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Happy 4/20/20, my friends! It’s time to responsibly and legally toke up, make them brownies, and enjoy the happy high of this great national/international holiday.

In honor of 4/20/20, the 4-est and the 20-est of them all, I’ve sat down to partake in the Charles Band’s film, Evil Bong.

The Plot:

Nerd character is now renting room with slacker/d-bag character, jock character, and surfer character. They are all bros and/or dudes. They like to get high. Surfer’s catchphrase is “monkey”. Jock has, like 5 small trophies that he doesn’t want anything else to touch. Nerd is getting a MA in chemistry with a BA in metaphysics. They like to get high except nerd.

Welcome to the Bro pad, my man

Slacker finds an ad about a cursed bong rumored to give ultimate highs. He buys it. It arrives. It’s very big and ugly, but slacker thinks it’s beautiful. They get high.      

Pictured: Super spooky bong

There are two girls. One is into nerd. The other one is into jock. They leave.

Pictured: girls and jock

Surfer and Slacker get high. Surfer’s soul is sucked into the bong. It’s a strip club filled with other Full Moon lesser character cameos for some reason. Blade is not there. I’m sad.

Surfer is seduced by lady with a very rubbery vampire skull bra. The bra bites him and he dies. I’m still hoping Blade will swing by and just cut everyone’s throats. I won’t even mind the mouth-sounds.

Anytime, Blade…anytime…

Surfer is dead in the real world. Bummer. They hide the body. Nerd is upset. Slacker’s grandpa comes by and is the only actor in the movie for a really unnecessary but the only enjoyable scene with life. Grandpa leaves.

Bong keeps killing people by bringing them into Stripperland. It now has a face and a voice, but the voice must be telepathic because the lips don’t move. I am watching the time. It feels like eternity.

They get high. The bong keeps killing. Tommy Chong makes an obligatory cameo.

So…who will…I don’t know…win? [insert teaser ending here when you care enough]


This was actually not my first rodeo with this film. Nor second (I have no respectable life). I had a friend that actually liked this movie and because Charles Band will sell his property for a penny and a song, I have this on a Full Moon compilation DVD that I picked up for less than a penny and a song.

This has Charles Band’s recent and greasy fingerprints all over it and feels like it was shot in a very hectic and long day. There’s no real comedy. There’s no real horror. There’s no real emotion or story. It seems like every take was the first and only. There’s even a point when Nerd pokes himself in the eyes with his own glasses and they don’t re-edit it.

Nope, keep it in the film. He’s embodying the audience’s desires right now.

The music is unbearable, although the beginning song was enjoyable. My aforementioned friend was a little obsessed with the hip-hop version of Old King Cole, so I’ll give a shout-out to that.

There were more obnoxious transitions than in any sit-com, even including That 70’s Show. The creature design was disappointing and rubbery. The best character was grandpa and only because he actually had life and energy to him, ironically. The set up for the new grandma was too long, but was the funniest thing in the movie and even then, it wasn’t super funny (although new grandma was adorable).

The actress (Robin Sydney) that had that one spaz scene with the pogo stick and adult-snuggle device, screaming she’s ready for adult-snuggle time – just…good for her. I hope she got extra for that scene. She gave it her all. It wasn’t funny, but it was…something.

Frantic pogo-ing should be a sport

Brain Roll Juice:

Yes, this did give me some juice to roll my brain in. Weird, huh?

It’s not a good film. I really don’t even know who the audience is, except for maybe the “dudes” and “brahs” of the early-mid 2000’s that think just the concept of an evil bong is funny enough? There were a lot of films like this in what I would consider a counter-culture of the late 90’s and mid-20’s – the burnouts. Some films were successful like Harold and Kumar, while others were…this.

It’s interesting how the culture has changed recently, though. We are in the midst of several states introducing the legalization of cannabis and cannabis reform proposals. From medicine, to anxiety, to just recreational use, weed is becoming more of a social norm than taboo. We are separating from the stoner caricatures of past. One can smoke weed and still be a decent and functioning member of society, breaking the shackles of our Reefer Madness days.

Hell, even my grandma, stout Catholic, had given her shrug of approval when the vote came to her state. She said that it just didn’t seem to matter because it was “different than before”. While strains of pot have changed, sure, it’s our perceptions that have shifted the most. That being said, I would love for an evil bong movie. Either a comedy or a straight-up horror movie. As comedy, the shift in our attitudes could be a great place to start, ala 21 Jump Street and Netflix’s The Babysitter. As horror movie, there’s a lot of potential to recall our hysterias of the past. Hell, even true stories like when some teens dug up a child’s body and turned the skull into a bong would be a great launching pad.


