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Yes. That’s the answer to the question you were wondering. Yes. There are werewolves. Yes, they ride motorcycles. 

And with that out of the way, we can talk about the enormity of this movie and the hundreds of things it also adds besides werewolves riding motorcycles. Because, beyond the obvious, there is so much more to this movie. There’s cultists, gang dynamics, tarot readings, beards (so many, many beards), Satan, existentialism, and frolicking bikers before the darkened days of “no homo”. 


The Plot:

A biker gang be biker-ganging. They are a group of friends who love their hogs and live to ride them. They also love to drink beer and hug each other. They’re just living life, man, and those be damned to try to stop them.


They have cool biker names like…”Scarf” and “Movie”. I’m sure it was much more menacing in the 70’s. However, our leader is the stern but patient, Adam (Stephen Oliver in a beard just as luscious as James Brolin in The Amityville Horror). His main “old lady” is Helen (D.J. Anderson), who is basically the biker mom of the group. And then there’s the mysterious (sometimes sexist and bitchy) Tarot…who plays tarot cards. Again, I’m sure that their names were much more menacing back then.

During their biker adventures (mostly just drinking and free love), they happen across a land owned by Satanist cultists…which they decide is the best place to get drunk and have an orgy.

But, alas, it is not.

Soon, a strange trace overcomes Helen and she starts trace-fire-dancing with a large nope-rope, and begins to change into a Satanic werewolf. Soon, bikers are killed off one-by-one in wonderfully 70’s-style slow-mo deaths. 

Tarot, ever the psychic, knows that something is wrong and tries to save Adam and the group before it’s too late. But can this wet-blanket go toe-to-toe with Satan himself, or is this band of beer-chugging brothers doomed to eternal damnation?


I will be honest, I saw the cover and immediately thought, “Oh, this is going to be on Manos: The Hands of Fate levels of crap…terrific!”


However, within the first shots, I was pleasantly surprised. The camera-work is actually very well done. The music (albeit being for a biker-exploitation film in the 70’s) was actually good and engaging. The costumes were terrific and while the acting was camp-good, there were a few scenes that felt actually genuine.

I’m going to detail it out in my brain roll segment, but the chemistry between Adam and Tarot mixed well together. Their scenes were the most enjoyable because they came off as the most genuine and expressive. D.J. Anderson did a great job with a lot of trope-y schlock coming her way. She was beautiful and fit into the role perfectly. 

There were quite a few shots that were artistically done and diverted from other horror of the time and what was to come. The editing was well-done and kept the pace (with the exception of the “filling up our hogs at the gas station” scene). 

So, all in all, this movie both exceeded and also met my expectations (which honestly were a bit low). 

Yes, I drew a sad-bear animatronic amalgamation on a crappy bike. Let’s all slowly laugh and point at Brannyk because I TRIED MY VERY BEST FOR ALL OF YOU!!!!

Brain Roll Juice:

So much. So, so much to say.

Okay I don’t know if you know this, but sometimes I have a special radar for certain things, especially in cinema (hint: it’s queer-related). Now granted the Hays code in Hollywood was ceremonially axed in 1968, it left a LOT of ripples in its wake, some continuing to this day.

We’ve all heard the shaking of heads and the utterance of “go woke, go broke” whenever a high-budget movie tries to step out of the trope-like binds and doesn’t financially succeed. 


Hell, even my good pal, Jim Phoenix brought this up in our review of The Shed. Gay anything in a movie is a risk. Honest LGBTQ+ representation that actually looks queerness in the face and examines it is seen as a high-risk, low-reward venture for studios. Movies that are schlock and exploitation are more acceptable, but it’s still…not exactly welcomed.

So, what’s my pay-off to this massive lead-up? Hear me out.

Should I get this commissioned?

There’s a lot of chemistry between Adam and Tarot. And while Tarot is kind of a bitchy dude, he’s a likeable character (at least I like him). In fact, if made today, he’d probably be portrayed by a female. He is supportive and even virginal, a Cassandra-type figure trying to save his…very good friend

And I’m not saying that their relationship is that of a sexual one. The vibes I got from Tarot are even that of an ace, or an aromantic ace. He’s fiercely loyal and emotionally attached to Adam, which seems to be partially if not wholly reciprocated. 

