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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

Wheel of Time, What Might Be



Episode three of Wheel of Time was easily my favorite so far. It’s dramatic, dark, and speaks to the growing concerns about evil invading the world.

Let’s discuss.

The Story

Let’s begin with Nynaeve. After showing little to no progress, Liandrin thinks she’s ready to go through the Trial of The Arches. This is an initiation that all Aes Sedai have to go through to become a sister. It’s dangerous, not totally understood, and doesn’t have a great survival rate.

One would think some cooler heads would prevail and not let the very new person do this so early. Especially since Nynaeve seems to have some issues with impulse control.


But she goes into the trial, seeing first a scene from her childhood where her parents are attacked. 

The point is to walk back through the arches, leaving her family behind. This she does, but doesn’t look very happy about it. Her second trial involves finding herself back in Two Rivers, where a horrible plague has ripped through the people. Again, she has to walk away from the people that she cares about and come back to reality.

Zoe Robins in Wheel of Time

The third test is a little more tricky. It appears that Nynaeve comes back covered in blood, with no memories of what happened. 

Terrified, she runs from the castle only to find Lan waiting for her. 

In the real world, where Liandrin and the others are waiting for her, she simply never returns. 

This shakes Liandrin. She decides she’s done holding Mat against his will, and lets him leave. Excited, but also smelling a trap, he takes Min with him. 


Still not sure why she had him to start with, but I guess it’s cool that she let him go.

Meanwhile, Rand is working with a familiar face at his hospital. It’s Logain, who we might remember as the false dragon from season one. 

Rand would love some advice about channeling as a man. But it appears that Logain might really have lost his mind.

What worked

My favorite scene in the episode was the one involving Perrin and Lady Suroth. This scene was perfect. 

First off, the character design for Lady Suroth was just perfect. Without moving more than a hand and the crook of her mouth, she manages to be terrifying. 


The massively scary nails help, as does the headdress that is both beautiful and reminiscent of an insect. The sort of insect that seems likely to bite and lay eggs under the skin of a victim. 

Her absolute authority was terrifying. Uno certainly learned that. 

What was more scary, of course, was who was standing next to her. Does she think she’s the one in charge? Or is she perfectly clear on where stands?

What didn’t work

One thing that I don’t love about this season is, unfortunately, not likely to change. It’s true in the books, and it’s true in the show.

Daniel Henney in Wheel of Time

The ensemble cast structure doesn’t work for me. 

It fractures the story in too many directions. It’s too busy, there’s too much going on. At the same time, there isn’t enough going on with individual characters for me to establish an interest in all of them. 


I care what’s happening with Egwene and Nynaeve. I care what’s happening with Perrin.

I don’t care as much about Rand right now. And she wasn’t as involved in this episode, but I don’t care about what Moiraine is going through either.

That could be because the world is coming to an end and they’re refusing to be team players. But maybe that’s just me. 

Overall, this was a fun episode. It feels like pieces are being put into place. The characters are getting ready for something big. Something that we can only see the beginnings of. 

Something that they clearly don’t think they’re ready for. 

3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5)

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Movies n TV

American Horror Story Delicate, Multiply Thy Pain



American Horror Story Delicate began last night, Killer Queens. And it was, well, a complicated episode. This makes sense because this season is about a complicated topic.

Just in case you didn’t know, this whole season is based on the novel Delicate Condition by Danielle Valentine. If you haven’t read it yet, you should. 

The Story

Anna Victoria Alcott is an actress who just got her big break. She was in a horror movie that no one can stop talking about.

Emma Roberts in American Horror Story Delicate

Except Anna herself. Because this career success couldn’t have come at a worse time. She and her husband Dex are in the middle of the difficult IVF process. It’s expensive, time-consuming and painful. Ironically, so is trying to win an Oscar.

But Anna has other things to worry about. Someone is messing with her. Several women are watching her in public. Worse, someone appears to be getting into her home, slashing notes she leaves for Dex, and removing her vital IVF medication from the fridge so it spoils. Her calendar is hacked to move her doctor appointments around so she misses them. Worst of all, someone broke into her home and crawled into bed with her.


Of course, no one takes any of these concerns seriously. Her agent, Siobhan, is focusing on getting her an Oscar. Her husband, Dex, doesn’t seem to give a shit about her except for when it comes to having a baby. He’s frequently dismissive of her concerns and only seems to want her around when it’s convenient for him. He goes so far as to kick her out of his show opening because she’s on edge.

You know, maybe because she’s clearly being stalked by someone who is trying to keep her from having a baby. 

What worked

AHS Asylum had a lot of dark and important things to say about mental health care in America. AHS Coven had a lot of dark and important things to say about race and gender relationships.

