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Tonight’s theme is demons… and the people who love them… and who run from them, too.

We’re back with Joe Bob again this week at The Last Drive-In, exclusively on Shudder. It’s important to note, Mutants, that as of this moment Shudder has not committed to renewing The Last Drive-In for another round, so what I ask is that you take a moment to tweet @shudder with your desire for more episodes. Don’t forget the hashtag #TheLastDriveIn either!

And before we dive in to the Drive-In, I figure I’d toot my own horn again from the livestream.

Demon Wind (1990)

Opening Rant: That old idea of “this will hurt me more than it will hurt you.”


The first film of the night was that kind of drive-in cheese that is a perfect fit for us mutants. Demon Wind (1990) is a knockoff of The Evil Dead that is probably most interesting for the un-credited appearance of Lou Diamond Phillips as a zombie. Well, the Kung Fu magician is a nice touch as well.

The film follows a young man named Cory and his group of friends as they visit a farm that was owned by Cory’s family and has seen several bizarre and tragic deaths. After being attacked by demons, the group is forced to take shelter in the old farm and survive a night of terror, possessions, and surprisingly little demonic wind.

Demon Wind was directed by Charles Philip Moore and was only one of four films in his career. The movie features a group of very bland actors and actresses who look like knock-off versions of far more famous folks. The sole exception here being Stephen Quadros, the show-stealing Kung Fu magician. Other performances include Eric Larson, Francine Lapensée, Rufus Norris, and Jack Forcinito.


Joe Bob offered the film a generous 3 stars. The first half of the night’s highlight comes from Joe Bob attempting to summarize the 4 generations-worth of plot that Demon Wind eventually, inscrutably manages to work in. As always though, the insights into the filming were particularly entertaining, such as the revelation of the crew using the short ends of film stock, and using available fog for the foggy sequences of the movie as there was no budget for a fog machine. Wow.

As for the Haunted MTL review of the film, Demon Wind is strictly a 2 and a half star affair. It becomes a lot more fun when you pretend it is a spin-off of The Evil Dead with some doomed idiots and the random badassery of the Kung Fu magician. Also… those were some of the most Deadite-esque demon zombies outside of the Ash Williams adventures.


Best Line: “You killed me.” (Spoken like a disappointed mother)

The House of the Devil (2009)

Opening Rant: The theological origins of the concept of Hell.

The second film of the night was Ti West’s 2009 throwback Satanic cult film The House of the Devil. Ti West is a bit of a divisive figure in horror, sure, but no matter where you land on his work, The House of the Devil is certainly a much better film than Demon Wind… though maybe not as a drive-in movie. More on that later.

The House of the Devil follows a young babysitter named Samantha who, in desperate need of money to escape her awful roommate and pay for her own apartment, takes on a babysitting job. When she arrives at the house, however, she discovers that the job was not quite what was advertised. Regardless, she takes the job and spends a terrifying night seemingly alone in a spooky house, unaware of the sinister events she will become embroiled in.

The movie was written, edited, and directed by Ti West. It stars the magnetic Jocelin Donahue as Samantha, with Tom Noonan and Mary Woronov. Greta Gerwig has a brief, but memorable role, and there is a dash of Dee Wallace to add a little more flavor to this throwback film.

The House of the Devil, for someone who is unaware of its throwback nature, would likely see the film as a product of the late 70s early 80s, which the film purposefully evokes. Everything from the cameras used, the quality of the film, to the title card and lighting make this a film that really captures the grimy aesthetic of the late 70s to 80s slasher aesthetic.



Joe Bob awarded The House of the Devil 3 and a half stars. Joe Bob’s praise of the quality of the film and the sound design was effusive. In particular, there was a great deal of praise pointed at Jeff Grace’s score of the film, particularly how the score punctuates the noises of the house that terrify poor Samantha. Joe Bob did spend a great deal of time discussing Ti West as a filmmaker and horror audience reactions to the kind of “slow horror” that he tends to focus on in his work. At one point, Joe Bob describes Ti West as an “obsessive-compulsive only child” in a way that can only be described as endearing.