Hear me out…Hollywood, sell me the rights to this film for a Del Taco meal, and I’ll re-write and direct. Same characters, but there’s a romantic triangle between Adam, Helen, and Tarot.

Helen senses something’s off, but not exactly what, meanwhile Tarot and Adam get closer, but Helen gets angry because Adam denies (or doesn’t recognize it yet). Helen, wanting to keep Adam close to her, willingly goes to the cult and asks for the power “to destroy anyone who gets in her way”. Of course Satan is a dick and makes her a werewolf. 

Or sad-bear, whatever

Now Tarot can sense something (he’s still a psychic like in the original movie) is not quite right and tries to warn Adam about it. Adam thinks he’s just being a dick to Helen and gets defensive, thinking Tarot is trying to push their ambiguous relationship into something he’s not ready for.

Helen begins to kill the others because of stupid shit they say or do, and starts to lose more and more control over her werewolf-ness. It’s scaring her, but she can’t come clean because then Adam might leave her.

It all culminates into a final scene when Adam must choose who to believe – his lying but devastated lover, or Tarot and their confusing feelings. Both take courage to confront, and honesty is the only way he can save them. Will love win or will he doom them all? 

I have a few ideas for the ending, but I ain’t gonna spoil it for y’all. 

Anyway, Hollywood people, hit me up on Twitter (@brannykj). I got the goods.


Super fun. Super retro. Super beards and biker lingo. A gem of exploitation nostalgia. If that’s your mama jama, then you’ll be all over this flick. 

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

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

You Reap What You Woe



Episode five of Tim Burton’s Wednesday was very busy. A lot is going on here, and most of it is quite fun. So let’s not waste any time getting into it.

First, we must discuss the fate of poor Eugene. If you’ll recall, the last episode ended with Wednesday finding him in the woods, covered in blood. 

Despite Principal Weem’s insistence that he’s resting up and healing, he’s actually in a coma in the local ICU. But maybe she has reason to gloss over that unfortunate fact. It’s parents’ weekend, after all. Probably not the best time to admit that a student was grievously injured. 

While there are certainly some Nevermore students who are happy to see their parents, none of our main characters are among them. We know that Wednesday isn’t thrilled to see her family, as she’s still resentful that they left her there. 

Family therapy scene from Wednesday

Still, she’s not exactly pleased when Gomez is arrested for the murder of a man named Garrett. This devastates the family and forces Morticia to reveal a secret she’s been keeping from Wednesday. 

Morticia also finally gets a chance to talk about Wednesday’s visions with her. She tells her that Goody Addams, who’s made psychic contact with Wednesday several times, is there to teach her about her visions. But Goody Addams is also super vengeful, and not to be trusted. I wonder why. 

While much of the episode is about freeing Gomez from jail, the subplots are no less interesting. 

Let’s start with Enid. As we know from the first episode, she has yet to grow into her full werewolf potential. If she can’t do this, she’ll be shunned by her kind and likely abandoned by her family pack. Her mother wants to help her, by sending her to a summer camp meant to help werewolves wolf out. Enid refers to these as conversion therapy camps. Which is clearly a problem. 

The story that shook me was Bianca. She’s outright afraid when her mother shows up. And the reason is soon made clear.

Her mother is part of a cult called the Morning Song. Bianca’s mother is married to the leader. She’s been using her siren song to trap people in the cult. But her powers are fading. She wants Bianca to come take her place. If she doesn’t, she’ll reveal a terrible secret of how Bianca got into Nevermore Academy in the first place. 


I honestly don’t have a lot of bad things to say about this episode. Except that wolf out is a ridiculous term and I cannot take anyone who uses it seriously at all. The characters were fun, the storyline was interesting, and it was satisfying to start getting answers. It helped that this episode included some real-world bad guys, like conversion therapy and cults. If every other episode of this season had been as good as this one, the show would be top marks from me all around. 

