Adventure Time: ‘The Jiggler’ is Cute Body Horror
Adventure Time was a beloved children’s show, also enjoyed by many weird adults. It also has many moments that blend cuteness together with horror.
Adventure Time was (and presumably still is) a beloved children’s show, but also enjoyed by many weird adults. In fact, it also has many interesting moments that blend cuteness together with horror. One such moment comes from an earlier episode called “The Jiggler.”
Though it’s probably no one’s favorite Adventure Time episode, “The Jiggler” strongly hints at one of the most disconcerting horror genres: Body horror. When Finn (Jeremy Shada) and Jake (John DiMaggio) discover Jiggler, it is just a cute, strange creature who likes to dance while making cute noises. Against their better judgment, they decide to make it their own, assuming it as their pet. What they initially don’t realize is that it had a family, a home and some unique health and dietary considerations. While things seem alright at first, the Jiggler starts to become sick. The sicker the creature gets, the more frightened Finn & Jake become. The more frightened the y are, the more they realize the horror of what they’ve done: They’ve actually kidnapped a living thing from its mother!
While this could be seen as an animal rights episode (or something to that effect), it also looks at what may be called the horror of being, and how good intentions can literally destroy us, both physically and mentally. While Finn and Jake ultimately can redeem themselves, Adventure Time offers a surprising amount of food for thought here. When we negatively interact with the world, and each other, how easily can we set things right? Also, had Finn and Jake not returned The Jiggler to its home, they would have perhaps inadvertently prolonged its suffering. Could they be held morally to account when they didn’t comprehend the harm they caused?
It’s also a powerful episode, as the unnatural movements and sickness of the Jiggler could be considered symbolic of Finn and Jake’s fear of newfound responsibility. They wanted the Jiggler as something to make them happy, to dance, play and just be neat. However, it becomes grotesque. First it starts bleeding pinkish fluid everywhere. Then, when they try to block up the liquid, the Jiggler semi-explodes, stretching its body all over their tree house. Basically this is body horror, except that it doesn’t happen to a human body.
Nature is Sometimes Scary
The Jiggler’s mother makes a brief appearance in the episode, and only serves to augment the other freaky aspects. When she doesn’t recognize the Jiggler as her own, she frickin’ freaks out, essentially acting like a monster and cruelly treating it like an alien intruder. Poor Jiggler! Finn ultimately solves the little problem, but it’s a reminder of the animal nature that is non-plant life. The ferocity displayed by the mom is potentially unsettling, and so is how she goes from that to caring and nurturing. Although many would probably just laugh or shrug it off (as jaded, cynical viewers so often do).
Technically, Adventure Time has plenty of episode that are more directly horror-related than this one. However, this is a foray into some darker territory than one might expect. When the episode ends, Finn says “I’ll never kidnap again,” to which Jake adds, “That was a nightmare.” On that note, “Adventure Time” has a lot of nightmarish moments for a kid’s show, which is exactly what makes it so memorable.
What are your thoughts on Adventure Time? Let us know in the comments!
The Last Drive-In: Joe Bob’s Vicious Vegas Valentine Special Live Watch Party February 10th!
The sweet putrid stench of love lingers through the air which can only mean one thing…Valentine’s Day and its annoying little winged cherub mascot, Cupid, is fast approaching. Soon, partners will be spoiling one another with extravagant bouquets of roses, heartfelt Hallmark cards, obnoxiously large teddy bears, glistening diamond jewelry, and heart-shaped candies or boxes filled with assorted mediocre chocolates. You know? Normal things couples do. I tend to prefer my chocolate boxes filled with bleeding hearts, à la ‘My Bloody Valentine’ but, beggars can’t be choosers, right? All jokes aside, Valentine’s Day is special for many couples, however, there are also many others who find themselves celebrating this day without a significant other. Luckily, Shudder, along with drive-in king Joe Bob Briggs and co-host Darcy the Mail Girl (Diana Prince) will graciously be keeping us lonely mutants’, and yes, all you horror fanatic couples’ company on Friday, February 10th as they return with The Last Drive-In: Joe Bob’s Vicious Vegas Valentine, premiering live at 9pm EST.
Love Spells Abound…
Back in 2021, Joe Bob and Darcy invited us to a gruesomely passionate night of spell-binding love witches and animatronic dinosaurs infused with teenage human brains during The Last Drive-In: Joe Bob Put a Spell on You. Many, including myself, were introduced to the tantalizing 70’s inspired retro throwback ‘The Love Witch’ and the graphically goofy cult classic ‘Tammy and the T-Rex’, providing the perfect viewing pleasure to mend any broken heart. While the two films for this year’s morbid love-induced special have yet to be announced, as a special treat, Briggs has announced for the first time on The Last Drive-In, he will be marrying one lucky couple during the live showing. We here at HauntedMTL are eagerly awaiting the return of the ghoulish duo so, as is tradition, we will be proudly hosting a watch party on Twitter during the broadcasting of The Last Drive-In: Joe Bob’s Vicious Vegas Valentine. Be sure to follow us on Twitter and tag us @hauntedMTL as well as @shudder, @therealjoebob, and @kinky_horror to partake in this night of unholy love.
