The Pink Panther Snipes Again

Bad Movie Reviews with a Touch of Snark


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The Neon Demon, or: Beauty Is Skin (and Blood) Deep

Someday we will watch a film about what a nice place LA is and how completely un-problematic the fashion industry is (or not).  Today is not that day–it is, after all, Anxiety August.

The Film:

The Neon Demon

The Premise:

The fashion industry is disturbing.  Really disturbing, and possibly cannibalistic.

The Ramble:

Elle Fanning plays Jesse, an aspiring model who has recently arrived in LA.  She’s getting possibly the creepiest pics ever for her portfolio courtesy of her amateur photographer friend/boyfriend/acquaintance?  Not 100% sure on this one yet.  She lounges on a sofa with blood dripping down her arm as the camera.  Dramatically.  Pans away.

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Just another day at work…

Jesse’s magnetism/beauty/je ne sais quoi lands her a party invite from make-up artist Ruby.  At the party, she meets other models who are probably 10 years or so older (aka ancient in terms of modeling) and therefore immediately loathe her.  Our unholy trinity corners her in the bathroom and asks all kinds of overly personal questions about her sex life and family.  Ruby is reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeally intensely into Jesse and applies appropriately named Red Rum lipstick to her.

Jesse scores representation from a competitive modeling agency that recognizes she will go far as a model.  However, first she needs much better pics for her portfolio, which will be provided by really intense shaved head dude (yeah, I wasn’t paying the most attention ever to all of the names here).  At the photo shoot, the photographer asks everyone to leave and for Jesse to take off her clothes.  It gets weirder when he covers her in gold paint in the messiest and least efficient way possible besides maybe if he had used a pastry brush.

After the shoot, Ruby says she’s looking out for Jesse and insists she call if she ever needs anything.

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“And I mean anything…”  *wink*

Meanwhile, Jesse is sort of dating the amateur photographer who took her first round of pics.  It’s hard to say what she’s feeling most of the time as she seems to be a bit detached from everything, though there are a few moments when she reveals insecurity about her talents.  It’s sort of sweet if anything can be said to be sweet about this movie?  But you know this is all being set up for it to fall dramatically as if from a diving board.  Oops…I’m getting ahead of myself.

Meanwhile, in a cameo I don’t completely understand, Keanu Reeves plays the manager of the shady motel where Jesse is staying.  They’re never going to be the best of friends, especially after a puma destroys her room.  Yeah.  An actual puma.

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This is a pretty shot, but I also sort of expected song and dance in the style of La La Land.

Anyway, things are going swimmingly well for Jesse on the career front.  She manages to swipe a major gig from one of the models from earlier, then lands another job with the other one, who has struggled for years to get where she is.

Predictably, things start to go downhill with Jesse’s boyfriend (or at least guy she’s gone on some dates with).  When she has nowhere else to turn to, she goes to stay with Ruby.  Two guesses about whether this ends well.

The Rating:

3.5/5 PPHs

My review is destined to be biased as, based on the title, I expected demons to appear explicitly in this film.  Perhaps that’s just an indication of our usual fare for the Blog Collab, i.e. veering just a bit farther away from the intellectual.  If you’re looking for demons, you’ll probably be disappointed; however, you will see a lot of blood in this.  SO MUCH BLOOD.  Also slow, dramatic face close-ups.  If we had cut those in half, this film would have probably been about 30 mins shorter.

This does take a pretty interesting angle and makes it clear that this film is a vehicle for social commentary, but it’s not particularly fun to watch for a few reasons:

  1.  No one is particularly likeable or even that interesting as a character.  You will have brief glimpses when characters seem slightly more likeable,  but those moments are usually less than genuine.
  2. All of the photo shoots are really suggestive, which is clearly in service of the film’s message.  It doesn’t make them less voyeuristic and uncomfortable to watch.
  3. It’s really irritating to hear all the goddamn time how beautiful Jesse is and how she has that certain something.  Part of the message here seems to be that all of this talk of magnetism and charisma is a bunch of shit, but it’s still pretty distracting.  See also:  it would’ve been more satisfying to see explicitly that Jesse was a demon or worshiping Satan or something.

