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This week’s theme is… big, big messes. Seriously, both movies are full of gore, viscera, and the cleanup involved afterwards has gotta be insane.

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!

https://twitter.com/hpkomic/status/1124515924688564226
Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer is just that sort of movie…

WolfCop (2014)

Opening Rant: Did you know that Saskatchewan is the Arkansas of Canada?

The first film of the night, WolfCop, is pretty much perfect drive-in fare. WolfCop is a Canadian horror comedy about a cop named (wait for it) Lou Garou. Lou is a fairly unimpressive cop in the small community of Woodhaven who spends most of his time at the bar. Well, soon enough he becomes swept into an investigation of cultist activity in town that results in him becoming a werewolf to violent and hilarious results.

The movie was written and directed by Lowell Dean for the CineCoup Film Accelerator program. WolfCop stars Leo Fafard as Lou Garou, and features Amy Matysio, Jonathan Cherry, Sarah Lind, Aiden Devine, and Jesse Moss. Jonathan Cherry as Willie gives a particularly inspired manic wing-man performance with a twist. Leo Fafard steals the show, however as Lou in deadbeat cop and WolfCop modes.

Reviews

Joe Bob was very enthusiastic in his discussion of WolfCop, awarding the film three stars. The film is violent, hilarious, and gory and in the words of Joe Bob, features “interspecies aardvarking.” The film, structurally, falls a bit flat which likely explains why, despite all the film has going for it, it only reached the three star level. That’s okay though, because the final act of the film is absolutely bonkers in the best way possible because the whole film is played fast and loose. The highlight of the night, of course, was The Last Drive-In mangled-dick consultant Felissa Rose. Thanks for your expertise, Felissa!

The big disappointment of the night for us, as Drive-In fans, is that there just isn’t a ton to talk about the movie compared to previous films. The film was made through the Cinegroup Film Accelerator program, but beyond that the team behind the movie and the cast has not done a ton since beyond a sequel, Another WolfCop. The most recognizable face in the film, Aiden Devine, is mostly a Canadian genre actor who might be recognized here and there. Unfortunately, unlike DEATHGASM, WolfCop doesn’t have enough interesting stuff going on around the movie. Nor has the talent around it had long enough to build interesting careers like some of the older films at the Drive-In.

As for us at Haunted MTL, WolfCop obviously gets a Canadian bump in the score. That being said, it is not like the film needs it. WolfCop is great, despite some plot problems, so we award it three and a half stars. There is some wonderfully loony special effects work in the transformation scenes, and the love scene between woman and beast is funny as hell.

If you are already a Haunted MTL reader, odds are this screenshot is all we need to sell you WolfCop

Best Line: “Grab some meth!”

Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986)

Opening Rant: The legacy of Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer

The second film of the night is a masterpiece of feel-bad film. Henry: Portrait of Serial Killer is one of those movies that people love to be destroyed by, or absolutely hate. Again, tonight’s pairing is one of those strange combinations that has popped up on The Last Drive-In and results in a little bit of a tonal whiplash, like we saw during the pairing of DEATHGASM and The Changeling.

Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer is not quite a horror film in the way Mutants are used to, and is more of a psychological horror film with true crime elements. The movie is a very, very loose adaptation of the supposed crimes of real-life serial killer Henry Lee Lucas and his partner-in-crime Ottis Toole. The film is notorious for being both controversial and critically praised. The fact the MPAA rated the film with an X-rating also increased the movie’s mystique.

Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer follows a period of time where a drifter and killer, Henry, lives with a prison friend, Otis, and Otis’ sister, Becky. The three are intensely damaged people who live in Otis’ Chicago apartment for a time. While Becky feels an abusive husband and tries to make a life for herself in Chicago, Henry introduces and educates Otis in the joy and art of murder.

It doesn’t get any more pleasant from there, folks.

The movie stars Michael Rooker, Tom Towles, and Tracy Arnold. Henry was directed by John McNaughton, who is also known for Wild Things (1998). The core cast of Rooker, Towles, and Arnold are superb and live in their parts so well the film almost feels like a documentary.

Reviews

Joe Bob absolutely had nothing but praise for the film, awarding Henry four stars. The lack of interesting asides in WolfCop was more than made up for in the break segments for Henry, as Joe Bob not only had a great deal to say about the film, but John McNaughton himself stopped by the trailer to reveal some insights into the movie and the lasting legacy of one of the grimiest crime films ever made. Recounting the film of the harrowing “home assault scene,” in particular, revealed a lot about how special this movie truly is. In one anecdote about the film of the movie, McNaughton muses to Joe Bob at the time saying “none of us are going to Heaven” after filming one of the infamous murder scenes. It is a movie so sleazy that an actual real life video pirate played a video pirate in the T.V. shopping scene.