Last season, AHS NYC wasn’t so subtle. Yes, there was a killer. But the real historical horror of the AIDs epidemic in the 80s was the focus of the season. And that worked very well.

This season, the story is clearly about female body autonomy. Anna is a woman struggling with so many issues that modern women face. The balance between our careers and our families. Feeling like growing old is the most unforgivable thing a woman can do. And of course, the fact that our bodies often feel like they don’t belong to us. 


I was also pleased to see some AHS alumni. Denis O’Hare as Dr. Hill was delightful. Leslie Grossman and Billie Lourd will be involved soon, and they never bring anything less than their A-game.

This episode also did something I never thought could happen. It managed to scare me with a calendar notification. That was a special moment for me as a horror fan and calendar-obsessed person.

What didn’t work

Here are some things I didn’t love. First off, the main character Anna is a pushover. She can’t say no to Dex, Talia, Dr. Hill, or Siobhan. No one gets a no from this woman!

Anna didn’t act like that in the book. She stood up to everyone all the time, it was great. She wasn’t getting any support, but she was advocating for herself! That was such an important part of her character, and I’m sad to see that she’s lost that here. 

I also hate the changes made to Siobhan and Talia. Now, please understand that this isn’t me complaining that the book was different. That’s not my point. Siobhan was a kind, loving woman who supported her best friend even while dying of cancer. Talia was a smart, business-oriented woman who was still kind. She was trying to start a family with her transgender husband, and bonded with Anna over their IVF journeys. These were vital characters in the story.

Juliana Canfield in American Horror Story Delicate

I feel like they’ve been railroaded. 

All that being said, this was a decent start to AHS Delicate. It’s not the best start of a season we’ve had. But it’s okay. I’m looking forward to seeing what the rest of the season is going to bring.  4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

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Movies n TV

Wheel of Time, Strangers and Friends



Episode two of Wheel of Time, widened the divide between the show and the books. Things are happening out of order, people are acting out of character. Whether this is to the detriment of the show, however, has yet to be determined. 

The story

One character missing from episode one was Rand. You know, our main character. But we finally catch up with him now. 

He’s living in a city with a woman named Selene. They don’t have what I’d call a super healthy relationship. She spends a bit too much time talking about her ex. 

Yes, for those of you who didn’t read the books, this is going to be important.


Rand is also working at an insane asylum. He’s kind and patent with his charges, but not all of his fellow caregivers are. 

Josha Stradowski in The Wheel of Time

Meanwhile, Lan and Moiraine are recovering form their Fade attack from last episode. Rather than taking the time to actually heal, Moiraine decides to head out to find Rand. Her team comes with her, which seems to really bother her. 

While that little hissy fit is taking place, Nynaeve is causing issues. Not by anything she’s doing, but by what she’s not doing. As none of the regular novice teacher have been able to get her to use the One Power, Liandrin offers to try. No one, including me, is thrilled with this. But, the Aes Sedai are desperate. They know that The Dark One is around, and they need Nynaeve to be ready. So, they let the person who’s driven other students to their deaths and actively committed multiple hate crimes take over. 

What could go wrong?

What worked

The special effects in this episode were really well done. I especially liked the dead fade nailed to the wall.

I was also pleased with the introduction of Elayne. Ceara Coveney is playing her, and doing a fine job. She’s warm, kind and sweet. I am thrilled that she’s around. 


One of the greatest things about Wheel of Time is the friendships between the characters. Rand, Perrin, Mat, Nynaeve and Egwene legitimately care about each other. Elayne seems to care for Egwene right away. I really love that. 

What didn’t work

One thing that bothered me in this episode, and frankly the last episode, was Liandrin keeping Mat in prison. I feel like this wasn’t adequately explained. Why does she have him? How did she trap him? What in the hell is she trying to get from him? Perhaps I simply missed something, and please let me know in the comments if this is the case. But it feels like some poor writing to me. 

I also don’t love how Moiraine is portrayed in this episode. Really, in this season so far.

I get that she’s never exactly been a warm person. She’s not personable, open, or kind. Some (most) fans of the book would likely agree that she’s kind of a bitch.

But she’s not a bitch for no reason. She certainly isn’t the sort to lash out at the people who love her because she’s in pain. And that’s what she’s doing through this episode. She’s taking her pain out on Lan. And that’s just out of character for her. 

Dónal Finn in The Wheel of Time.

It feels very much like a lot is being skipped over from the Wheel of Time books. But, so far at least, I don’t feel like anything vital has been missed. It feels more like the story is being streamlined. 

Yes, I understand how this might go horribly wrong. I think we’ve all seen that. But as of right now, the changes make sense for the switch in mediums. 

Now, let’s see if it stays that way. 

3 out of 5 stars (3 / 5)

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