Not a bad film, but it might appeal more to the film school crowd than this simple blogger with a strong interest in B-movie monsters.

Would Christa take a dive with this one or send it off to be eaten by pumas?  Find out here!


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The Incredible Jessica James vs. The Incredible Jessica Williams

This month is already affectionately (or not-so-affectionately) known as Anxiety August, which is like a less chill version of Blog Free.  Welcome to our paradise.

The Film:

The Incredible Jessica James

Where to Watch:

Netflix

The Premise:

Jessica Williams is…more or less a version of herself navigating personal crises and keeping her dreams of becoming a playwright alive.

The Ramble:

Nothing seems to be going right in any part of Jessica James’s life, personal or professional.  Having just broken up with her long-term boyfriend and facing rejection after rejection as a budding playwright, JJ is pretty much done on all fronts.

I feel you, JJ.  The one bright light seems to be that her bff Tasha has got her back, plus her job teaching kids theater at a non-profit isn’t too shabby.  However, this is far from the life she envisions for herself.

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Archetypal look laden with secret bff meaning.

Even though dating is gross, JJ agrees to go along on a date Tasha sets up.  The date is with a 30-ish man (yeah, right) who is recently divorced and dubiously named Boone, so I guess it follows that they both need a rebound relationship in the logic of all rom-coms.  They don’t seem destined for each other as he has no interest in theater and she can only think about the ways in which he’s completely unlike her ex.

After deciding to go their separate ways, JJ ends up spending the night in his apartment and then moves on.

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“I really am 30!  Why are you laughing?”

Meanwhile, she’s determined to convince one of her most talented students, Shandra, to attend an upcoming writer’s weekend.  They have a bit of a falling out because Shandra would rather spend time with her dad during their weekend together, something JJ doesn’t have a whole lot of understanding for.

 

As it turns out, JJ is un-enthused at the prospect of returning home to Ohio for her sister’s baby shower.  She doesn’t have the best relationship with her family as the big city girl who left to pursue her dreams rather than settle down.   As a small act of rebellion, she writes a book about subverting the patriarchy, which is less than thrilling to the other ladies at the shower.  She also does a perfect imitation of a pretentious film student and is super rude about what true theater is when one of the guests asks her which show she should see in New York.  We get a little bit more family backstory eventually, but not to a degree that seems particularly satisfying.  I’m not going to deny that family relationships are hard, but if you’re going to make a film about it, you need better character motivations.

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I don’t remember putting this on my registry…

After returning to New York, JJ breathes a sigh of relief.   She’s clearly still not over her ex, continuing to write scenes in which she confronts him about their relationship and he begs for another chance…only to be crushed by falling pianos, etc.  Both JJ and Boone help each other get over their exes by taking important steps like unfollowing them on Instagram…then giving each other updates on the other’s ex.  JJ seems to finally catch a break personally and professionally, with things all coming together—until of course they aren’t.  Will things turn around for the incredible Jessica James?

The Rating:

3.5/5 PPHs

Don’t get me wrong—Jessica Williams is great in this, but somewhat underutilized.  There are moments when her natural charm and humor shine through (like when she shames a manspreader on a subway car), but her character seems to be written as a less interesting version of the real JW.

The times when real emotional depth is attempted fall flat, and the scenes with her family just unintentionally make her seem self-centered.  Their family drama seems so…normal, and there’s no clear reason for the rift between JJ and her family.

Ok, AND I’m probably super biased here, but JJ slags off Ohio, which I can only deal with coming from actual Ohioans.  Have a disproportionate number of serial killers hailed from Ohio?  Are we the state people only care about during presidential election years?  Is it somewhat disheartening that we’re incredibly proud our rivers no longer catch on fire?  Yes, yes, and yes—but, like family, it’s our dysfunctional mess.

I loved the scenes between JJ and her best friend, however few and far between they were.  I would’ve really liked that to be the central focus of this film rather than her attempts to get over her ex and the development of her relationship with Chris O’Dowd.  Can we be real for a second?  She and Chris O’Dowd have ZERO chemistry.  ZERO.  And I didn’t believe him as 30-ish for a minute.