We’ll get this out of the way now: I am a fan of Ti West and The House of the Devil is a 4 star film. It is important to note that the film is slower that most films on The Last Drive-In, and unfortunately it makes the Mutants a little cranky. It is very interesting to watch these films live and watch Mutants discuss it on Twitter. Much like week 3 when The Changeling was on, many fans seemed to complain about The House of the Devil being slow. The Changeling and The House of the Devil are amazing movies and worth watching, but… they are not necessarily drive-in sort of films that live up to the three Bs (Blood, Breasts, and Beasts).

Despite these films not being the kind of films expected for drive-in fare, I appreciate and value their presence in The Last Drive-In, though and hope we get more of these slow-burn creepers as they are personal favorites of mine.

Spontaneous Spook-house Shuffle

Best Line: “I heard you college kids love pizza.”

Drive-In Totals

  • 1 tan suede shirt with white trim, with a silvery triangular bolo tie
  • 1 creepy gas station in the literal middle of nowhere
  • 1 rotten egg
  • 2 ceremonial daggers
  • 2 Joe Bob jokes (the British vs. the French, and handjobs)
  • 2 Joe Bob clipboard sightings
  • 3 warnings to “not go up there”
  • 4 generations worth of plot
  • 5 Twitter bans for Darcy
  • 9 bland, identical teenage archetypes
  • 18 day shoot for The House of the Devil
  • Gratuitous 90s sexism and homophobia
  • Gratuitous gun-totin’ old man
  • Gratuitous hallucinatory she-demon titties
  • Gratuitous home inspection
  • Gratuitous @jocelindonahue dancing
  • Gratuitous blood slip and slide
  • Gratuitous Darcy cosplay (as Samantha)
  • Beer Can Fu
  • Exploding Doll Fu
  • Tongue Lash Fu
  • Joe Bob Plot Summary Fu
  • Surprise Lou Diamond Phillips Fu
  • Vase Smashing Fu

As always, please share your thoughts with us about The Last Drive-In. Also, please check out our other great content here at Haunted MTL.


David Davis is a writer, cartoonist, and educator in Southern California with an M.A. in literature and writing studies.

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Book Reviews

The Dead Take the A Train Review: Queer Magic and Monster Mayhem



“Julie crawled onto the table, straddling her intern, both hands around the knife. She torqued it downward, cursing. Brad shrieked harder.” -pg 57, The Dead Take the A Train by Cassandra Khaw & Richard Kadrey

The Dead Take the A Train is the first book in a duology by authors Cassandra Khaw and Richard Kadrey. It was published in 2023 by Tor Nightfire (like the Scourge Between Stars, which I reviewed here). I was not previously familiar with Kadrey’s work, which most notably includes the Sandman Slim series. However, I was introduced to Khaw through The Salt Grows Heavy (review here), which I absolutely adored in all its twisted, gory glory. Therefore, I was thrilled to pick-up The Dead Take the A Train, which promised similar heart in a modern cosmic horror package.

In The Dead Take the A Train, a magical fixer named Julie must hunt down eldritch monstrosities threatening the lives of those around her. To do this, she has to go up against her shitty ex, a questionable angel, finance executives, and her own sobriety. When an old friend shows up, Julie is terrified to find herself making a retirement plan that doesn’t involve getting murdered by a demon.

The Dead Take the A Train is reminiscent of N.K. Jeminsin’s The City We Became, with both featuring queer characters tackling eldritch horror plots in New York City. In the same way, the novel was reminiscent of a gorier version of Dimension 20’s Unsleeping City actual play series. However, it clearly carves out a space for itself among the droves of cosmic-horror inspired love letters to New York City. For one, it is mostly unconcerned with borough beef, which (not to sound like a curmudgeonly Midwesterner), is so refreshing. The book also has a relatively novel way the world works, which helps it stay memorable.


Overall, I really liked The Dead Take the A Train. First off, the characters are fun and easy to root for. Julie is a mess in pretty much every aspect, but her bad decisions are understandable and she is charismatic. Her romance with her friend, Sarah, also serves to make Julie more likable. It helps that the villains are so easy to hate too. What’s not to hate about rich Wall Street assholes engaging in human sacrifice? Speaking of which, I liked the juxtaposition of corporate Wall Street and cosmic cultists. The actions taken were evil, but more importantly, they were just business.

