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Maybe you’ve heard of my now-defunct podcast, High Art Camp, that I made a while back with Parzz1val. In the podcast, we discussed the artistic merit of a film on a few different levels, including technical skill, total aesthetics, and cultural relevance. I usually took the low “campy” road, while Parz took the “high” artistic road, and we met somewhere in the middle. 

I think part of any movie’s charm or artistic merit also relies on the ability to seep into the collective consciousness. How many terrific and technically sound movies have just slipped away from our minds, just because it was not engaging enough with its audience? Sure, there are some that strike both such as Us, Hereditary and The Lighthouse, but it’s not always the case.

Same with the other side, of course, but when it comes to camp, there’s an endearing and engaging quality to it. It reaches out to the Every Man (or the marginalized) and envelopes us into the, albeit sometimes shitty, story and characters. Yes, these are often not the budget or vision of more technically sound movies, but to pass them off as having no artistic merit is an insult. An insult to the audience of these movies – which is HUMANITY, man.

Now listen to my revolutionary poetry to the backwards tune of Wonderwall– (<a href=”http://-(<a href=”http://Image by <a href=”″>SnapwireSnaps</a> from lousy 15% fresh. Also, that being said, I adore this movie. 

Let’s discuss.


The Plot (Spoiler-free):

As the Earth crosses the tail of a comet, machines start going crazy and have a maniacal thirst for human blood. They just can’t stop killing people! They love it. 

A working stiff, recently on parole, is just trying to cook some damn eggs while his boss is shorting him money. A hip chick is catching a ride from a gross Bible Salesman. Clones of Haley Joel Osment, just celebrating their new marriage, fight their way to get to a safe haven. And a small child is the lone survivor of the pop-can massacre of his little league team. 

All of these strange characters come together as more machines start taking over, being stalked and terrorized by the worst of them – The Green Goblin!

Apparently the Spider-Man truck was busy

How will they survive this folly of man? Will things ever get back to normal? And will Curtis ever get the chance to watch his newly-wedded wife take a leak?

All this and more in…MAXIMUM OVERDRIVE!!!

Thoughts (Spoilers):

Yes, yes, even our mothers and Great-Aunt Cathy know that Stephen King was quoted in Hollywood’s Stephen King as allegedly saying he was “coked out of (his) mind all through its production, and (he) really didn’t know what (he) was doing.” We know. We all know.


That’s everyone’s go-to for this movie and why it exists, but let’s be real, King has always had a wild side and just usually doesn’t have the reins. But in this one, we got to see the full force of his (and the 80’s) hubris and grandeur. 

Honestly, this should be so much higher on the list of cult films because it has, I believe, literally everything in this film – smack-talking ATMs, gore, a gross romance, civil liberty disputes, a montage of filling up gas tanks, explosions, AC/DC, aliens (???), and some of the most amazingly quotable quotes:

Image by Pexels from Pixabay
Image by Bessi from Pixabay
Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

(And 100% that’s what the photographers of Pixabay thought their pictures would be used for)

And of course, the classic:

But within this kaleidoscope of 80’s whimsy and wonder, there’s some legitimately good performances, most notably from Emilio Estevez (Golden Raspberry, aside) and Ellen McElduff. I thought Estevez played the role with focus and intent, acting like a man looking for amends in a shitty world that cared very little for him. And, well, Ellen McElduff was just a delight from start to finish, especially giving her all for the “We Made You!” scenes. 

Plus, in the end of the movie, they made it to freedom in a LGBTQ boat. And we’re all asking…was this actually a LGBTQ allegory?

Oh wait, the whole entire human race is telling me, “no”.

Brain Roll Juice:

I really loved Pat Hingle’s secondary villain character. He was a shitty businessman exploiting those who were most vulnerable, and enjoying the thrill of subjugating those he felt were under him. Pat Hingle played it to a T, being the cigar-chomping, dumb-line-spouting son-of-a-bitch that we’ve all probably had a brush with at least one point in our lives. That one guy that made us work harder or longer than we were supposed to just because he could. I’m not naming names…


And it’s a valid concern for people who were or are incarcerated. Finding decent work is difficult, whether it was in the 80’s or now. In fact, as of 2018, “formerly incarcerated people are unemployed at a rate of over 27% — higher than the total U.S. unemployment rate during any historical period, including the Great Depression.” 

With such shitty prospects, that’s often why people turn back to crime…and subsequently get sent back to jail. And while those number are going down and things are getting better, it still remains part of a systemic issue


I mean, Emilio Estevez’s character had a job, was working, and still faced discrimination and was exploited for work. Jobs for people who had prior convictions is often segregated, and is often shittier work in comparison to their peers. And society seems okay with that, while “up-right citizens” pat themselves on the backs for finding these “down-and-out ex-prisoners” a scrap of bread for the long winter.

I don’t get it. You work three minimum-wage jobs, how come you’re not rich yet?
Image by Anastasia Gepp from Pixabay

And…of course, race plays into it. Because of course it does. And while some studies have shown that the disparity is dropping, it’s dropping slowly for Black men. 