Spoiler-ish (but not really because this is a light-hearted rom-com that doesn’t pull any punches):  the ending pissed me off because everything came together so neatly in a way that didn’t feel earned.  And Boone makes a romantic gesture that would personally make me really uncomfortable and wonder what he really wanted from me.  To wear my skin Buffalo Bill-style?

No?  Have I just become the world’s most cynical living human?

Did this one make Christa’s dreams come true or send them back to Ohio to die?  Find out here!


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Planet of the Sharks, or: Damn Dirty Waves

The shame consumes me as, at least for the purposes for the blog collab, we forgot about the most important summer holiday:  Shark Week.  Better late than never?

The Film:

Planet of the Sharks

Where to Watch:

Amazon Prime

The Uncondensed Version:

This one is a SyFy original giving the all-important shark genre a dystopian setting and topical global warming commentary, so you know it’s going to be good.

In the future, humanity has fucked up…to the utter astonishment of no one.  Predictably, people waited until the entire surface of the Earth was underwater before coming up with constructive ways to combat global warming.  As a result, people live in giant floating cities primarily constructed from recycled debris.  Not an ideal situation to begin with…but it’s about to get better when we throw swarms of sharks controlled by electromagnetic pulses into the mix.  Seriously.

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Never volunteer for look-out duty in a shark-infested dystopian planet.

For whatever reason, we follow the sole survivor of a shark attack that wipes out her, er, city(?) when the double whammy of sharks + random explosions strikes.  I think we’re supposed to feel at least some sympathy for this girl, but it’s difficult to even remember her name (which I don’t) when she has something like 2 lines of dialogue in the entire movie.

After this girl is saved when the closest floating city sees a distress flare, scientists try to determine what is happening and how it could impact their current project.  So you’re aware–their current project involves launching a rocket into the atmosphere to destroy the C02 that has led to global warming.  One rocket is supposed to reverse decades of C02 emissions and pollution that has flooded the entire goddamn planet…?  Rather irritatingly, there’s quiet a lot of science-splaining that pretends to be smart but is really just spewing a bunch of nonsense.

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Obviously the main thing lady scientists do is stand around looking sweaty.

So anyway…the lead shark glows for some reason and is able to control the rest of the sharks for human destroying purposes.  This has the power to doom humanity completely as any chance of launching a miracle C02 blasting rocket could be in jeopardy due to shark attacks.

The scientists try to recruit the help of the largest floating city around, Salvation, to defeat the sharks and launch the rockets.  Unfortunately, their leader is too much of a badass to believe her city could be taken down by sharks.  Her indeterminate but vaguely Creole accent is distracting, but her one-liners more than make up for it.  Even though I don’t condone the killing of sharks, she’s a bit of a hero, uttering with complete confidence lines like, “I find it hard to believe an entire flotilla could be taken down by sharks,” and “We got some…sha-waks to keel…”

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Shark-kabobbed.

Since it’s been only about 20-30 minutes at this point, I think you can guess whether sharks or humans win this round.  However, the scientists, the girl, guy who looks a bit like a pirate, and cringey comic relief dude have a chance to regroup and restrategize.  Their brilliant plan?  Lure the sharks to an underwater volcano and then make it erupt.  For real.  Goodbye, humanity.

Color me surprised when this rock-solid plan suffers some unexpected complications.

The Rating:

3/5 Pink Panther Heads

It’s no Mega Shark vs. Mecha Shark, but there are definitely some moments I really enjoyed here.  The characters are largely forgettable, but some of the women demonstrate moments of badassery and pretty entertaining one-liners.  I probably should have given them more attention, but I seriously cannot remember any of their names.

The last half of the film is way slower and decidedly less shark-centric.  There is SO MUCH discussion of the damn rocket, and all of the pseudo-science drove me insane.  While I acknowledge the point of this movie was to fill time and sell ads on SyFy, it still irritated me that global warming was a plot device explained with nonsense that probably does more harm than good.  What hath SyFy wrought?  Will we grow up with a generation that sincerely believes launching a single rocket can solve global warming???

Overall, I was hoping for a more deliberate Planet of the Apes parody (I would KILL to see talking land sharks enslave humanity) rather than just a catchy title that has little to do with the way the film unfolds.  However, this film checked off some major boxes:  sharks, women with spears, volcanoes, and inexplicable explosions.  I can live with that.

