Connect with us



We return to the Drive-In for a special night of fun, movies, and a lack of social distancing. In all seriousness, though, it was a lovely night with a surprising amount of talent on the set.

Slumber Party Massacre II (1987)

Opening Rant: Don’t body shame women.

1987’s Slumber Party Massacre II is a weird movie. It’s fun, but it is also like a lesser version of A Nightmare on Elm Street. Instead of exploring dream logic, Slumber Party Massacre II instead puts its eggs in the musical horror comedy basket to mixed results. Mind you, I am saying this as a fan of the movie.

The film follows Courtney, a survivor of the original Slumber Party Massacre, as she seeks time with her boyfriend while struggling with nightmares about the killer from the first film. Only now, inexplicably, he seems to be greaser and his drill is also a guitar. The movie is a comedy first and horror film second and while there is quite the body count, it also tends to be at the hands of a goofy, singing greaser.


There are a number of elements of the film that do not age well. For a film about a teenage girl who is in a band, a film with such a musical focus, the music really isn’t all that great. The logic of the killer is largely nonsensical as well, never really committing much to the idea of him being a real person or a dream entity in any convincing way. The story is about as complex as most 80s slashers, so the writing isn’t necessarily doing the film any favors either.

Yet, for the most part, none of this matters because it’s such a fun movie. I tend to love movies despite their flaws. A lot of my enjoyment of this movie comes from an appreciation for a lot of the same things I criticize in the first place. I enjoy how ridiculous the killer is, I like the songs despite the fact they’re fairly lame as far as songs go, and the ending makes no sense at all. The killer quips his way through his murder-spree like a rockabilly Freddy Kreuger.

Hell, the two cops who show up and do nothing for the teens are named Voorhies and Kreuger. It’s not a film that thrives on subtlety. It is one where topless karaoke, food and pillow fights, and light fixture grinding are in ample supply.

JBB was pretty fair with his own assessment of Slumber Party Massacre II, giving it two and a half stars. Among some of the interesting bits regarding the movie was the revelation that Paul Rubens spent time on the set for who knows what reason. Perhaps the best bit for the first half of the night, though, was Joe Bob’s expression of exasperated crew members of a Roger Corman production at 5 AM. If you remember “Demons-Fucking-Five” from the original Last Drive-In marathon then you get the same sort of energy here. Of course, the bits with Joe Bob and Darcy in pajamas were welcome and adorable, but none of the eventual guests were present for the first half of the night.

Basically, the night began with slumber party cheese that was punctuated by Darcy forcing Joe Bob to wear adorable Halloween pajamas, and isn’t that just what we’d expect from a Last Drive-In “Summer Sleepover?” Slumber Party Massacre II may not have been a master class in movie-craft, but it’s the perfect sort of junk food for the soul when you want to spend a night with friends. I can’t really go higher than three Cthulhus, though.

3 out of 5 stars (3 / 5)

Best Line: “My… burger’s… weird.” – Courtney

“Oops, I did it again.”

Victor Crowley

Opening Rant: The Leggings Wars.

So, full disclosure, I have not seen the three prior films in the Hatchet series, of which 2017’s Victor Crowley is the fourth installment. This half of the evening was a Shudder premiere and also was, quite obviously, the main attraction of the night featuring a cavalcade of horror talent clad in their bedtime best. Based on what I saw, however, I will be seeking out the other films in the series. This is good stuff.

The film follows an amateur film crew and a plane of media figures who are going to the swampy remains of the Crowley house. Their paths converge after an accident causes a plane to crash and they are then stalked by the vengeful and murderous Victor Crowley. It’s a simply story, but it pretty much puts the pieces in place right away and then proceeds to break them in fun, messy ways.

The main appeals of the film are clearly outrageous violence and Victor Crowley himself. The film does present some particularly brutal kills, particularly one that turns a veteran horror actress into a human sleeve. As an unstoppable murder machine, Victor Crowley is very much in the mold of Jason Voorhees; hulking, tied to water, apparently undead, and mercilessly disfigured, and as a whole, he works. I am not sure how deep Crowley’s story is, but there is enough there to interest me in seeing the previous films. Truth be told, Victor Crowley is the best Friday the 13th movie I have seen since The New Blood.


Perhaps the biggest weakness of the film is that so much of the action is locked to the single location of the downed plane. The film does a good job using the plane and the limited surrounding swamp, but I can’t help but feel that the film spending so much time within the limited location was motivated primarily by budget concerns. Another concern is that the characters were also a bit broadly drawn, skewing more towards cliched archetypes rather than fully-fleshed out characters to cheer for, with the notable exception of Dillon who more or less steals the film as soon as he is introduced. Though admittedly, I am coming into the series in the fourth film, I did find Andrew to be fairly compelling, particularly as he was presented as such a punching bag despite what appeared to be some massive trauma.