The prose was flowery, but not quite as much as in The Salt Grows Heavy. So, if you struggled with Khaw’s other works for that reason this may be a much easier read. Personally, I enjoyed the prose in both. There is quite a bit of gore in The Dead Take the A Train, but I didn’t find it to be overwhelming. I think you could still enjoy the book if you don’t love gore, though maybe not if you have a weak stomach.

One of the largest issues I have with The Dead Take the A Train, is the lack of clarity in power levels of the various characters. Especially since all their forms of magic work in different ways, it is sometimes unclear the level of danger present. This can also sometimes create room for plot holes. For example, Julie has a friend who is tapped into anything and everything happening online. This is an absurdly powerful ability (and is used as such). But there were moments where the main conflict probably could have been avoided or solved using that power. It also felt odd that no one else in this thriving magic community felt strongly about stopping a world-ending catastrophe. Because of this, the magic underground of NYC could feel smaller than I think was intended.

Having been familiar with Khaw’s work previously, The Dead Take the A Train clearly feels like a mix of Khaw’s style with someone else’s. This could be a boon or a hindrance, depending on your view of Khaw’s distinct prose and storytelling. Either way, if you are interested in learning more about the process or the authors, check out the interview they did for SFF Addicts Podcast!

Cassandra Khaw and Richard Kadrey on the SFF Addicts Podcast

I recommend The Dead Take the A Train, especially for those who are fans of modern urban eldritch horror. The book is an even bigger steal if you are looking for danger, gore, and queer characters. Check it out! And keep your eyes peeled for the next book in this duology. 


[USR 4.2]

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Movies n TV

Dolores Roach, A Fillet of Left Cheek



The second season of Dolores Roach started with a bang. The first episode was dark, gristly and in a strange way whimsical. It certainly brought to light new elements of the character.

The story

We begin our story with Dolores somewhere, talking to someone. I’d like to be more specific, but that’s all we know right now.

She tells this unknown person about her flight from Empanadas Loco. How Jeremiah killed Luis. How she, whether she meant to or not, killed Jeremiah. How she then set the building on fire by blowing up the fryer in the kitchen.


Scared and alone, Dolores then ran for the underground. Dragging her purple massage table she runs into a hole in a subway track and finds herself in a whole different world.

Almost at once, she finds a place where someone is living. There’s a hot plate, a kettle and several packets of ramen. Even better, everything has Jeremiah’s name on it, literally written on it. Exhausted and alone, Dolores makes herself a cup of ramen and goes to sleep on her massage table.

She’s woken sometime later by a small man named Donald. He knows her because he knew Jeremiah. Dolores proceeds to tell him an abridged version of events that led up to Jeremiah’s death. And by abridged, I mean she blamed Luis for everything, throwing him under the bus so hard I’m surprised she didn’t pull something.

Donald seems inclined to help Dolores. He tells her that if anyone messes with her she should go further down, down a stairwell that he points out for her.

Dolores thanks him, then tries to go back to sleep. She’s soon woken again by a young woman collecting Jeremiah’s things.


While Dolores has an issue with this, she’s willing to let it go. Until that is, this woman tries to take her table. Then, Dolores does what she does best. Because one thing is for sure. Dolores is going to take care of herself.

What worked

One thing I love about this series so far is that our main character, Dolores, is crazy. And hearing her rationalize her crazy is both terrifying and fascinating. I hate/love how sweet and soothing she can be. Even with the rat that she killed in this episode. She cooed at it, encouraging it to come to her, even calling it a subway raccoon.

Then she killed it and started crying.

I also love the underground community. It’s both horrific and whimsical. It reminds me of Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere, which is full of worlds most people don’t see but are all around us. It’s also horrific because there are so many people that our society has failed, that they’ve gathered underground and made their own little society. That’s not great. There just shouldn’t be that many people who need homes.


What didn’t work

Unfortunately, this episode did have two major flaws. And the first one is a personal pet peeve of mine.

In the last episode of season one, certain things were established. Dolores said she was carefully rationing her weed. She said she didn’t have anything to eat since coming down to the tunnels. She still had her massage table. This episode rewrote a lot of that.

