[Guest Posts]

Tales from the Blake β€” Inaugural Issue

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Hello fellow Halloween Love readers and welcome to the first edition of my guest column that I like to call Tales From The Blake.

In this inaugural issue I’ll be talking about what references could possibly be in the new Halloween film; I talk about the newly released independent film entitled Stillwater and give you my verdict in this column’s very first mini movie review where I tell you if the movie is worth watching in four sentences or less; I take a look at the upcoming episode of Supernatural that features Scooby-Doo and the gang; I’ll also shed some light on exactly when we’re going to get a trailer for this summer’s blockbuster about a giant killer shark called The Meg; and finally I’ll wrap things up with the feature tale of the week that just so happens to include another movie review, this one featuring a classic horror film that was released at the beginning of 1995 called Demon Knight.

“Tonight, He Comes Back Home… Again!”

This week, Danny McBride let slip that even though the new Halloween, in which he wrote, is a direct sequel to the 1978 John Carpenter classic, fans should know that the new film does reference the now non-canon sequels. But what exactly does that mean?

Well, we officially have no idea what that means, but by scouring internet message boards and comment sections (great places by the way β€” real friendly) it seems that most fans believe, for some unknown crazy reason, the new films will out-right use the sequels as a kind of backstory for Michael Myers and use them as a way to show what ol’ Mike has been up to for the past sixty years. To this popular theory I’d like to scream out: BULLOCKS!!!

McBride has already stated several times that this new film universe we’ll be seeing in theaters this October completely ignores every single sequel to the original, and yes, that even includes the fan favorite Part II (I’m partial to the fourth one, myself). Now, you may be asking if this new film ignores those events, then how are they able to reference the past sequels? For that, I’ve got two words for ya! Nope, it’s not 1998 anymore (sadly) and my name’s not Triple H (even more sadly) so those two words are a no-go. What I mean is that this new film will probably reference the sequels we all hold near and dear to our hearts with the use of Easter eggs. Got me?

This theory seems to be pretty solid and it’s almost a guarantee that you’ll probably be seeing many Easter eggs come this October. Don’t be surprised if the three masks from Halloween III appear in the background during a scene at a Halloween store or possibly spot a dude working on the power lines sporting a “Bucky” hard hat while doing so.

Yep, that’s it. No big thing, just Easter eggs more than likely. It’s more of a fun little nod to the fans than some kind of big twist revealing that the Michael Myers in this film is actually from the original timeline and he’s hopping through dimensions and dispatching each multiverse version of Laurie Strode, though that would be a crazy fan fiction film definitely worth watching. Heck, I’d pay to see it right now.

This new film is a dream come true for us Halloween fans and I personally can’t wait for its release. Until then, join me and scour the internet to read those crazy fan theories that are so entertainingly awesome, it should be a crime. As a matter of fact, there’s another one out there so good that I’ll be taking a look at it next week. You don’t want to miss it.

“The Verdict On Stillwater”

Stillwater was released this past Tuesday and the premise sounded intriguing enough for me to give it shot. The IMDb synopsis reads:

A weekend camping trip among six old friends in Northern Minnesota’s “Boundary Waters” turns tragic after one dies under mysterious circumstances, triggering further turmoil as they attempt to unmask the killer within their own group.

Verdict: The film started out okay and had me invested, but things began to slide downhill once one of the friends turns up dead. It begins to get boring except for one guy who spazzes out and goes so over-the-top and silly that it distracts from what’s going on in the movie. The ending, of course, has the infamous twist that ends up hurting the whole experience because it pretty much tells you that what you’ve been watching for the last hour and a half is a complete lie. My verdict is to avoid this film unless you like endings that involve psychological “messed up in the head” twists that negates everything you’ve seen.

“Carry On My Wayward Scoob”

Would you have believed me if I told you back in 2005 that that new show you’re watching right now called Supernatural is still on the air in 2018 without even so much of a whisper of it ending anytime soon? Crazy, huh?

Believe it or not, but Supernatural is still going strong and it’s also still pretty dang entertaining too. There are a few seasons that are blah, but the last few have definitely picked up and are just as good as the first five, and this current season (number thirteen in fact) is no different. As a matter of fact, a familiar cartoon dog is even invading this time.

Yep. No joke. Scooby-Doo and the rest of Mystery Inc., are featured in an upcoming episode and from the looks of it, I’d say it looks pretty dang good.

So far this season, the Winchester Boys have been dealing with alternate timelines (hmm, maybe they’ll run into that timeline hopping Michael Myers guy we were talking about earlier) and boy, is it a hoot. For this episode, though, they take a break from all the madness of the main storyline by trying to relax and watch a little bit of TV.

After taking care of a monster inside of a pawn shop during the opening segment, the boys are gifted a television from the shop’s owner and take it back to their hideout. Soon after, they are sucked into an episode of the 1970s cartoon series Scooby-Doo Where Are You!?!