Joe Bob was particularly effusive in his praise for the film, which is fair given the level of talent attached to it and present on the set. He gave the film the four-star treatment, but he was not above poking fun at the title a bit. We again have a bit of a Demons situation on hand here. Are we going to see Victor Crowley 2, or will we jump to Hatchet 5? Who knows?

Most of the host segments revolved around the continually growing list of guests and the running gag was quite fun. The amount of talent present was absurd: Felissa Rose, director Adam Green, Kane Hodder, Tiffany Shepis, and Brian Quinn all had their moment to share their thoughts on the film, and there was a great amount of rapport between everyone. What was amazing is that it never got chaotic. It would be crazy to ask the team at The Last Drive-In to pull off such a feat again, but what is The Last Drive-In if not a tribute to excess?

Perhaps the best host segments of the night represented the show running on two different ends. The first was a very intimate and frank discussion on the craft of film with Adam Green. He clutched Ernie, the resident Drive-In mascot, and talked at length about the struggles of making a horror film like the type that the Hatchet series is evoking in spirit. It was a wonderful moment of vulnerability from a talent and a level of insight that seems to come easily around Joe Bob Briggs. This is the sort of horror-nerd end of the Drive-In experience when it comes to host segments, frank, sometimes ugly, sometimes emotional discussions about how the screwed up things we love get made.

The other end of the Drive-In experience was one of emotion and community when Darcy brought out an emotional letter from a fan about his own experiences sharing Joe Bob’s older shows with his father. As these things go, the father eventually passed, but the feelings of love remain even today, as the author describes sometimes talking to his dad when watching the show now. It’s all very powerful and is just another one of those examples of the sort of camaraderie that has sprung from the community.


We know there is more of The Last Drive-In with Joe Bob Briggs coming, but the horror community as a whole would be well served if Shudder recognizes the show for what it is: a communal touchstone and institution. The smart move is to keep it running for as long as Joe Bob, Darcy, and the rest of the family feel they need to.

Victor Crowley was a great premiere. It’s a quality film and even if Shudder could not show the unedited version, it was still just the right amount of nasty for the night. I feel comfortable giving Victor Crowley four Cthulhus. I do have some issues with it, but for my first Hatchet experience, I am intrigued and wish to see the other films. 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Best Line: “Ten years later, you are like the O.J. Simpson of Honey Island Swamp. Wouldn’t you say?” – Sabrina to Andrew

Be like Victor Crowley, find joy in your work.

Haunted MTL Drive-In Totals

As per tradition, we gotta relay those Drive-In Totals. Thanks for providing them as Tweets, Shudder!

Also tradition? Our own totals! Let’s see what I have in my handy notebook, shall we?

  • 2 MST3K Alumns in TLDI (Baron Vaughn and Jonah Ray)
  • 5 Sleepover Guests
  • 6 Severed Heads
  • 9 names in Joe Bob’s list of the Greatest Texas Musicians
  • $12,000 Pimple Effect Budget
  • $400,000 Real Budget
  • Dead Bird
  • Suburban Terror
  • Swamp People
  • 80s Overload
  • Topless Boyfriends
  • Aborted Axe Throw
  • Surprise PeeWee
  • Killer Karaoke
  • MPAA Blues
  • Mangled Vagina
  • Verbal Massacre
  • Gratuitous Sing-A-Longs
  • Gratuitous Slumber Party Girl Fight
  • Gratuitous First Marathon Rememberances
  • Gratuitous Emotional Letter
  • Freudian Fu
  • Awkward Genitalia to Light Fixture Grinding Fu
  • Chicken Fu
  • Gratuitous First-Half Joking
  • Ernie Holding Fu
  • Aggressive Fisting Fu
  • Suicide Dive Fu
  • Yuki Sightings: 1
  • Silver Bolo Award: Cinamassacre
  • Darcy Cosplay: No cosplay, but a very open set of pajamas.
That zipper is in it’s final moment.

Episode Score

A fun night with a cult classic, a Shudder premiere, and the world’s tiniest pajama top. What’s not to love? 4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

With any luck, we’ll be meeting up again for another event in October, but until then why not check out some of the other content here at Haunted MTL?


Continue Reading
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

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)

Continue Reading

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)

Continue Reading

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)

Continue Reading