This episode was a dramatic example of exactly how parents can fail at their job of raising their kids. And, thankfully, how they can succeed. We see Enid’s mom refusing to let her grow at her own pace. We see Sheriff Galpin ignore a clear cry for help from his son Tyler. We see Bianca’s mother, involved in a cult, using her child for her siren powers. And of course, we don’t see Xavier’s parents at all.

Lucius Hoyos

But we also see Morticia being a good mom to a difficult kid who’s rebelling against her. We see Enid’s father supporting her, exactly as she is. We see Eugene’s moms by his side at the hospital. At the bedside of their son, they are still able to give comfort to Wednesday. That is some strength right there. 

Overall, this was a fun episode. We got some answers and were introduced to even more questions. I had fun watching it, and I’m looking forward to the next episode. 

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

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Movies n TV

Solace, a Film Review

Solace (2015) is a mystery thriller directed by Afonso Poyart. This R-rated film stars Anthony Hopkins, Jeffrey Morgan and Abbie Cornish.



Solace (2015) is a mystery thriller directed by Afonso Poyart. This R-rated film includes Anthony Hopkins, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Abbie Cornish, and Colin Farrell. As of this review, it is currently available to Netflix and Hulu subscribers.

As a string of murders leave FBI agents Joe Merriwether (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and Katherine Cowles (Abbie Cornish) perplexed, Joe turns to an old FBI contact and friend, Dr. John Clancy. Dr. Clancy possesses psychic abilities that make him an essential asset, but tragedies in his personal life leave him distant and broken. Fearing a person with similar gifts as himself, Dr. Clancy cannot help but lend his assistance.

Anthony Hopkins stares with a blue tent over his right eye. Colin Farrel behind him. The background is blue with several faces.
Solace Alternative Cover Art

What I Like

This cast is great, with notable legends living up to their reputation. While by no means career-highlighting performances, they work well together and provide a weight that pushes past lackluster character roles.

As the main character, Anthony Hopkins’s Dr. Clancy stands out above the rest. Given the most screen time and plot relevance, this opinion comes easily. His role has the most opportunity to make us care for his character.

Solace creates fun and engaging scenes that tie directly to the characters’ psychic abilities, adding tension in unique ways. While other movies with psychics utilize similar strategies to convey this power–the movie Next comes to mind–the scenes add variety to otherwise lackluster cinematography. This decision also adds a somewhat strategic nature to the psychic battles.


Originally intended to be a sequel to Seven, this idea, thankfully, does not follow through to the final product. The story behind that is the typical Hollywood shuffle and brand recognition. I can’t exactly figure out a place to put this interesting fact, but the choice remains a benefit to the film.

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

Tired Tropes and Trigger Warnings

Slight spoilers ahead! Read this section with that in mind.

A closeted man contracts AIDS and infects his wife. As this goes into rather old homophobia and fears, I felt it needed mentioning. Considering the film’s release date, 2016 (US), the plot point feels uninspired.

Some gratuitous sex scenes tie into the above reveal. The dramatic reveal and voyeuristic nudity (of the wife) make for an odd viewing experience. When the reveal isn’t shocking, it doesn’t exactly add much weight to the elongated scenes.

Anthony Hopkins and Colin Farrel separated by a knife.
Solace International Cover Art

What I Dislike

There are no tactful ways to go about the low effort of the film. It’s surreal to see the names attached, the concepts addressed, and how it all fumbles. I imagine this discrepancy has something to do with the original sequel idea, but that remains speculation. Ultimately, the film feels awkwardly low budget for the cast it possesses.

Adding to this weakness are the underdeveloped characters and rushed plotlines. The film feels unfocused in direction, revealing things as they become relevant with fluctuating degrees of foreshadowing. Some of these revelations work, with some speculation, but adding them all together makes Solace weaker as a film.

This film isn’t scary, despite the premise being extremely promising. The idea of a potentially psychic killer does evoke a lot of possibilities, added with the exceptional cast, and it seems destined for success. Yet, the horror is middling at best.


Solace wants to be more and achieves some success in certain areas, but its inability to build and support these ideas hinders the overall quality. Perhaps Solace desires to upstage the twists of the typical mystery thriller that makes the film grasp too many new and interesting ideas. Regardless of the reason, the film suffers, and the viewing experience becomes underwhelming.

