down:

  • The Dynamic Duo: At the heart of this cinematic frenzy are Mickey (Woody Harrelson) and Mallory (Juliette Lewis), two lovebirds with a twisted idea of a romantic getaway. Their love language? A cross-country killing spree. Inspired by the real-life crimes of Charles Starkweather and Caril Ann Fugate, this pair makes Bonnie and Clyde look like amateurs.
  • Style Overload: Oliver Stone didn’t just make a movie; he crafted a sensory overload. The film’s editing is like a fever dream, blending various genres and media types, using bizarre visual filters that sometimes feel like you’re flipping through the world’s most disturbing scrapbook. It’s a ride that’s both disorienting and utterly captivating, mirroring the chaotic nature of modern media.
  • Cultural Impact & Controversy: Oh boy, did this film stir the pot. Linked to several real-life crimes and sparking heated debates about the portrayal of violence in media, “Natural Born Killers” became a focal point for discussions on media influence and the romanticization of crime. Despite the controversy, or perhaps because of it, the film has etched its place in cinematic history, inspiring discussions around the blurred lines between reality and entertainment, and how society’s obsession with true crime can skew our perception of both.

In essence, “Natural Born Killers” is a rollercoaster ride through America’s dark fascination with crime, challenging viewers to reflect on where the line between entertainment and reality truly lies.

The Enduring Legacy of Cult Horror and Satire

Diving into the weird and wonderful world of cult classics, let’s unravel the secret sauce that makes these unconventional gems tick. It’s like they’ve got this magnetic pull, you know? Here’s a breakdown:

  • Rule-Breaking Rebels: These movies don’t just step outside the box; they stomp on it. From their inception, cult films have been the cool kids that didn’t play by the rules, often missing out on the limelight initially but capturing hearts over time. It’s their boldness in defying conventions that eventually draws a dedicated fanbase.
  • The Underdog Appeal:
    1. Rooting for the Little Guy: There’s something about cheering for the underdog that feels so right. Cult films often start off as the overlooked contenders, only to rise through the ranks thanks to their passionate fans.
    2. A Badge of Individuality: Loving a cult film is like wearing a secret handshake on your sleeve. It’s a nod to one’s unique taste and a proud declaration of standing out from the mainstream crowd.
  • Community and Nostalgia:
    • Finding Your Tribe: The community aspect is huge. Imagine finding someone else who’s also into that obscure movie you thought only you knew about. Instant besties, right?
    • Blast from the Past: Nostalgia acts like a time machine, transporting fans back to the first time they discovered their cult favorite. It’s a powerful emotion that cements these films in the hearts of their audience.

In essence, cult classics thrive on their ability to connect deeply with their audience, offering a mix of nostalgia, community, and a proud sense of individuality. They remind us that sometimes, the most memorable experiences come from the most unexpected places.

Box’s rating 2 out of 5 stars (2 / 5)

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Jim’s rating 3.6 out of 5 stars (3.6 / 5)

Conclusion

Exploring the realms of classic horror through ‘A Bucket of Blood’, ‘Teen Wolf Too’, and ‘Natural Born Killers’ has been an expedition into the heart of what makes cult classics stand the test of time. These films, with their unique narratives, defy conventional storytelling and strike a chord with their ability to connect deeply with the audience, blending horror, satire, and a dash of the macabre humor. Each movie, in its own right, mirrors the societal and cultural shifts of its era, offering more than just entertainment but a commentary on the human condition and our fascination with the darker sides of life.

The legacy of these classic horrors and satires extends beyond their immediate impact, inspiring discussions and debates on the nature of horror and the cultural significance of cult phenomena. As we reflect on the distinct contributions of each film to the genre, their enduring appeal underscores the power of innovative storytelling and the importance of challenging the status quo. For those intrigued by the thrilling dive into horror’s rich past and its satirical edges, Streamin’ Demons offers more insights and discussions on these classics. Check out the movies yourself and delve deeper into the captivating world of horror and satire that continues to enthral audiences and provoke thought.

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Gaming

Munchkin Big Box hitting Backerkit!

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Hey, Munchkin Maniacs! Ready to level up your game nights? Dive into the ultimate Munchkin experience with the Munchkin Big Box! This collector’s bounty is packed to the brim with over 600 cards decked out in John Kovalic’s iconic art, not to mention the rad new gameboards, standees, and more surprises than you can shake a +1 Sword at!

