AKA: I can be your Angel… or I can be your devil
The Rule of Three
We begin not with Angel, but with the underground crew. The Anointed One, aka Colin, is throwing stones into a puddle as The Master recounts how many vampires (“his family”) The Slayer has killed. Darla volunteers to solve this problem, while Colin simply suggests annihilation. The Master decides to go with The Three. He sure likes referring to folks with a “the.”
Meanwhile, the Scoobies are at something horrifyingly referred to as The Bronze’s Fumigation Party. It’s one last hurrah before it shuts down temporarily for some much-needed cockroach decimation. Buffy is upset about her singleness. She claims not to be bothered by this most of the time, but I feel like we just covered this concern a couple episodes ago. After Willow expresses similar dreariness and Xander has a verbal sparring with Cordelia, Buffy’s decided she has caused enough melancholy in her friend group and heads home.
On her way home, she senses she’s being followed. Indeed she is – by three vampires. Perhaps The Three? We won’t know for at least a few minutes, because it’s off to the theme song.
Angel appears and starts throwing punches after attempting a quip about good dogs. Perhaps projection of his desire to be a good boy himself? They run to Buffy’s house and she lets him in to take cover. He reminds her and the audience of that wonderful vampire lore: they cannot come in without being invited.
She has him take off his shirt so she can tend to his wounds and oggle his tattoo (among other things). Unfortunately Joyce comes in at that moment, and Buffy does everything in her power to keep her from seeing the hunky half naked man in the kitchen. She tells her mom they bumped into each other on the street; she apparently invited him in because he’s her tutor.
Once Joyce goes to bed Buffy pretends to let Angel out the front door while actually sneaking him to her room. Keep the eyebrow waggling to yourself, because they work out some very chaste sleeping arrangements, and Angel even turns away while Buffy changes – without peeking at her in the mirror, Xander. They chat a bit, mostly about Buffy’s chosen one status and Angel’s dead family. Ah, the meet-cute.
The next day, Xander is incensed at the recounting of the sleepover while Willow is enchanted. Giles steers everyone back on track to the topic of The Three, who were indeed the three vampires hunting Buffy (and, incidentally, Angel). Giles assures them that they will be offering their lives in penance for their failure.
Fight or Flight
We see The Master lecturing The Anointed One about the seriousness of taking a life. Colin asks if they will be spared, which Darla answers with a resounding, dusty “no.”
Buffy and Giles are in weapons training. She wants to play with the crossbow but her Watcher insists on working with the basics first. She knocks him down down to the ground rather swiftly, which he deems as rounds to move on up to the crossbow. Not that Buffy isn’t a proficient fighter or anything, but knocking Giles down is a pretty low bar, even as early as episode seven.
That night Buffy brings Angel some food and erroneously accuses him of reading her diary/Buffy-Angel fanfic. Angel says he can’t be around her because he wants to kiss her when they’re together. This is bad, because he’s older than her. When she asks how much older he responds by… kissing her. It’s a totally adorable and heartwarming smoochfest, until Angel gets a nasty case of vamp-face and jumps out the window.
Buffy recounts the incident the next day, asking if a vampire can ever be a good person. Giles reminds her – and us – that a vampire is not a person at all, just a demon. Xander admonishes her for being in love with a vampire just as Cordelia walks by, but she is too distracted about another girl wearing the same dress as her to hear Xander’s urging to slay Angel.
Time to stop living in the past
Angel enters a crypt to find Darla. They apparently go way back. She is not amused by his human-like antics or recent Slayer entanglement. He melodramatically points out that he may not be human, but he isn’t exactly vampire anymore either.
It’s research time in the library, and Giles is actually reading some diaries – Watcher diaries to be exact. Angelus was turned in Ireland roughly 240 years ago. He wreaked havoc in Europe before arriving in America nearly 80 years ago. Suddenly he was no longer killing.
Darla proposes to The Master that she convince Angel to kill Buffy and bring him back into the fold. She figures if it’s a life-or-death situation he will do what it takes to protect himself. The Master says he loves his happy family and how they work together.
In the library, Willow is tutoring Buffy. But Buffy is more interested in talking about Angel (which gives Willow the opportunity to talk about Xander). Willow is too nervous to talk to Xander about her crush, and Buffy is determined to avoid picturing anything with Angel.
Darla, meanwhile, has arrived at the Summers household. She tells Joyce that she is helping Buffy study the War of Independence after Willow helps her with the Civil War. Joyce fully believes her daughter needs three tutors amd invites her in to wait. She offers her a snack, but probably doesn’t have the same thing in mind as Darla.