What started off as a one-time special premiering on Shudder July 13, 2018, ‘The Last Drive- In’ was originally meant to be Brigg’s swan song; one last special before hanging up the bolo tie in retirement. However, due to so many mutants, excuse me…viewers tuning in and breaking the Shudder servers, it was only natural to announce an official full season of ‘The Last Drive-In‘, which would make its explosive debut March 19, 2019. Since then, Darcy and Briggs have spawned many exclusive holiday specials, have graciously donated to many charities within the community, and have accumulated 4 seasons of ‘The Last Drive-In’, with a fifth currently in production premiering on Shudder’s 2023 schedule sometime this year, let’s hope sooner rather than later.
Horror Noire, a Film Review
Horror Noire is a horror collection that includes “Daddy,” “The Lake,” “Brand of Evil,” “Bride Before You,” “Fugue State,” and “Sundown.”
Horror Noire is a horror collection brought by the combined efforts of AMC+ and Shudder. The collection includes “Daddy,” “The Lake,” “Brand of Evil,” “Bride Before You,” “Fugue State,” and “Sundown.” Horror Noire boasts Black directors and screenwriters, providing six unique stories.
As this collection explores six stories, I will skip the usual synopsis to assess the genres and ideas explored, albeit limited as needed. Expect to find supernatural horror, creature features, and psychological thrillers. Many short films deal with these genres while exploring Black issues, but this isn’t universal for the collection.
The directors and writers include Zandashé Brown, Robin Givens, Rob Greenlea, Kimani Ray Smith, Steven Barnes, Ezra Clayton Daniels, Tananarive Due, Shernold Edwards, Victor LaValle, and Al Letson.
What I Like
Each story remains unique, holding different strengths and weaknesses that highlight drastically different perspectives. Collections like VHS hold a similar premise to create their collection, but Horror Noire gives more creative freedom to its talent to be independent.
My personal favorite short film is Zandashé Brown’s “Bride Before You.” This period piece unravels a fable set in the Reconstruction Era. The entry feels Fabulistic in approach, which happens to be my preferred niche.
However, the best example of horror goes to Robin Givens’ “Daddy,” providing an existential horror tied directly to the characters involved.
What I Dislike
As mentioned, all have a particular style and idea. The downside of this approach always remains to keep the viewer interested long enough to find their favorite. If you find several underwhelming choices, this becomes a chore. But I imagine that is rare as the variety makes the options refreshing.
Personally, “Brand of Evil” had an interesting premise, but the execution fell short. On paper, it might have sounded like my favorite, which makes the lackluster execution a bigger letdown.
Horror Noire gives power and control to Black creators, providing a formula for a unique collection against others in the space. While the various subjects and approaches mean you aren’t likely to love them all, there should be a short film for everyone.
(3.5 / 5)
Episode six of Netflix’s Dahmer was not, honestly about our title character. Instead, it was about one of his victims, a man named Tony. We’ve actually seen Tony a few times during this series. We just didn’t know it was him.
And, well, he wasn’t exactly alive the first time we saw him.
Tony was born into a supportive, loving family. This is good because soon after he was born a viral infection took his hearing. He is black, deaf, and gay in the early 90’s.
Tony has a dream of becoming a model. And he certainly has the looks for it. He is beautiful, body and soul. He has lots of opportunities for romance, but it’s not what he’s looking for. He wants a real relationship.
Eventually Tony moves to Madison, trying to pursue his dream. He gets a job and starts getting modeling work.
Then, he meets Jeff Dahmer at a bar.
At first, we can almost believe that it’s going to be alright. Jeff seems happy. He’s taking care of himself. He’s not drinking as much. He even has his dad and stepmom over for dinner. It seems like his life is getting on track. Even better, he’s treating Tony right.
Then, of course, things go bad.
One thing that has always bothered me as a true crime fan is that we know so much about the killers, but not as much about the victims. Not so much if we don’t know who the killer is, of course. But the names that are part of our pop culture are those of the killers. Dahmer, Manson, Jones, Bundy, Holms. The names we don’t know are Roberta Parks, Beth LaBiancas, Leno LaBiancas, and Tony Hughes. And clearly, we should know them.
If Tony Hughes was half the shining, positive person that the show Dahmer made him out to be, I’m so sad that he isn’t with us anymore. We need so many more people like him. And many of Dahmer’s victims were likely just like him. After all, he was attracted to them for a reason.
This was a significant episode, and I understand why it’s the highest-rated episode of the series. I finished it with a heavy heart, saddened by the loss of a man who should still be with us today.(5 / 5)