Would Christa rule the planet of the sharks or let it all go under?  Find out here!


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Christine, or: Chickens vs. Serial Killers

Gorgeous Ladies of the Blog Collab takes an unexpectedly dark turn this week.  Chickens, mental health, and sensationalizing local news are all wrapped up neatly (or not so neatly) by Rebecca Hall.

The Film:

Christine (2016)

Where to Watch:

Netflix

The Uncondensed Version:

Right from the start, it’s clear that Christine is a brilliant yet deeply self-critical and complex young woman.  In both her personal life and professional career as a local TV news reporter, she frequently second-guesses herself and looks for opportunities to confirm her flaws in the eyes of others.

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“I can’t help feeling you’re a bit detached for this interview…”

After a year working for a Sarasota Springs station, Christine is ready for the next move in her career.  Having a non-existent sex life, her mother as a roommate, and an impending 30th birthday only make it clearer that she’s much in need of change.

When the opportunity arises for a promotion that will take her to Baltimore, Christine is eager to prove she’s up for the challenge.  However, this won’t be easy as the new marching orders from the station execs are to cover sensational, violent stories over the thoughtful human interest pieces Christine favors.  Her work crush, Dexter George, agrees with her objections, but it’s not long before the reporters are tripping over themselves to get in line with the changes.

Meanwhile, Christine has been experiencing major stomach pains that she shrugs off as stress-related.  I’m apparently way more of a wimp than Christine because I’d be at the doctor’s so quickly or at least popping more than the recommended dose of Extra Strength Advil 24/7.

These factors seem to be creating the perfect storm for Christine to suffer a repeat of Boston, which her mother mysteriously alludes to.  The mother/daughter relationship is volatile to say the least; Christine reacts very badly to change and seems to be threatened by her mother’s series of unsuccessful relationships.  There’s so much to unpack here that their relationship doesn’t get as much attention as some of the other facets of Christine’s life, but I would have loved to see more.

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For once, I have nothing cynical to say.

The stress begins to wear at Christine as it turns out the stomach pains are more serious than initially thought and may impact her ability to have children.  After receiving the news, she has a bit of a melt-down at work.  It’s frustrating to see self-care as a continuously low priority for Christine, though of course there are mental health and other issues at play too.  However, even when her sole work friend Jean suggests they take the rest of the day of and eat ice cream, Christine insists on pressing on.

Later, she does an ill-advised piece on a gun enthusiast who warns her that threats are everywhere.  He encourages her to carry around a gun for a few weeks to see if it makes her feel different and more in control.  Seems like…maybe not the best idea?

Though Christine tries to tow the new party line, her ideas are constantly shut down and she is usually at odds with her boss.  Finally, she is forced to take time off when she’s sent home early after an especially tense disagreement.

Just as her professional life is falling apart, Christine’s personal life seems to be lining up for once.  George asks her out to dinner, which is a major breakthrough as she seems to be convinced they have a future together…or at least the possibility of Christine’s first sexual relationship.  At the same time, George has some important news to share—news that will prove deeply upsetting to Christine.

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I’ll give you 3 tries to guess the number of murders I’ve committed.

If you are familiar with the story of Christine Chubbuck, there will be no surprises for you here.  I was not and didn’t expect the ending at all…though it does have a sad logic that made me think I should have seen it coming.  Much like the real story I imagine.

4/5 Pink Panther Heads

I’m not sure I’d want to revisit this one, but it definitely earned at least a solid 4.  Infinite PPHs for Rebecca Hall’s performance, as she manages to portray mental health issues with such a depth and range of emotion without becoming melodramatic.  Christine comes across as extremely bold and intelligent while pulling back a few layers to reveal the pain of living with undiagnosed bipolar disorder and a devastating lack of confidence.  It’s time for Rebecca Hall to be a household name–she’s so talented.

Special shout-out to Christine’s closest work friend, Jean, and chicken lady, who I didn’t give a lot of attention here but who also deserve recognition.

Did this one hold Christa’s interest or was it too sensational?  Find out here!