As Joe Bob stated at one point, if drive-in films are about sex and violence, Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer is sex and violence stripped down to it’s essentials. The film is disturbing and grimy in such a way that as viewers you feel complicit in the on-screen carnage. Needless to say, we here at Haunted MTL love that. Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer is a four star film.

Worst movie night ever

Best Line: “Shit, I’ve got to have a T.V.”

Haunted MTL Drive-In Totals

  • Joe Bob Fashion: A white button up shirt with black, floral trim and an orange oval bolo tie
  • 1 Degloved face
  • 1 Sad, sad bowl of nachos (what even were those, Joe Bob?)
  • 2 Plot-relevant Eclipses (this week, WolfCop, last week, The House of the Devil)
  • 2 Eye Gouges
  • 3 Victims played by the same actress
  • 7 Producers on WolfCop
  • 6 Twitter bans for Darcy
  • Felissa Rose Mangled Dick Expertise Fu
  • Post-murder Sandwich and Coffee Fu
  • Rat Tail Comb Fu
  • Walmart Joke Fu
  • Five O’Clock Shadow Fu
  • Irishman, Italian, and Redneck Joke Fu
  • Gratuitous Whip Zooms and Pans
  • Gratuitous Chair Pratfall
  • Gratuitous Folklore Infodump
  • Gratuitous Movie-based Rap Song over Credits
  • Gratuitous Darcy Cosplay (as WolfCop)
  • Gratuitous TV Shopping Scene

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.

Breaking News

The Last Drive-In: Joe Bob’s Vicious Vegas Valentine Special Live Watch Party February 10th!

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The sweet putrid stench of love lingers through the air which can only mean one thing…Valentine’s Day and its annoying little winged cherub mascot, Cupid, is fast approaching. Soon, partners will be spoiling one another with extravagant bouquets of roses, heartfelt Hallmark cards, obnoxiously large teddy bears, glistening diamond jewelry, and heart-shaped candies or boxes filled with assorted mediocre chocolates. You know? Normal things couples do. I tend to prefer my chocolate boxes filled with bleeding hearts, à la ‘My Bloody Valentine’ but, beggars can’t be choosers, right? All jokes aside, Valentine’s Day is special for many couples, however, there are also many others who find themselves celebrating this day without a significant other. Luckily, Shudder, along with drive-in king Joe Bob Briggs and co-host Darcy the Mail Girl (Diana Prince) will graciously be keeping us lonely mutants’, and yes, all you horror fanatic couples’ company on Friday, February 10th as they return with The Last Drive-In: Joe Bob’s Vicious Vegas Valentine, premiering live at 9pm EST.

Love Spells Abound…

Back in 2021, Joe Bob and Darcy invited us to a gruesomely passionate night of spell-binding love witches and animatronic dinosaurs infused with teenage human brains during The Last Drive-In: Joe Bob Put a Spell on You. Many, including myself, were introduced to the tantalizing 70’s inspired retro throwback ‘The Love Witch’ and the graphically goofy cult classic ‘Tammy and the T-Rex’, providing the perfect viewing pleasure to mend any broken heart. While the two films for this year’s morbid love-induced special have yet to be announced, as a special treat, Briggs has announced for the first time on The Last Drive-In, he will be marrying one lucky couple during the live showing. We here at HauntedMTL are eagerly awaiting the return of the ghoulish duo so, as is tradition, we will be proudly hosting a watch party on Twitter during the broadcasting of The Last Drive-In: Joe Bob’s Vicious Vegas Valentine. Be sure to follow us on Twitter and tag us  @hauntedMTL as well as @shudder@therealjoebob, and @kinky_horror to partake in this night of unholy love.

Drawn image of Joe Bob Briggs pouring  a drop of pink liquid into a clear glass potion bottled filled with a glowing red substance. To his left lies a book a magic spells with a golden pentagram necklace resting on top. Also on the books rests a human skull with heart shaped pupils for eyes hiding behind a pair of clear glasses. In bold white letters a text reads "Join us on February 10th as we live tweet The Last Drive-In Valentine's Day Special".
Follow @hauntedMTL for live tweets and replies!

What started off as a one-time special premiering on Shudder July 13, 2018, ‘The Last Drive- In’ was originally meant to be Brigg’s swan song; one last special before hanging up the bolo tie in retirement. However, due to so many mutants, excuse me…viewers tuning in and breaking the Shudder servers, it was only natural to announce an official full season of ‘The Last Drive-In‘, which would make its explosive debut March 19, 2019. Since then, Darcy and Briggs have spawned many exclusive holiday specials, have graciously donated to many charities within the community, and have accumulated 4 seasons of ‘The Last Drive-In’, with a fifth currently in production premiering on Shudder’s 2023 schedule sometime this year, let’s hope sooner rather than later.

