Connect with us

Published

on

Welcome back all to our weekly meeting where we discuss The Last Drive-In. This is Notes from the Last Drive-In and this week we get the delightful pairing on the Canadian werewolf film Ginger Snaps (2000), and the recent Shudder exclusive, Fried Barry (2020), straight from Cape Town, South Africa.

So, let’s dive in, shall we?

Ginger Snaps (2000)

Opening: Joe Bob wants to retire the term “Goth.”

Ginger Snaps is a horror classic for many, and it is no surprise why. It deftly blends the pulp fun of a werewolf story with elements of coming-of-age themes and some laser-focused black comedy. The film is directed by John Fawcett and stars Emily Perkins and Katharine Isabelle as a pair of grim sisters, Brigitte and Ginger, the latter of whom is bitten by a werewolf. I leave the analysis of the film as a feminist text to those who are smarter than I, but the film is a complex and nuanced exploration of sisterhood, relationships between women, and cultural expectations of young women. Much of that comes from the deft writing of Karen Walton, who doesn’t really seem to be a horror fan but writes a masterful horror story.

Advertisement

The film itself is pretty bleak. The girls live in a dull suburban community among a grey landscape, living an existence where the only splash of color comes from the gory photoshoots they arrange. it is only after the werewolf enters the scene where things feel more colorful, though that color is often blood red. The cinematography is effective, but not overly stylized, and the film’s reliance on practical effects does limit some of the potential carnage. Yet, the film also brings to the screen one of the most striking werewolf designs ever. Devoid of fur, the twisted, wolf-like body is quite upsetting and one of those great wins of practical design.

The reason the film works so well, however, comes from the strong performances of Perkins and Isabelle who play the sisters with a surprising level of authenticity. The push and pull between the two of them prove to be the most compelling element of the film. The story itself is not overly complex, but the focus on the relationship between these young women, both late bloomers, absolutely keeps you engaged with what is going on. It also helps that they are surrounded by equally strong performances from other characters who buoy the sometimes heavy interpersonal drama with fun quirks or moments, such as Mimi Rogers’ Pamela, or Kris Lemche as a surprisingly well-read drug dealer.

ginger snaps poster
Fantastic Canadian horror

As far as the Joe Bob wraparounds go, the film had six breaks, as opposed to the average five. These breaks were a lot of the standard background and production trivia Joe Bob likes to share, but his enthusiasm for the movie was quite obvious. Some of the best moments of the first half of the evening revolved around the challenges in making the film such as budgetary issues, content controversy, and lack of distribution. None of this was uncommon for many Drive-In films, of course, but it is a hallmark of some of the best films shown week to week on the show. There isn’t much to say about JBB’s contributions beyond the consummate professionalism he normal exudes – there was no real skit or extended gag – just some wise observations.

Ginger Snaps is one of those great films for The Last Drive-In and it is no wonder that Joe Bob Briggs gave it four stars. It is most definitely a modern classic and I give it five Cthulhus. It is not just a good horror film, but it is one I would turn on to watch if I saw it flipping through channels. It’s one of those “stop you in your tracks” films. 5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

Best Line: “A girl can only be a slut, a bitch, a tease, or the virgin next door.” – Ginger

ginger snaps still
My, what long teeth you have…

Fried Barry (2020)

Opening: Will movies ever get the depiction of heroin right?

Advertisement

Fried Barry is, in a bit of understatement, a strange film. I found myself entertained the whole way through and added it to my queue to re-watch, but I can see how polarizing it might be. Directed by Ryan Kruger, known for shorts and music videos, the film eschews traditional film logic. Fried Barry is a series of vignettes revolving around the colorful populace of Kruger’s Cape Town South Africa, from the lens of Barry (Gary Green), a drug addict whose body is hijacked by an alien entity. The film follows Barry from moment to moment as the alien experiences sex, love, violence, and cruelty.

The plot is inconsequential to the experience of the film, however. The largely mute Barry, a figure who didn’t have a lot going on for him prior to being brainjacked, stumbles into different and outlandish scenarios ranging from drug-fueled raves to being kidnaped, to being taken to a mental health facility, along the way becoming a father, savior, and the most desirable man in Capetown. None of these moments really build so much as drift in and out during the alien’s wild ride. The closest parallel I can find to this would be like taking acid in Disneyland’s “Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride.” What is amazing is how well these moments are pulled together through the incredible performance of Gary Green. Gary’s unique body becomes almost plastic in how it, and particularly his face, can reshape between scenes landing just the right tweak on the visitor from moment to moment. All the more impressive is that this performance is largely mute, punctuated by grunts, whines, and an occasional “whoo.”