Here’s the rundown:

  • Playable with 3-6 Players
  • Epic game time of 1-2 Hours
  • Perfect for ages 14+
  • BackerKit steal of $125
Picture courtesy of Steve Jackson Games – Disclaimer: Images Not Final and may change before game release

What you’re getting:

  • A mind-blowing 650+ cards including all your faves and new exclusives
  • A killer box that can hold over 2,000 cards and gear
  • Swanky card separators and dual gameboards for ultimate play
  • Six colorful dice, two Kill-O-Meters, and an updated rulebook to keep things spicy
  • 12 Standies in various colors, standie bases, and a playable bookmark because why not?
  • The cherry on top? A Limited Edition Spyke Enamel Pin and exclusive Munchkin decals!

Since its epic launch in 2001, Munchkin has been slaying at game nights worldwide. Now’s your chance to be part of the legend. Get ready to take a one-way ticket to Munchkin glory, and you need to do is click on to BackerKit and help this bad-boy come alive!

Picture courtesy of Steve Jackson Games – Disclaimer: Images Not Final and may change before game release

So, what are you waiting for? Summon your crew, back ’em on BackerKit, and let’s make the Munchkin Big Box a reality. Your adventure begins now – don’t miss out on the loot, the laughs, and the ultimate betrayal. Back it, unpack it, and start the munchkin madness cuz you KNOW HauntedMTL is up and ready to back!

Picture courtesy of Steve Jackson Games – Disclaimer: Images Not Final and may change before game release

Join the adventure on BackerKit and let’s slay this beast together! 🐉🗡️✨

Click here to back the Munchkin Big Box on BackerKit!

Don’t just play the game, BE the game. Let’s do this, Munchkinheads!

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Movies n TV

Fallout, The Head

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Episode three of Amazon Prime’s Fallout continued the themes we’ve seen so far, with an added twist. With comedy and gore already blending, the story has added an air of tragic history for one of its least cuddly characters.

Let’s discuss.

The story

Walton Goggins in Fallout.

Our story starts with a flashback to before the bombs dropped. We see Coop, filming a movie. His wife is on set as well, and their adorable daughter. Coop has a comfortable life with a family he loves.

Isn’t that just a knife in the heart?

Back in the present, Lucy is traveling through the wastelands with the head of Wilzig. And she’s doing so with the same fear and joy that we’ve seen from her so far. Until that is, she runs into a Gulper. And after eating a defenseless deer, it swallowed up the head.

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Eventually, The Ghoul catches up with Lucy and decides to capture her. After using her as bait, he decides to drag her along with him.

Meanwhile, Maximus gets a message from the Brotherhood of Steel. Rather than coming clean, he claims to be Knight Titus and is accidentally sent a new Squire. That squire is Thaddeus, one of Maximus’s bullies from the base. And Maximus wastes no time in taking some sweet, sweet revenge.

Finally, we return to Vault 33. The vault is healing from the Raider attack and the loss of Lucy. Norm and Chet are being punished for letting Lucy leave, by being fired from their jobs. This throws Chet because he had a cool job.

Norm, on the other hand, didn’t like his job. He didn’t like any job. So, since this is the only way anyone gets punishments in the vault, he’s given the task of feeding the Raiders.

And talking to the Raiders was maybe not a healthy thing for Norm to be doing. He might learn something he didn’t want to know.

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What worked

The first thing I have to talk about is the massive creature called The Gulper.

This thing was fascinating. It was voracious, fast, and horrifying to look like. It was like a giant axolotl from Hell, with human fingers lining its whole mouth and throat. Why did it need fingers lining its mouth and throat? The better to drag someone down its throat and into its stomach. And the better to drag itself into my nightmares. This creature was well done.

The Gulper from Fallout.

On the flip side of this, I love the fact that the people of Vault 33 are so kind. They’re so willing to forgive, willing to care for their fellow man even when their fellow man is trying to kill them.

I don’t trust it, to be clear. But the perceived kindness from these people is uplifting. And I’m sure it will make whatever is going to eventually happen to them all the worse.

Of course, I can’t talk about the goodness of the vault dwellers without talking about the absolute horribleness of The Ghoul. The Ghoul is not a good person. He is cruel, and selfish, and clearly dislikes Lucy for some reason we do not yet know, and is probably not her fault.