There’s a good story in there, one that doesn’t insult the viewer’s intelligence and doesn’t exhaust their patience. Maybe we can ask Jordan Peele to have a go at it. I’m sure we’d at least have better music and zero scene transitions.


Nope. Don’t waste your time and/or weed on this. 1 out of 5 stars (1 / 5)

When not ravaging through the wilds of Detroit with Jellybeans the Cat, J.M. Brannyk (a.k.a. Boxhuman) reviews mostly supernatural and slasher films from the 70's-90's and is dubiously HauntedMTL's Voice of Reason. Aside from writing, Brannyk dips into the podcasts, and is the composer of many of HauntedMTL's podcast themes.

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Movies n TV

Fallout, The Target



Episode two of Amazon Prime’s Fallout was equal parts funny and bloody. This almost always leads to a good time.

The story

We begin this episode with the birth of some puppies that look like they’ve had a rough start to life. Each one is weighed, with the ones who fall short being incinerated.

One pup who is just below the correct weight gets a bit of a thumb on their scale. The scientist weighing them, Wilzig, writes down the proper weight. He later takes the puppy home to raise instead of putting them into what looks like an unforgiving training program.


Eventually, we see Wilzig put some blue glowing thing into his neck. When a soldier comes for him, Dog attacks the soldier, and the two escape.

Ella Purnell in Fallout.

We go from there to the wilderness, where Lucy is recovering from the last episode and enjoying a campfire at night. Wilzig and Dog come out of the shadows, saving Lucy from a bug monster. Wilzig tells Lucy she should go home. And if she’s not going to go home, she needs to evolve.

The next day Lucy finds her way to a town called Filly. As a Pennsylvanian, it hurts me to spell it that way. Lucy is entranced by this town, though clearly put off by the fact that no one is very nice here.

She eventually finds her way to a shop run by a delightful woman named Ma June. Ma doesn’t seem particularly interested in helping Lucy. Or, frankly, having Lucy in her shop.

Or in her town.

Eventually, Wilzig is tracked to this same shop, being tracked by The Ghoul. This is our final primary character. Lucy defends Wilzig, being aided at the last moment by Maximus.


Maximus, by the way, has been having a terrible time. After finally becoming a squire he’s disappointed to find that his knight, Knight Titus, is a terrible person.

Fortunately, Maximus doesn’t have to put up with Titus for long. After Titus gets the bright idea to go hunting, he’s attacked by a mutated bear. Maximus freezes, unable to save him. Then, well, he decides not to save him.

It was Titus’s idea to go hunt the bear, after all.

What worked

Walton Goggins in Fallout.

The first thing I want to draw attention to is the shootout scene at Filly. This scene checked every box a fight scene should check. It was fun to watch, with great effects. But it also gave us insight into the characters. Lucy is a decent fighter and has a strong moral compass. The Ghoul is callus and desensitized to death. And Maximus continues to be, well, sort of bad at this whole fighting thing. But with enough moral fortitude that we have a hard time blaming him.

Of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the dog. Who’s name, as far as I’ve been able to ascertain, is just Dog. Which is fine. He doesn’t need to have a name to be a very good boy. He’s sweet, loyal, and fearless.


Also, puppies. Puppies are always great.

Finally, I’d like to shine a spotlight on Lucy’s reaction to the world at large. She is both amazed and terrified by everything. And while she certainly doesn’t want to be rude, she also doesn’t want to be taken advantage of. The best example of this is when she stops to ask for directions with a bright smile and a gun.

Once again, I don’t have anything bad to say about this episode. It was funny, dark, and fun to watch. I’m very much looking forward to the rest of the season. 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

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Movies n TV

Fallout, The End



Launching with worldwide excitement, Fallout is based on the extremely popular game series of the same name. Fans of the series have waited with anticipation and trepidation to see if the Prime series would live up to the game.

Having now watched the first episode I can say that, so far, it’s successful.

The story

Our story begins with a children’s birthday party. A performer is there with his daughter, giving horse rides and taking pictures with the kids.


As much as the adults try to focus on the party and the kids, it’s impossible to ignore the looming threat of war that’s on everyone’s mind.

Of course, it’s during this party that war comes, and the bombs drop.

We then cut to after the war and into one of the vaults established to protect humankind and the American Way. For future reference, this is Vault 33. We meet Lucy, our first main character, who’s petitioning to be married to a man from Vault 32 to ensure DNA diversity.

On the wedding night, though, Lucy and the rest of Vault 33 are met with a horrible surprise. The group they let in is not in fact from Vault 32, but is instead a team of raiders from the surface. The raiders kill a lot of the vault dwellers and kidnap Lucy’s father.

We are then introduced to our second main character, Maximus. He is in training to become a Knight in the Brotherhood of Steel. And, well, he’s not doing great.