Most fans of the series will recognize a similar episode from way back in season five called “Changing Channels” where the Winchesters had to make it through various TV shows, including a hilarious spot where Sam was forced to shill a fictional drug called Herpexia. It’s totally funny, and I suggest you watch the “ad” along with the whole episode. You won’t be disappointed. True story: This was actually the very first episode I watched before getting the series on DVD and starting over from the beginning.

The rest of the plot, which has been dubbed “ScoobyNatural”, is being kept under wraps, but you can bet it’ll be another fun and wacky adventure for the Winchesters like always. I’ll definitely be in front of my television set on Thursday, March 29th, with the channel tuned to the CW Network. Maybe I’ll throw in a review for you guys once it’s released as a treat.

“Meg, Meg, Where Are You?”

Now don’t get me wrong, I love silly and over-the-top shark movies just like the next guy, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t holding out for a shark film that you could realistically compare with in tone and excitement to Steven Spielberg’s 1975 film JAWS. Odds are certainly stacked against this summer’s big blockbuster film event titled The Meg.

Fans of the 1997 book Meg: A Novel of Deep Terror have waited over two decades to be able to see the giant prehistoric shark known as the Megalodon shred the big screen and finally, after all that time, our dreams will come true, but we all have one question that has yet to have a definitive answer: where in the heck is the trailer?

I’m a pretty big fan of the Meg series so naturally I try to stay in the loop when it comes to any news regarding the movie. I’m a member of a Meg movie group on Facebook, and they sometimes are able to provide exclusive news for us “MegHeads” who want the lowdown. We found out back in December that the first trailer was supposed to finally hit this month in March but just recently, Steve Alten (the author of the Meg book series), confirmed via his newsletter that the trailer’s debut would be pushed back to April. Why?

Why is it taking so long to debut a trailer to a movie that is scheduled to release in August of this year? Granted, the movie’s original release date was actually supposed to be this month, but just like the trailer, it was pushed back.

This is actually the third time the trailer has been pushed back because the first reveal was scheduled to take place in December of last year. The constant setbacks have fans worried, and you can’t blame us. Is something wrong with the CGI? Is the movie just down right terrible? Will Jason Statham punch the Meg in the face? Hopefully, some of these questions will be answered when the trailer is released (fingers crossed) this April, and we’ll be able to sit down (double fingers crossed) in August to finally enjoy a decent shark movie. Until then, we just have to stick with that crappy photo of a shark, that may or may not be The Meg, staring menacingly at Statham through a glass window.

“Hey Man, Nice Shot”

I remember in the summer of 1995, my Ma and my older brother took a trip to Panama City Beach, Florida, for a little vacation in the sun. My Dad and I were left behind because we both didn’t give a crap about the beach.

Anyway, while those two were down there enjoying the sand, My Dad and I made due entertaining ourselves with movies and stuff. First on the list was going to see The Indian in the Cupboard in theaters because I was a kid and apparently had really terrible taste when it came to choosing movies back then. Afterward, we went to the holy grail: Blockbuster Video! Oh, wow!!!

While my Dad went off alone to find himself a few movies (pretty sure they were booby movies), I was left alone with a pretty cool scenario: pick out one movie and one game to rent. Back then I was into my Sega Genesis pretty hard, so I spent most of my allotted time trying to find the perfect game to entertain myself for the next few days. After what seemed like an hour or more, I finally settled on renting a fighting game that featured the superheroes of DC Comics. Pretty cool. Oh yeah, Superman was my go-to character when it came to DC. In case you’re wondering (and I highly doubt it), my go-to Marvel character is a tie between Captain America and The Incredible Hulk.

After wasting most of my time by looking at video games and eventually choosing one with DC superheroes, my Dad came back and was ready to leave the place, but I didn’t have a video yet. After being told to hurry up by my impatient Dad, I ran to the “New Releases” section and quickly scanned them to find one and be done. I have no clue what the other movies were in that section on that particular day, but I do remember (very vividly) a video box emblazoned with the Tales From The Crypt logo along with the Crypt Keeper on the front. Tales From The Crypt: The Movie? One copy left? Yeah, I’ll take that.

Now, I’ll be honest with you, I didn’t really think too much of the movie by just looking at the front cover. I liked the TV show, but a lot of episodes were hit and miss with little ol’ eleven-year-old me. So, to say that I wasn’t exactly thrilled with my choice would be an understatement.

When I got home, I immediately began to play the DC superhero game and completed the story missions with both Superman and Batman rather quickly, which kind of sucked. I didn’t want to play the game anymore because there was no point, and it was also a pretty boring and crappy game to boot. This left me with me only one option: Demon Knight.

I had no idea what the movie was about, so I had exactly zero expectations going into it.

The opening part was pretty funny, plus there were boobies too. Yay! I straight jammed out to the movie’s first song which I later found out was a tune called “Hey Man, Nice Shot.” You may have heard of it. So, the movie was not too bad so far.