At least Handy made it out alive in this movie. (GIANT, ETERNAL SHRUG)


This is a hoot and a half with a rockin’ soundtrack and fun, typical King cast of characters. Is it art?…Sure. Let’s say, “Sure”. 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

If you want to check the book/movie/show out, feel free to click on below via Amazon. Remember, if you buy, we do get $


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 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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Movies n TV

The Last Drive-In with Joe Bob Briggs: An Eggs-celent Time




The Last Drive-In with Joe Bob Briggs returned March 29th for the first ever Easter-themed episode. Debuting the new series format, hosts Joe Bob and Darcy the Mail Girl presented only one film. The Drive-In can be watched on AMC+ and Shudder every other Friday during the season.

This week on The Last Drive-In, Joe Bob Briggs and Darcy the Mail Girl hopped onto our screens to include us in their Easter party. Festivities include decorating eggs, blowing noisemakers, cuddling mutilated stuffies, and of course, swigging down Lone Star beer. You’re invited to consume whatever substances you like best to enhance the viewing experience of this week’s film, Brian Skiba’s Rottentail (2019).  

Season 6 poster for The Last Drive-In with Joe Bob Briggs.

As Joe Bob opens the episode, there is hope he will remain focused and on topic. He begins with innocent rabbit behavior patterns before taking a turn into the best methods of hunting them. Darcy grows increasingly uncomfortable as he delights in giving pointers to would-be hunters. She incredulously asks, “Are you talking about killing rabbits right now?” 

Believing the audience is on her side, she throws up a Twitter poll. It was a close split, but 50.2% of viewers who responded do agree with her. See? Every vote does count. (Seriously, make sure you are registered to vote in this year’s elections.) 


Calling out the elephant in the room, Joe Bob reminds viewers about the new one-movie format of the series. Instead of two movies every Friday, this season has been stretched out with one movie showing every other week until Labor Day. 


If you want someone to blame, Joe Bob says you can point at us tired folks on the east coast struggling to stay awake past midnight. However, between the new format and specials, we have been assured there are actually more movies this season. 

Thankfully for the audience, Rottentail is packed with action and hits multiple genres to the point that it feels like at least a movie and a half. 

A poster for Rottentail (2019) featuring the mutated Peter Cotten and the tagline "Hippity Hoppity Homicide."
A poster for Rottentail (2019).

Rottentail tells the story of unassuming scientist Peter Cotten (Corin Nemec) being transformed into a rabbit-human hybrid after receiving a bite from a genetically-engineered rabbit. He embarks on a journey of revenge against those who wronged him in his childhood such as Pastor Jake Mulligan (William McNamara). He even finds time to rekindle a past romance with Anna Banana (Dominique Swain).

The Drive-In Totals include but are not limited to: 4 dead bunnies, 1 mad army general, mutated bunny rampage, lettuce nibbling, heart tossing, 1 mutant bunny baby, and erection fu. “Four stars. Joe Bob says, ‘Check it out.’

No Animals Were Harmed

It goes without saying that there are a few depictions of animal cruelty within this film. Darcy feels it is prudent to warn the audience. Whenever an animal dies on screen, Twitter is flooded with upset viewers expressing their distaste. Dragging the warning out of Joe Bob, she reminds him of the gentle nature of the #MutantFam. We’ll watch humans be slaughtered all day, but don’t you dare hurt that animal.  

Joe Bob seems to not understand the need for the warning as, “this whole movie is about taking revenge on people who harm animals!” He insists no animals are actually harmed and implies that being bothered is indicative of good effects. To demonstrate, at one point he “snaps” Darcy’s neck with the assistance of a sound effect.

Joe Bob demonstrates the use of sound effects as he fake kills Darcy.
No mail girls were harmed in the filming of this episode.

Pages to Print

The film is based off of the graphic novel Rottentail by David C. Hayes and Kevin Moyers. Initially self-published, Source Point Press picked up the novel and are responsible for its translation onto screen. The film is very stylized and Joe Bob says it gives Re-Animator (1985) vibes. 

Nemec is a big fan of graphic novels, and had read the story prior to the film’s production. He ended up becoming a co-producer of the film. Joe Bob believes Nemec should get more praise for his role as Peter/Rottentail, and the hosts bemoan his lack of availability to come on the episode.

Furthering my belief that Joe Bob is secretly a huge fan of Lifetime Christmas movies, he highlights that director Skiba is perhaps best known for his work on the network. I am continually baffled at how many of these Christmas movies he can name and refuse to believe he doesn’t actually cozy up to watch them.

Tis The Season?

Speaking of Christmas, this week’s mail call features a letter originally sent back in December. Joe Bob immediately senses what is going on and chides Darcy, “I do not want letters that make everyone cry.” Brad from Loretto, Kentucky writes in to share his Halloween memories with his daughter. Unfortunately, she passed away at the age of 20 before Brad had a chance to share The Last Drive-In with her.  It’s a sobering reminder that we truly do not know how much time we have left to spend with someone.  

No, Wait, Come Back!

It is understandable why some folks were upset with the new format change of the series. However, the episode is still full of The Last Drive-In spirit. I don’t have the numbers in front of me, but it feels as if there was more time & space for host segments. At points, Joe Bob and Darcy were breaking in almost every 15 minutes. It’s very much still the same show we love, just now featuring more anticipation.  

My rating for Rottentail: 3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5)


My rating for the episode: 4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5)

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