Luckily, Angel is walking by the Simmerd house and hears the scream. He bursts in to see a passed out Joyce. Darla has only had a taste and encourages Angel to finish her up. Unluckily, Buffy walks in on a vamped-out Angel holding her bleeding and unconscious mother.
Buffy throws him out through a window and threatens to kill him if he comes near them again. She then calls an ambulance, saying her mom cut herself and lost a lot of blood.
Xander, Willow, and Giles are in Joyce’s room, the latter much to the confusion of our patient (“The teachers at the school really do care!”). The official story is she slipped and stabbed herself with a barbecue fork while making Buffy’s “friend” a snack.
Buffy blames herself for inviting Angel into her home. She is mad that emotion trumped reason, so she prepares to retaliate… with death. Giles says he is powerful and will require more than a stake. Enter Chekov’s crossbow.
Darla is in Angel’s face egging him on. She reiterates how much he must be missing his vampire bloodlust. He breaks down and says he just wants this finished.
Giles and Joyce have a heart-to-heart about Buffy. Joyce is concerned that Buffy is studying with Willow and Darla and still struggling with history. Giles clocks the name and bids adieu.
Hot and Cold
Buffy shows up to her showdown with Angel. He snarls that he’s just an animal, to which Buffy replies that no, she actually likes animals. He goads her on while she asks why he would attack her this way. This is where he details his trail of death over the years. It only stopped after he killed a young Romani girl. The elders of her group restored his soul as punishment. Vampires don’t typically have a soul, and therefore have no conscience. To have his soul restored meant remorse and guilt for every heinous act he had committed. This is where he finally reveals he was not the one who attacked Joyce.
Darla appears. She is upset that Angel has chosen not to come home to the family – especially as his sire and former lover. She pulls out a couple of handguns and starts shooting. The first shot hits Angel (who cannot be killed by bullet, just wounded) and starts in on Buffy. Giles, Willow, and Xander appear and attempt to help. After Buffy’s shot woth the crossbow misses Darla’s heart, Angel sneaks up and stakes her. She has just enough time to see it was him before she turns to dust.
The Master is screaming and breaking things. Darla was his favorite, and Angelus was meant to be his right-hand man. Colin promises to bring him the Slayer and says to forget Darla and Angelus.
The Bronze has a Post-Fumigation Party, too, apparently. Angel appears, and he and Buffy agree they would be an ill-fated couple. That didn’t stop them before, and it sure isn’t stopping them this time: it’s time to return to smoochfest.
What did we think?
“Half the episode is providing background on an old dude accompanied by his romance with a high schooler, the other half is bring your kid to work day.” – Trav’s one sentence review of this episode.
I am coming to this episode as a long-time fan of the show. However, I also come to this episode as a new audience member of the spinoff series Angel. I will fully own up to the fact that this biases me, because in the past I found Angel to be a tedious character. Now I fully get it. (4.5 / 5)
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Movies n TV
The Wolf of Snow Hollow, a Film Review
The Wolf of Snow Hollow is a 2020 horror comedy directed by Jim Cummings, starring Jim Cummings, Riki Lindhome and Robert Forster.
The Wolf of Snow Hollow is a 2020 horror comedy directed by Jim Cummings. The cast of this horror includes Jim Cummings, Riki Lindhome and Robert Forster. This R-rated film is currently available for DirecTV and Shudder subscribers.
Deputy John Marshall (Jim Cummings) faces a messy divorce, an ill father, a serial killer and crippling addiction. With Marshall’s life spiraling, he focuses on a mysterious killer plaguing the town. The brutality of the crime convinces locals that the murderer is a werewolf, a possibility Marshall cannot entertain. As John Marshall tries to keep order in the town, his conviction crumbles.
What I Like
The comedy reflects the spiraling chaos that runs through a control freak’s mind as they lose control. This comedy lands best as Marshal spirals further and further into disarray. Viewers should expect a dry wit layered with sarcasm. If this type of humor doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, The Wolf of Snow Hollow would be hard to recommend. Nearly every character plays their part to perfection, building off each other. Jim Cummings seems to have created a team to complement his project.
Another impressive comedic element comes from the film’s ability to jump between serious issues and comedy without the humor undercutting the weight of those essential moments. Though somewhat flawed, it remains consistently effective.
Despite the fact this is a horror comedy, the monster adds genuine horror to the film. Part of the mystery comes from that line between the possibility of a killer or a real-life werewolf, which I won’t spoil here.