The storyline was decent; Billy Zane was hilarious; William Sadler was perfectly cast as Brayker and it’s a shame he didn’t have any more hero roles like this (that I know of); and this was also my first introduction to the future Mrs. Will Smith, Jada Pinkett. Some notable moments of the movie for me were:

That crazy monologue by Billy Zane where he’s trying to hassle the group of survivors out of the key and makes fun of them in the process. Gets me every single time. Definitely some funny lines that are totally quotable. I bet my brother and I replayed that little sequence a hundred times back then.

Shouting out loud once I saw Dick Miller: “Hey! It’s that guy from Gremlins. Cool.”

Also shouting out loud: “It’s the Dad from My Mom’s A Werewolf!” to the TV screen. Of course, his character doesn’t last too long and that bummed me out the first time watching it.

Being absolutely shocked that a little kid was turned into a demon monster and then blown up. This one seriously got me when I first saw it because killing kids in any type of movie hardly ever happened, so I was already convinced he’d survive the movie.

The whole backstory was really well done I thought, and figured there would be several sequels made. I still think the whole mythology behind the key deserves another movie because it has the potential to be crazy good.

Once the credits started to roll I was glad that I picked this up and thought that, overall, it was a very good and highly enjoyable horror movie.

Now, remember, this is what I thought back in 1995 when I was eleven-years-old. I know I rented it about four or five more times from Blockbuster and also caught it on cable several times. I consider a kid renting a movie over and over from the video store and also catching it on cable numerous times to be the ultimate recommendation for a film.

I can’t really remember the last time I watched Demon Knight in full, but I guarantee it was over fifteen years ago. I also can’t really remember what my adult self thought of the movie at the time of viewing it either.

So, let’s give Demon Knight an official adult viewing and see if it holds up just like it did back in good ol’ 1995 when I was just eleven-years-old and rented it on a whim.

The opening song, “Hey Man, Nice Shot” is still very awesome and I think it did a good job of setting the tone for the rest of the movie.

Both William Sadler and Billy Zane are excellent in their roles, and I still agree that Sadler should have been cast as a tough guy hero for more movies. He did great in this and he immediately brought back the nostalgia of watching it long ago. You can totally tell Billy Zane is having a blast playing the role of the Collector and his performance shines on screen.

It was so weird to see Jada Pinkett Smith in this role now for some reason, but I have no idea why.

I was into the movie and enjoying it for a good bit of time, but it really started to slow down in the middle, and never quite recovered once they made their way down to the tunnels for a short spat with the demons. It sort of seems like the filmmakers knew they’d dug themselves a hole by locking the group inside the hotel with nothing to do but wait, and had no choice but to make up a story where the hotel had a secret underground tunnel for some reason. You can tell this tunnel was created purely to have the heroes do battle with the demons in another location. I don’t know. It just felt silly. The only interesting thing that happens during this part of the movie is the brief little glimpses we get that tease the excellent backstory this movie really and truly has no right to even have.

It starts to pick back up once Brayker explains the rules of how his whole journey is supposed to happen and also reveals the (as previously mentioned) totally cool backstory. I know I keep harping on it, but the mythology of the movie has such great potential that it really is a crying shame that it’s tacked onto what is essentially an extended episode of Tales From The Crypt.

Once the backstory is completely revealed is when the film really picks up and begins its ascent into the third act by killing off the side characters. And let me add this. I thought most of the side characters were pretty dang good. I really liked the deputy and the hotel owner and good ol’ Uncle Willy, played by Dick Miller, is a hoot once he’s surrounded by the naked chicks. Who wouldn’t?

The other characters like the prostitute, the secret crazy mailman that sounds suspiciously like Roger Rabbit, and Danny Boy are all pretty much just canon fodder for the demons. Roach (Thomas Haden Church) is the alpha dickhead of the group who you’re supposed to see die, and he plays his part well enough. The only thing I hate about his character is the unrealistic way he acts by giving the Collector the key back. Dude wouldn’t be dumb enough to even consider that let alone actually do it, even if he was a dickhead. BUT making dumb decisions is what most characters in horror movies are for, right?

The two sequences leading up to the final battle are pretty much the exact same scenario, and it really brings the film down for me. Afterward, we get into the “final battle” which is just a quick little dance segment (?) with Pinkett and Zane followed by the spitting of the blood, and that’s it for the movie.

All-in-all, I’d have to say that I was looking forward to the movie because it had been a while since I last watched it, but my enthusiasm quickly faded once I reached the middle of the film, except for that exceptional backstory, and it was all downhill from there.

Verdict: Demon Knight feels like an extended episode of Tales From The Crypt with an exceptional concept, but suffers terribly from budget limitations and a poorly fleshed-out screenplay. The only thing the film has going for it is its backstory which makes you want to see that version of the film instead of what you’re getting. I can’t even recommend this as a nostalgic watch for old time’s sake, but I will say totally give it a go if you’re a big fan of watching Billy Zane have an awesome time on film.

And that’ll do it for this week.

Hit me up next week when I talk about another theory floating around about the new Halloween film, among other things. I’ll also have my featured tale of the week like always.

Thanks for reading.

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