The movie is also gorgeous likely due to Kruger’s extensive background in shorts and music videos where a certain level of style is mandatory. The film is at its most stunning, however, when the cinematography dips into the surreal; throwback rear-projection driving scenes, black and white neo-noir grain in a cardboard box, and a camera locked onto a tweaking Barry as he zooms through Captown and eventually through the sky. Combine that with intense splashes of color from raves, blood, the lighting of a UFO, or just whatever the hell is going on in Capetown you have quite the visual feast.

fried barry poster
A wild, wild movie.

Joe Bob’s breaks were informative as one would expect – specifically conveying some important information of Kruger’s process. Kruger was unknown to me prior to Fried Barry, but I am thankful Joe Bob took the time to share his story, especially as it feels like a direct result of his season two monologue asking filmmakers to just make their movies. Kruger’s hustle and journey prove inspiring. Other highlights during this part of the night also included the return of resident-Dick expert Felissa Rose, consulting on what can only be described as alien sounding on Barry’s penis during an abduction scene. Also fun were the various stabs of interpretations of the film, of which I am sure none were actually correct – Fried Barry seems like it can be interpreted in just about any way imaginable and all would seem valid. I know I have my own interpretation. Also, the story Darcy mentioned about how sad the suicide of Avicii made Joe Bob was quite touching as well – an odd aside, but a touching one regardless.

Fried Barry is not a movie in a traditional sense – one driven by a story – but rather one built around a cluster of sensations. The narrative is a secondary concern to sheer experience and this movie will make you experience something… just what depends on you. Joe Bob gave the film three stars, but I feel he could have easily tacked on an extra half star. Just by the sheer audacity of what was committed to the camera, but also because it almost emerges as an example of Joe Bob’s advice of “make your movie.” For me, I found myself inspired and intrigued by the ride and I think the movie has definitely earned four Cthulhus. 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Best Line: “On this day pussy has eluded you.” – The Bartender saying the grossest thing in the most eloquent way

Advertisement
Fried Barry still
The man, the myth, the fried.

Haunted MTL Drive-In Totals

Special thanks to Shudder for keeping it real, week after week, and posting those totals for us. it is necessary information.

As usual, we have our own totals as well.

  • 2 Dour Teens
  • 2 Fingers in a Tupperware Container
  • 6 Break Fu
  • 1 instance of “Felliniesque”
  • Gratuitous “Hogzilla” Chanting
  • Heroin Ranting
  • Alien-influenced Dickhole Stuffing
  • Instant Baby
  • Tardis Box
  • Gag Ending
  • Photo Montage
  • Trucker Joking
  • Ecstacy Joking
  • Dead Dog Count for the Season: 7
  • Yuki Count: 2
  • Silver Bolo Award: Dr. Wolfula
  • Darcy Cosplay: Wolfy Ginger
The Last Drive-In still
This is why spaghetti has been banned on the set.

Episode Score

All in all, this was a solid outing of the show, as per usual. The Last Drive-In is a pretty consistent experience, I’ve found. I was particularly pleased with the film selection for this week mixing a modern-period classic with a film that released twenty years later. I do feel the first half of the night wasn’t as exciting as the second half, probably a combination of having seen Ginger Snaps so many times and a lack of a skit or some gimmick in the first half of the night. Overall, though, another great episode of the show, and one well worth four Cthulhus. 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

I had to miss last week’s live-Tweet of the show, but I came back with a vengeance with this one. I’ll continue to inflict my own observations on Twitter in the next episode as well, so why not follow the Haunted MTL Twitter account? See you next Friday, Mutants.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Movies n TV

Fallout, The End

Published

on

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.

Advertisement

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.

Advertisement

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.

Advertisement
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)

Continue Reading

Movies n TV

American Horror Story Delicate, Ave Hestia

Published

on

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.

Advertisement
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.

Advertisement

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.

Advertisement

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.

Advertisement

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.

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Movies n TV

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

Published

on

By

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.) 

Ch-Ch-Changes

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. 

Advertisement

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.

Advertisement
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)

Advertisement

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

Continue Reading

Trending