The werewolf design, though traditional, is consistently believable. With one exception that felt purposeful in context, the creature works surprisingly well for a horror comedy.
Jim Cummings creates these rapid scenes that show time passing. As mentioned earlier, these scenes reflect Marshall’s mental state. It surprises me how clearly and haunting they convey information while noting elements of comedy. Again, not always perfect, but effective.
Trigger Warnings and Tired Tropes
John Marshall struggles with alcoholism, often falling victim to the disease. Despite the comedy label, this element remains mature and respective. Regardless, I understand this is a sensitive issue that worth noting.
The film can get gory and dark, but rarely more than a horror fan expects. However, one of the victims is a baby. Though no act appears on screen, viewers may require prior knowledge.
What I Dislike or Points to Consider
Don’t expect a detective tale or any focus on a mystery. If this movie is anything, it’s a character study of John Marshall. The killer isn’t a figure we uncover through available information. The Wolf of Snow Hollow focuses on the stress that unravels our characters as they investigate. The trailer was a bit misleading, creating a focus more centered on the mystery and comedy of the film.
Without going into too much detail, some of the deaths get overshadowed by those earlier-mentioned scene cuts. While I still stand by my praise of these scenes, some of these deaths needed more silence and longevity. Though I recognize this might ruin the comedy focus of the film, death should have weight in a story.
This film isn’t scary. While some moments might unnerve you, don’t expect to be haunted.
While not a traditional werewolf film, The Wolf of Snow Hollow remains a surprisingly effective horror comedy. If you like your humor dry and dark, this film might align with your taste. However, this barely makes the cut in the horror genre. Don’t expect to jump or scream. If this sounds like your taste, then give The Wolf of Snow Hollow a view.
(3.5 / 5)
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
Shudder March 2023 Release Schedule
Mutant family, please gather ’round as February kicks rocks and we shove our way into March. With the new month comes the shifting from winter to spring as death beautifully resurrects back to life, drunken patrons swarm our local bars like rabid locusts for St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, and of course new exclusives and returning favorites on Shudder to satisfy the horror fiend in us all. To quote the prestigious Samuel L. Jackson, “hold onto your butts” and let’s dive right into Shudder’s March 2023 release schedule.
While it is true that the release schedule for the start of 2023 on Shudder has been minor and slightly mixed, with films such as the much talked about experimental low-budget indie ‘Skinamarink‘, the surprisingly entertaining horror comedy ‘Sorry About the Demon‘, and writer/director Neil Marshall’s return to the genre with ‘The Lair‘. We also graciously received the wildly fun ‘The Last Drive-In: Joe Bob’s Vicious Vegas Valentine” special, with season 5 currently in production and premiering later this year; though it can’t come soon enough. As we like to do here at HauntedMTL, let’s kick off March with Shudder’s newest exclusives currently streaming now and in the coming weeks.
Spoonful of Sugar – Now Streaming
Starting off this list we begin with director Mercedes Bryce Morgan and writer Leah Saint Marie’s latest film ‘Spoonful of Sugar‘, now currently streaming.
Millicent (Morgan Saylor), a disturbed college student working on her thesis about children with severe allergies, is hired to babysit little Johnny (Danilo Crovetti), a sickly, mute child who suffers from every allergy under the sun. His mother Rebecca (Kate Foster) is an accomplished author currently focused on her newest book release, while his father Jacob (Myko Olivier) spends his days in the backyard working on frivolous carpentry projects. After experiencing a bizarre sexual awakening while using LSD as an alternative treatment for Johnny, she soon uncovers the family’s dark secrets as things begin to become unhinged.
Leave – Premiering Friday 3/17
After having been abandoned as an infant at a cemetery wrapped in a cloth with satanic symbols, Hunter White (Alicia von Rittberg) grows obsessed with figuring out who her biological parents are and why they seemingly abandoned her. However, as she gets closer to the answers she so desperately seeks, a malevolent spirit is warning her to leave.
‘Leave‘ premiers exclusively on Shudder Friday 03/17 and is directed by Alex Herron and written by Thomas Moldestad, starring Alicia von Rittberg, Herman Tømmeraas, Ellen Dorrit Petersen, and Stig R. Amda
The Unheard – Premiering Friday 03/31
‘The Unheard‘ follows the story of deaf 20-year-old Chloe Grayden (Lachlan Watson) after she undergoes an experimental treatment to restore her hearing. While recovering at her family’s beach home after the successful procedure, Chloe begins to fear she is not alone as she begins to experience auditory hallucinations related to the mysterious disappearance of her mother.