Final Thoughts

For a thriller killer, Solace doesn’t hold much water to competition. While the cast performs their roles perfectly and works well with each other, the notable weaknesses in writing and lackluster visuals don’t do the acting justice. A surprisingly exciting cast becomes a disappointing letdown. 2 out of 5 stars (2 / 5)

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Movies n TV

Woe What a Night



Episode four of Tim Burton’s Wednesday was one that plenty of people have been talking about. And now that I’ve seen it for myself, I can see why. It was memorable. Just not always in good ways.

We start the episode with Wednesday and Thing breaking into the morgue for clues. They discover that each of the monster’s victims has missing body parts. If you’ll recall, a homeless man was murdered at the end of the last episode.

While investigating, Wednesday finds Xavier’s secret art studio. He’s been drawing and painting the monster over and over. So, at least someone else has seen it. 

Of course, Xavier catches her skulking around his studio/abandoned building on school property. 


I honestly don’t understand why this school has so many buildings around campus accessible to students without teacher supervision. I wonder what the teen pregnancy rate is at this school.

Cornered, Wednesday invites him to the RaveN dance. This, of course, pisses off Tyler, who has a thing for her. An unrequited thing, might I add.

Not surprisingly, Wednesday doesn’t care about the dance. She cares more about getting information about the monster. She goes to Sheriff Galpin, who does seem to be an ally. At the very least, it seems like the two of them are the only ones taking the literal monster in the woods who is eating people seriously.

They agree to work together, to a point. She brings him concrete evidence of the monster, and he agrees to do a DNA test for her. 

Of course, we couldn’t just focus on that. There’s a dance to go to. 


If you haven’t seen a single episode yet of Wednesday, you at least know about this goofy dance the title character does in this episode. Everyone was doing it, from morning shows to teenagers on Tik Tok. And it’s fine. It reminds me of some dance scenes in Addams Family Values. It was awkward and a little funny. It wasn’t worth the hype, but it was charming.

Jenna Ortega in Wednesday.

Of course, while the kids are dancing, the town kids are planning to prank them. I mean, I guess this is a prank. They pump paint into the sprinkler system and set it off during the dance. Of course, everyone but Wednesday is wearing white. 

In the resulting chaos, Wednesday has a vision of Eugene, who went into the woods looking for the monster’s lair. This, of course, is exactly what she told him not to do. She runs out to find him but doesn’t beat the monster there. Strangely, she’s not the only one running around in the woods covered in blood. So is Ms. Thornhill.

Overall, this was a rather cliche and dull episode. But it wasn’t without its moments. One thing I appreciated was Bianca’s response to Xavier at the dance. Even though she was pretty desperate to go to the dance with him, she doesn’t allow herself to be disrespected. I appreciate that. She didn’t take her anger out on Wednesday, either, which was nice. It’s 2023. We don’t need girls being cruel to each other over boys.

I also like Wednesday going to Sheriff Galpin, and him believing her. We did not have to suffer through the cliche of a teen who doesn’t trust the adults around her. Neither did we see the pompous adult who doesn’t listen to the teens when they bring evidence to them. And this was so refreshing. I loved to see it. 

Now, let’s talk about what didn’t work here. Specifically, there were too many teenagers with moody, angry brooding moments. Everyone has a crush on everyone else, and nobody is handling it well. Shocker. 

Emma Myers in Wednesday

I am not entertained by teenage love triangles. Tyler likes Wednesday, who doesn’t care. Bianca likes Xavier who likes Wednesday, who still doesn’t care. It’s an irritating subplot and could have been replaced by any number of good stories. And yes, I understand that this is a kid’s show, intended for kids. Kids deserve smarter subplots. Kids are worthy of smarter subplots. If Disney can realize not every story needs a love component, everyone can.

All in all, this wasn’t a great episode. But it wasn’t terrible. There was way too much focus on dances and teenage relationships. But at least it moved the mystery forward. So there’s hope for the episodes to come.  3 out of 5 stars (3 / 5)

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