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I am not a huge “furry” cryptid fan. Bigfoot, for me, is not extremely interesting. To me, if there is a “missing link” mammal walking around and stinking up the place, I’m far less impressed than, say, an ancient dinosaur (and brethren) existing beneath murky waters. There’s more history there. There’s surviving a lot more crazy shit to still exist. Humans are new animals, so the link between our ancestors and what we are today is like talking about a decade old Twinkie.

Huh. Yep, okay…So, that’s it, then?

So, I’m new to director Seth Breedlove’s work. He’s worked on such documentaries as Boggy Creek Monster, Invasion on Chestnut Ridge, Beast of Whitehall, and The Mothman of Point Pleasant.  These are all documentaries that I would probably not watch…Or rather, that I might not have watched before sitting down to check out Momo: The Missouri Monster.

Glorious…

The Plot:

The setup is mockumentary-style, with documentary interviews interwoven within the concept.

The show Blackburn’s Cryptid Casefiles begins, attempting to separate fact from fiction with local accounts of the creature called Momo, spotted in the 1970’s. The mockumentary uses a “never-released” movie from the 70’s of Momo as the time-line and central story-line, pausing to reflect on the events with real residents of the area in actual documentary portions.

From the story, we learn about how Momo possibly came to be (was an alien), some of his encounters (carrying a dead dog and stealing peanut butter sandwiches), and his possible demise (being shot in the least climatic way). Or was it?

I swear, Momo, if you don’t leave, I’m playing my country version of Wonderwall

Thoughts:

I’m just saying this out loud: Momo….is an alien…that looks like moldy spaghetti….and steals peanut butter sandwiches….  

From the fog, he came; and from the fog, he went..taking my lunch with him

But as bad as the movie is (and it even nudged later at this fact), and hoo boy, it does get bad…

Apparently the aliens are everywhere and are more confusing than frightening…

But as bad as it gets, it did a good amount with the budget that it had. There are a lot of good shots, and while they are not clever shots (thinking about the railroad scene), there is a sense of tongue-in-cheek to them.

I don’t want to scare you, but your much larger ghost is following you

The B-movie portion is bad, especially the acting, but the effects are good (too good for the 70’s, though). Again, not working with much, they seemed to make it work. There was a disturbing lack of Missourian accents in the movie portions, which I missed. And also a disturbing lack of human emoting…

I killed the beast. Great. What’s for dinner? Meatloaf again?

I have to say that they ruined the last shot of the “movie”, though, which was sad because it did get an actual start out of me before pushing into trope of the monster running in slo-mo towards the camera and the film burning. I know they weren’t going for subtle, but that would have been a really clever shot.

And let it be known that my title is also Chronicler of the Strange.  

Brain Roll Juice:

Just what the hell is this? This is the most pathetic investigation board I’ve ever seen.

I didn’t come expecting much. I expected even less when I saw a quote from Roger Corman in the beginning. I expected even less, less, less when I saw the acting…

Huh. You saw the monster, too? Groovy. What’s for dinner? Meatloaf again?

And somehow, still, I was charmed by it. I thought the old movie mash-up, while awkwardly cut, was an interesting concept. Even though it played like a mockumentary, there was a lot of love given to the not just the monster, but the town it originated in. In fact, most of the beginning is the history and culture of Louisiana, MO as it developed as a city, which I found oddly touching. It’s obvious that Mr. Breedlove has reverence of these small towns and is not there for exploitation, but for their mystery and charm.

Being a dual citizen of Missouri and Michigan is what brought me to watch this movie. As much as it was a love letter to cryptids, it was a love letter to these quiet pockets of Americana.

And in the final moments of the movie, the shift of this low, low budget mockumentary turns back to the history and people of the place and who lived during the events. Heartrendingly, it draws comparisons between the legend of Momo and the decline of the city. Most people have forgotten about the legend – some have moved away, others have gone on with their lives, and some have passed away. The movie makes the case of the preservation of a people’s history and culture, and the role that legends play in that, which resonates deeply for me.  

A badass music video is about to begin and I’m into it

This movie isn’t about a guy in a suit, pretending to be an alien stealing peanut butter sandwiches, it’s about the human experience. Good and bad. The fears that we have that connect us and the hysterias that pull us apart. The towns that we’ve made and the towns that have made us. The forgotten history of where we come from, and the pale hope that those memories and shy mysteries will continue to live on within us and within the next generation.

You’ve probably never heard of Momo and, unfortunately, a lot of the younger residents of Louisiana, MO have not either.

Bottom-line:

It’s a cheesy (sometimes cringey) romp, with a refreshing amount of heart. I was moved.

3 out of 5 stars (3 / 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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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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