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Summer Is for Comics

Earlier this month, NPR released the results of their summer comics and graphic novel poll.

I could honestly die a happy woman because My Favorite Thing Is Monsters made the list, along with Through the Woods and Bitch Planet.  But it’s me, so obviously I have thoughts about the list and some favorites that didn’t make the cut.

In somewhat particular order, here is my addendum of 12 favorite graphic novels I love just as much, whether they receive NPR recognition or not:

  1. Asterios Polyp (David Mazzucchelli)
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    The tragic story of a pretentious professor of architecture whose designs have never been built.  Somehow he still manages to be sympathetic and human if not especially likeable. With the added bonus of beautiful illustrations, ghosts of dead twins, and more parallels to Greek mythology than you can shake a stick at.
  2. Berlin (Jason Lutes)
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    Not least because I’ve been waiting for vol 3 for 9 years.  NINE.  (In his latest interview, Lutes claimed the last volume should be out next year, but I’ll believe it when I see it.)  Striking black-and-white illustrations with keen attention to period detail combine with memorable characters to create a compelling story.  Silvia the communist street brawler is my favorite (of course).
  3. Dotter of Her Father’s Eyes (Mary and Bryan Talbot)
    Dotter of Her Father's Eyes
    Scholar Mary Talbot and her cartoonist husband tell a story that works as both a biographical portrait of Joyce and personal memoir.  Talbot draws parallels to Joyce’s troubled relationship with his daughter and her own difficult relationship with her father, a renowned Joycean scholar.
  4. Ethel & Ernest (Raymond Briggs)
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    Though The Snowman is his most famous work, this biography of Briggs’s parents is my favorite of his works.  Ethel and Ernest seem to be the only unchanging fixtures as time passes in 20th century London.  This quiet portrait of everyday life for a middle class London family is fascinating and exactly the kind of history I love to read about.
  5. Giant Days (John Allison)
    Giant Days #19
    Funny and touching story about a group of friends navigating their way through university.  Be warned this gets way too real at times as the characters face disappointment, failure, and some steep learning curves on the way to adulthood…but at the end of the day, the characters’ relationships are there to help them bounce back.
  6. The Fade Out (Ed Brubaker)
    23093372This 1940s noir-style story of murder and the seedy underbelly of Hollywood glam makes this so far up my street it’s not even funny.  The story begins with the murder of an actress, but of course we haven’t even begun to scratch the surface on the shady goings-on underneath the glitz of show business.
  7. Super Spy, Mind MGMT, and pretty much anything else by Matt Kindt
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    His illustrations and inking are gorgeous, and things are never as they seem in his work. Frequently his stories revolve around tough ladies in espionage dealing with a gritty, unglamorous reality—my favorite kind.
  8. Widdershins (Kate Ashwin)
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    Magic in a Regency England setting with a series of sarcastic badass ladies and appropriately incompetent men!  This webcomic is such a delight to read and is all free online.
  9. The Green River Killer (Jonathan Case)
    Green River Killer
    I was reluctant to pick this up because I find a lot of true crime stories sleazy and just badly written. Case avoids sensationalizing the story here (as much as possible), taking time to examine the investigation and its toll on the police force.  I would add The New Deal and anything else by Case as well—I have yet to read a book of his I haven’t enjoyed.
  10. Shutter (Joe Keatinge)
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    This is mostly here because I adore the talking cat alarm clock that keeps our protagonist company and I really need one of my own.  Also noteworthy are the LGBTQ characters and their story lines in this fast-paced comic whose many twists and turns will keep you guessing.
  11. Princeless:  Raven the Pirate Princess (Jeremy Whitley)
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    Though I haven’t kept up with this series, volume 1 is hilarious and makes a deliberate effort to represent women of color, multiple sexual orientations, and various body types.  The commentary here is smart and so relevant…plus who would turn down a story about an all-female pirate crew?
  12. Alabaster: Wolves (Caitlin Kiernan)
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    An albino teen is guided by angels to destroy vampires, demons, and all sorts of sinister creatures in the swamps of an eerily empty South Carolina.  Things get interesting right away as our protagonist begins to doubt her guardian angel and is drawn to a girl who may be something other than she appears.  Vol 1 is a compelling mixture of action and eerie silences in a decidedly Southern Gothic tradition.