Things get worse when his best friend Dane becomes a squire before him. But when Dane is hurt, Maximus gets their spot.

Aaron Moten in Fallout.

We then go back to Lucy, who has decided to leave the vault and find her dad. Of course, the council of her vault doesn’t want her to go. So she is aided by her brother Norm and cousin Chet in a wild escape.

What worked

The first thing that deserves attention is the exceptional character work. Our three main characters are fleshed out and relatable right away. We feel sympathetic for The Ghoul before he’s even introduced as such. We love Lucy’s nativity and selflessness. And we love Maximus for his honesty and passion for his cause.

While these characters are their own people, they also exhibit the three responses we might expect to see in a post-apocalyptic world. We have the hopeful optimist who doesn’t understand how bad things are. We have the aspiring hero who wants to make the world better by force. And we have the self-serving individual who’s given up on the rest of humanity and is only focused on surviving.

Another thing I enjoyed about this episode was the balance of humor and gore. Because there was certainly enough blood and guts for even the most hardcore horror lover. We had a violent sabotage, a brawl with raiders, and even several nuclear bombs.

But there were a lot of funny moments as well. Usually from Lucy. Her overall goodwill and fearless gumption are absolutely hilarious, especially given the horrors she’s facing. It never ceases to amuse me.

Ella Purnell in Fallout

Both of these aspects are done perfectly. The jokes land and the bloody scenes pull no punches. It was delightful.

All in all, this was an exciting start to a much-anticipated series. Here’s hoping they’re able to stick the landing.

For more tv shows based on video games, check out my review of Witcher. 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

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Movies n TV

American Horror Story Delicate, Ave Hestia



Episode seven of American Horror Story Delicate was a classic AHS flashback episode. If you were excited to see what Preecher had to say to Anna at the end of the last episode, I’m sorry to say that you will not get that satisfaction. However, we did learn all sorts of other fascinating things about the strange coven hunting Anna. And, we learned all sorts of things we didn’t know about Dex’s first wife, Adeline.

The story

We begin our story with a woman giving birth alone in a barn. When it becomes clear that she’s not going to be able to deliver vaginally, she pulls out a knife and cuts her stomach open to pull out her children.

For whatever reason, this is when the coven of witches decides to make themselves known.

Ashlie Atkinson in American Horror Story.

We then cut to 2013, when Dex was still married to Adeline. In true Dex fashion, he’s surprised her with a puppy.

While that sounds great in theory, dogs are something a couple should talk about, not gift each other with as a surprise. An adult would know that. A trust fund boy like Dex does not.

Adeline owns a vegan restaurant called Ave Hestia. Love that name. She seems to be living a great life. She has a career she’s passionate about, friends who love her, and a husband she seems kind of fond of.

Maybe that’s why she didn’t want a puppy. She already had one.

Of course, things aren’t as good as they appear. We soon find out that Adeline was one of those babies we saw at the start of the episode. The other baby was Sonia, the painter.

Annabelle Dexter-Jones in American Horror Story.

And yes, both of these characters are played by Annabelle Dexter-Jones.

Adeline has stepped away from their family, and whatever dark things they do. But the family isn’t happy with her decision. And if she isn’t going to come back willingly, they’re going to make her.


What worked

To start with, I loved the character, Adeline. She is fierce, she is fearless, and relentless. I feel like this would have been a far different story if Adeline had been our main character. It was astounding to see her interact with the same people Anna has, and get a completely different response. It’s clear now, how much everyone around Anna resents her for simply not being Adeline.

I also appreciated that there was just a shocking amount of blood in this episode. From the start when Adeline and Sonia are born, to the climactic end of Adeline, this episode is just drenched in blood.

Finally, I’m fascinated by the changes in this season from the book it’s based on. Because absolutely none of this was in the book. Compared to this, the book is heartwarming.

The book is kind of heartwarming even without the comparison.


But I love the fact that, even with just two episodes left in the season, I have no idea what’s going to happen. I do not know what Anna is carrying. I do not know if she’s going to survive this. I do not know what these people want with her.

But I can’t wait to find out.

What didn’t work

All that being said, it is a bit frustrating to have no forward momentum in this episode. This was all backstory, and it felt like there wasn’t enough backstory to fill a full forty minutes. Because of that, it dragged. There were a lot of scenes that just didn’t need to be as long as they were. It felt like they could have cut that down considerably, and had some time to check in with our main characters at either the start or the end of the episode.

There are only two episodes left in the season, and I can honestly say I have no idea what’s going to happen. But so far the story has been dark, bloody, and provocative. So I hope they can manage to end it on a high note.


4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

If you’re a fan of my work, please check out my latest story, Nova, on Paper Beats World. New chapters launch every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

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