‘The Unheard’ is directed by Shudder alumni Jeffrey A. Brown (The Beach House) and written by brothers/screenwriting partners Shawn Rasmussen and Michael Rasmussen (Crawl), co-starring Michele Hicks and Nick Sandow. ‘The Unheard‘ premiers exclusively on Shudder Friday 03/31.
Returning Classic and Fan Favorites
Now that we’ve removed the veil for the new exclusive titles dropping this month, I think it’s time we reveal the returning classics jump starting our transition into spring for 2023. Allow me to highlight some of my favorite films returning to Shudder for March including ‘Gretel and Hansel‘ and ‘The Company of Wolves‘; grim re-telling’s of popular children’s fairy tales. We also cannot forget John Carpenter’s haunted coastal horror ‘The Fog‘; no, not the remake…thankfully.
Gretel and Hansel – Now Streaming
Directed by Osgood Perkins, ‘Gretel and Hansel’ is a terrifyingly dark and unique vision to one of history’s most famous childhood fairy tales. After being thrown out of their mother’s home, Gretel (Sophia Lillis) leads her younger brother, Hansel (Samuel Leakey), through the woods in search of food and work. The children soon discover a quaint cottage where a fragile old woman Holda (Alice Krige) offers fresh food and bed. The children accept all Holda has to offer, with little thought as to what may be asked of them in return.
Though it has been met with mixed reviews, ‘Gretel and Hansel‘ offers astounding performances by veteran actress Alice Krige as the films iconic Witch of the woods and Sophia Lillis as lead Gretel. Director Osgood Perkins does well to draw his viewer in with a beautifully haunting score and unnerving cinematography, making this one grim re-telling worth checking out at least once. ‘Gretel and Hansel‘ is available to stream now.
The Company of Wolves – Now Streaming
Continuing our list of returning classics, we have yet another bold re-telling of a beloved children’s fairy tale, 1984’s ‘The Company of Wolves‘. While the story of ‘Little Red Riding Hood‘ has been retold through various forms of media, including numerous films, ‘The Company of Wolves‘ is a beloved horror interpretation with adult themes and memorable practical effects including one of the genres best werewolf transformations.
A wise grandmother (Angela Lansbury) tells her granddaughter Rosaleen (Sarah Patterson) a disturbing tale of innocent maidens falling in love with handsome strangers … and of their sudden mysterious disappearances when the moon is full and accompanied by the strange sound of a beast in the woods.
‘The Company of Wolves’ is co-written and directed by Neil Jordan and stars Sarah Patterson, Angela Lansbury, Micha Bergese, and David Warner, streaming now.
John Carpenter’s The Fog – Streaming 03/31
Writer, director, musician, and horror master John Carpenter is a legend in the genre having provided countless classics such as ‘The Thing‘, a terrifyingly gruesome remake of ‘The Thing from Another World‘. Or his sci-fi action/horror ‘They Live’ where he deals with societal control through corporations and government. And of course, my personal favorite, the film that jumpstarted his career and created one of horror’s most iconic slashers…’Halloween‘.
1980’s ‘The Fog‘ is a terrifying shoreside tale of vengeful spirits haunting the fictional coastal town of Antonio Bay, OR. as they begin preparations to celebrate its centenary. Following exactly 100 years after a ship mysteriously sank in the town’s waters, a thick unearthly fog harboring the souls of those who perished rolls in and with them, the dark secrets of Antonio Bay’s past.
John Carpenter’s ‘The Fog’ stars scream queen and recent Academy Award winner Jamie Lee Curtis, genre alums Adrienne Barbeau, Janet Leigh, Tom Atkins, Charles Cyphers, and Nancy Kyes, and was co-written by the late Debra Hill. ‘The Fog‘ will be available to stream on Shudder 03/31.
Full Shudder March 2023 Film Releases
For a full comprehensive list of all the titles being added to Shudder for the month of January, please refer to the graphic below. Please be on the lookout for our review of ‘The Last Drive-In: Joe Bob’s Vicious Vegas Valentine’ to drop later this week here on HauntedMTL and be sure to follow us on Twitter and Instagram for more Shudder news and spooky reviews!
Gretel and Hansel
Spoonful of Sugar
The Company of Wolves
Jack be Nimble
The Blair Witch Project & Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2
Breaking News2 days ago
The Last Drive-In Season 5 Premiering April 21st Exclusively on Shudder!
Original Creations6 days ago
The Way Things Were, story by Jennifer Weigel
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Sound4 days ago
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