Picture of Joe Bob Briggs, Darcy the Mail Girl, John Patrick Brennan and Yuki Nakamura standing together dressed in medieval costumes. A cardboard cutout of Tom Atkins stands between Darcy and Yuki. Darcy is seen drapped in a beautfiul elegant princess dress, satin white with gold trim. Yuki is seen holding a small wreath of purple, white, and yellow flowers that match his loud medieval king costume. Resting atop both their heads are golden crowns. Joe Bob Briggs is seen standing to the left of Darcy, as he smiles whilst wearing a half-put together jester costumer. Lastly, we see Brennan with two wooden recorders in his hand as he mimics playing them both dress clad in a bright yellow dress.
An unexpected ceremony during The Last Drive-In: Joe Bob Put a Spell on You (2021) special.

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Movies n TV

Horror Noire, a Film Review

Horror Noire is a horror collection that includes “Daddy,” “The Lake,” “Brand of Evil,” “Bride Before You,” “Fugue State,” and “Sundown.”

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Horror Noire is a horror collection brought by the combined efforts of AMC+ and Shudder. The collection includes “Daddy,” “The Lake,” “Brand of Evil,” “Bride Before You,” “Fugue State,” and “Sundown.” Horror Noire boasts Black directors and screenwriters, providing six unique stories.

As this collection explores six stories, I will skip the usual synopsis to assess the genres and ideas explored, albeit limited as needed. Expect to find supernatural horror, creature features, and psychological thrillers. Many short films deal with these genres while exploring Black issues, but this isn’t universal for the collection.

The directors and writers include Zandashé Brown, Robin Givens, Rob Greenlea, Kimani Ray Smith, Steven Barnes, Ezra Clayton Daniels, Tananarive Due, Shernold Edwards, Victor LaValle, and Al Letson.

Woman and man wearing a vote for candidate shirt, scared of something off screne
Image from “Sundown” Directed by Kimani Ray Smith

What I Like

Each story remains unique, holding different strengths and weaknesses that highlight drastically different perspectives. Collections like VHS hold a similar premise to create their collection, but Horror Noire gives more creative freedom to its talent to be independent.

My personal favorite short film is Zandashé Brown’s “Bride Before You.” This period piece unravels a fable set in the Reconstruction Era. The entry feels Fabulistic in approach, which happens to be my preferred niche.

However, the best example of horror goes to Robin Givens’ “Daddy,” providing an existential horror tied directly to the characters involved.

Woman listening to a preacher amidst a crowd
Image from “Fugue State” directed by Rob Greenlea

What I Dislike

As mentioned, all have a particular style and idea. The downside of this approach always remains to keep the viewer interested long enough to find their favorite. If you find several underwhelming choices, this becomes a chore. But I imagine that is rare as the variety makes the options refreshing.

Personally, “Brand of Evil” had an interesting premise, but the execution fell short. On paper, it might have sounded like my favorite, which makes the lackluster execution a bigger letdown.

Zeth M. Martinez

Final Thoughts

Horror Noire gives power and control to Black creators, providing a formula for a unique collection against others in the space. While the various subjects and approaches mean you aren’t likely to love them all, there should be a short film for everyone.
3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5)

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Movies n TV

Dahmer, Silenced

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Episode six of Netflix’s Dahmer was not, honestly about our title character. Instead, it was about one of his victims, a man named Tony. We’ve actually seen Tony a few times during this series. We just didn’t know it was him.

Rodney Burford in Dahmer

And, well, he wasn’t exactly alive the first time we saw him.

Tony was born into a supportive, loving family. This is good because soon after he was born a viral infection took his hearing. He is black, deaf, and gay in the early 90’s.

Tony has a dream of becoming a model. And he certainly has the looks for it. He is beautiful, body and soul. He has lots of opportunities for romance, but it’s not what he’s looking for. He wants a real relationship. 

Eventually Tony moves to Madison, trying to pursue his dream. He gets a job and starts getting modeling work.

Then, he meets Jeff Dahmer at a bar. 

At first, we can almost believe that it’s going to be alright. Jeff seems happy. He’s taking care of himself. He’s not drinking as much. He even has his dad and stepmom over for dinner. It seems like his life is getting on track. Even better, he’s treating Tony right.

Then, of course, things go bad. 

One thing that has always bothered me as a true crime fan is that we know so much about the killers, but not as much about the victims. Not so much if we don’t know who the killer is, of course. But the names that are part of our pop culture are those of the killers. Dahmer, Manson, Jones, Bundy, Holms. The names we don’t know are Roberta Parks, Beth LaBiancas, Leno LaBiancas, and Tony Hughes. And clearly, we should know them.

If Tony Hughes was half the shining, positive person that the show Dahmer made him out to be, I’m so sad that he isn’t with us anymore. We need so many more people like him. And many of Dahmer’s victims were likely just like him. After all, he was attracted to them for a reason.

This was a significant episode, and I understand why it’s the highest-rated episode of the series. I finished it with a heavy heart, saddened by the loss of a man who should still be with us today. 

5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

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