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But we kind of understand how he got that way, don’t we? During the flashbacks, we see that he’s lost his wife and daughter. We also see that he was used as a mascot for the very company that created the vaults. And, while we don’t have any concrete proof yet, we can probably guess that these are not the good guys. Even if we haven’t played the games, anyone who’s even slightly genre-savvy can already guess that.

Which is the last thing I want to bring up here.

We know something stinks with the vaults. Something beyond the obvious issues of wealth disparities and the people left outside to die while those who could afford a Vault spot were saved. Something is rotten with the vaults, we all know this. What we don’t know is what form this rot will take.

Not yet.

What didn’t work

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Now, I wish I could say this was a perfect episode. But sadly, it wasn’t. And my biggest issue with the episode is with the character Maximus.

Now, I love Maximus. He wants to do good things in the world. He’s the underdog, and who doesn’t love that? He’s honorable and believes in the organization he belongs to.

I don’t love that he cannot do anything right. It feels like he wins fights by falling over and tripping into succeeding. And this character deserves so much more than that. Can we please, just once, see him be good at something or make a sound decision?

All that being said, this was still a fun episode. It was funny and bright, with an ominous feel and a horrific finger-ridden monster. I had a great time with it.

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4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

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Original Series

AI journey: Little Red Riding Hood, Part 3 Final

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So here is our last installment of our AI journey exploring the idea of Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad wolf being one and the same. All of these are based upon the AI generated art and prompts using NightCafe and then created as posters in Canva. Feel free to check out Part 1 and Part 2 of this exploration if you missed them.

Forget this talk of sheep, it isn't helping..., Dark Fantasy style, Aug. 1, 2023
Dark Fantasy style, Aug. 1, 2023

A non sequitur I know, but I couldn’t resist. If you picked up where we left off you’ll get it.

So what about Little Red Riding Hood as a wolf?, Dark Fantasy, Aug. 1, 2023
Dark Fantasy, Aug. 1, 2023

Seriously?! Again with the cropped off head cop out…

Little Red Riding Hood as a wolf, seriously we want to see her face!, Artistic Portrait, Aug. 1, 2023
Artistic Portrait, Aug. 1, 2023

Finally! That was a journey. And not even worth the result, in my opinion.

Anyway, here is a bonus montage I made out of a bunch of additional Red Riding Hood prompts for an article that never happened…

Little Red Riding Hood AI art montage, Nov. 4, 2023
AI art generated Nov. 4, 2023

Prompts for Montage:

1.) What if Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf were one and the same being?
2.) Her wolf face peering out of her red cloak, fangs dripping with the blood of another victim, lost in the forest and never found.
3.) Little Red Riding Hood closes in for the kill, lunging from her red cloak, her wolf fangs dripping with blood.
4.) I am Little Red Riding Hood. I am the Big Bad Wolf. I am coming for you.
5.) Howling within, the rage sears forth from the red cloak, discarded in the deep woods. Red Riding Hood succumbs to the lycanthropy.
6.) Heaving breaths. Dripping blood. Red Riding Hood is not what she appears. She is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
7.) Her red cloak masks the fangs hidden below the surface.
8.) It starts with a long sighing breath. Waiting. The wolf within stirs.
9.) Red Riding Hood trembles. She succumbs to the lycanthropy.
10.) The wolf bursts forth from within. It takes over Little Red Riding Hood’s mind, her body, her being.
11.) Red Riding Hood howls. She is ravenous with hunger for blood. The wolf within has taken over. Mind, spirit, body. She feasts on the blood of the moon.
12.) Big Bad Wolf Red Riding Hood ravenous blood moon feast
13.) Blood moon beckons. I. Little Red Big Bad Riding Hood Wolf. Freedom howling night curse.
14.) Beware. Bewolf. BeRedRidingHood. Betwixt. Beyond.
15.) I pad quietly as the forest dissolves around me. Red Riding Hood and Wolf, one and the same.
16.) Wolf within howling dark recesses of the mind, Red Riding Hood lost
17.) Red Riding Hood HOWL wolf bane true existence polymorph within-and-without.
18.) Red howl Riding Wolf dark existence brooding within

So thank you for joining us on another AI art journey. You can still catch the last AI art journey on Haunted MTL here.  To see more such devolutions into AI generated art, check out the Will the Real Jennifer Weigel Please Stand Up? blog.

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