Frankly, I hate when stories do that. It may or not make a difference to the story. It just strikes me as poor planning and lazy writing. This show has proven it’s capable of doing better.

All things considered, I thought this was a great start to the season. I’m invested in the story, curious about the new characters, and worried about the well-being of everyone Dolores comes in contact with. And that’s all as it should be.

3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5)

By the way, if you like my writing, you might want to check out my latest sci-fi horror story, Nova. It’ll be released episodically on my site, Paper Beats World, starting February 5th.

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Movies n TV

The Golem (2019), a Film Review

The Golem (2019) is a folk horror film directed by Doron and Yoav Paz, starring Hani Furstenberg and Ishai Golan.



The Golem (2019) is a folk horror film directed by Doron and Yoav Paz. The cast includes Hani Furstenberg, Ishai Golan, Kirill Cernyakov, and Brynie Furstenberg. As of this review, the film remains available to Amazon Prime and fuboTV subscribers with additional purchase options on other platforms.

Set in 1673, a small Jewish community faces hardships from others as the Black Plague spreads. When these hardships reach a boiling point, Hanna takes matters into her own hands. Having secretly learned to read, she seeks to perform a ritual that would create a protector for her people. Yet, this act brings about a steep cost.

a redheaded woman walks through a village.
Hani Furstenberg as Hanna

What I Like about The Golem

The film received three nominations in 2019. These nominations include Best Actress, Best Sound, and Best Cinematography from the Award of the Israeli Film Academy. While The Golem wouldn’t win these awards, the nominations indicate a strong film.

I won’t claim to know the accuracy and intricacies of the golem in relation to its religious origin, but the film certainly brings to life its concept. The effort to create such a creature and the toll it takes from the summoner create an emotional throughline for viewers to follow.

Hani Furstenberg’s Hanna and Ishai Golan’s Benjamin bring a complicated but realistic relationship to the film. Viewers see the love between them, even as their own society attempts to cast them from each other. They feel like a couple who understand the other’s wants and needs. However, we begin to witness the decaying of this relationship.


Hanna, specifically, provides a complex character that incentivizes the viewers to root for and against her at different points in the movie. Though she navigates blatant sexism and discrimination, she remains far from flawless. These flaws and ambitions establish Hanna as an interesting character.

The Golem can be brutal. This film provides a period-accurate look into antisemitism and systemic oppression, which certainly evokes a different form of horror. However, the golem itself brings brutality through its smiting.

White background, rubber stamp with disclaimer pressed against the white background.
Disclaimer Kimberley Web Design

Tired Tropes and Triggers

As the film deals directly with systemic issues of 1673, understand that antisemitism, sexism, and hate crimes remain important elements within the film.

An assault leads to a miscarriage, which seems a point worth mentioning for potential viewers who are sensitive to such points. Fertility and bodily autonomy, generally, also play roles within the provided film.

If any of these are potential issues for your viewing experience, perhaps skip The Golem.

An obscured woman looks at a boy covered in mud. The setting is a forest.
The Golem takes Shape

What I Dislike about The Golem

Aleksey Tritenko delivers a wonderful performance for an interesting antagonist, but the role of Vladimir serves limited purposes. In many ways, he’s the representation of his societal antisemitism. While this remains perfectly valid, he somewhat disappears from the narrative until he becomes relevant. His marauders should be an oppressive threat within the society, looming over it with malice.

I can’t deny the lack of intimidation the golem’s aesthetic brings. While some films evoke an eeriness through silent children to horrific effect, this didn’t sit well with me. It should be eerie, but something was missing in execution.


The Golem focuses on a more human horror than the supernatural elements might suggest. While not a direct critique, prepare your viewing expectations accordingly. The Golem remains a folk horror film, using the folk story to represent human evil and flaws. It won’t particularly haunt you with the gore.

Final Thoughts

The Golem brings the old legend of the golem folk story to life. If you thirst for a human horror that shines a light on the flaws of the people within, The Golem might satisfy you. However, it’s not a particularly frightening film, choosing instead to tell a story of loss and overcoming suffering. 3 out of 5 stars (3 / 5)

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