Needless to say, my TBR list has now grown to an unmanageable length thanks to all of the titles include on NPR’s list (including Blacksad, a noir about a black cat PI?!?!?).  What are you reading this summer?

Cover photo by Laetitia Buscaylet on Unsplash


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We Are Still Here, or: Home Sweet Funeral Home

Gorgeous Ladies of the Blog Collab continues!  Not for the first (or presumably last) time, we spend some time in a remote house that may or may not be haunted.  Spoiler alert:  it’s haunted.

The Film:

We Are Still Here

Where to Watch:

Netflix

The Uncondensed Version:

It’s the ’70s, which becomes clear through costuming and the really sketchy dudes with thick ‘staches and aviator frames.  Anne and Paul, having recently lost their son, make the informed decision to move to a creepy house in a remote area along the East Coast.  Things get a little strange right away when Anne claims to feel Bobby’s presence in the house, but Paul pretty quickly dismisses this as nonsense.

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Thus the game of how quickly I would’ve been driving away from that house at high speeds begins.

  1.  After a framed picture Bobby hated falls and breaks?  Obviously, yes.
  2. When the smell of smoke emanating from the cellar refuses to go away?  Ugh, so out of there.
  3. After the insanely sinister neighbors pay a visit?  OUT.  SO FAR OUT IT’S NOT EVEN FUNNY.
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First sign these are horrible neighbors:  didn’t even bake cookies.

 

So the neighbors are special people who reveal the charming story of how the shady old house belonged to the Dagmars, who owned and operated a funeral home (naturally).  They were driven out of town by the locals after it turned out they sold the bodies of the deceased and cremated empty caskets.  All of this is punctuated by dead giveaway lines like “It’s been 30 years since we’ve had fresh souls in the house” and “It’s still Dagmar’s house,” along with a note that straight up tells the new owners to get out.

In an ill-advised decision to bring more people into the line of fire, Anne invites her son’s college roommate and his family to the house.  The parents, May and Jacob, believe they have a major connection to the spirit world.  Perhaps they’ll be able to reach Bobby?

However, it becomes clear pretty quickly that whatever is in the house is most definitely not Bobby.  Sadly, for the poor contractor who comes to take care of that freshly cremated smell, this realization comes too late.  He becomes our first victim of creepy burnt to a crisp ghost/demon that lurks in the basement.

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Séances are all good fun until someone loses an eye…

So things aren’t off to a great start when the local bar is called Buffalo Bill’s Lounge.  Presumably after the outlaw rather than the women’s skin DIY-er, but still.  The family arrives, and it turns out that being a skeptic isn’t enough to save you in this scenario.

 

 

 

By the time the group gets around to holding a séance, their ranks have thinned considerably.  With about 20 minutes or so left, our rather slow burning film takes a turn for the violently gory, which feels somehow satisfying and jarring at the same time.  Word of advice:  don’t watch this while eating dinner.

The Rating:

3/5 Pink Panther Heads

Eh, I don’t know, I just wasn’t feeling this one.  It took me a long time to get invested in this, and I didn’t really ever care what happened to the characters.  However, major props to the neighbor with his Scooby Doo routine, who was the highlight of the film to me.  I did also enjoy the incredibly gory finale even if there were some truly nauseating moments.  The ’70s setting was a nice tribute to classic slasher films and provided a surprising amount of period detail.

On the other hand, some really cliché lines of dialogue about all of the death and darkness tended to take me right out of the creepiness.  Not a bad film overall, but I was hoping to feel more engaged with it.

Was Christa still here at the end of this one or did she book it as fast as any sane person would have at the start?  Find out here!


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GLOW, or: Gorgeous Ladies of the Blog Collab

Sometimes (and always) we’re so in tune on the Blog Collab that we do the same things whether we intend to or not.  Our latest brainwave came in the form of the Netflix original GLOW.  We were there for the glam ‘80s hair and glitter, but stayed for the zany wrestling personas and the show’s surprising emotional depth.  This month is inspired by GLOW, and the documentary that spawned the TV show is kicking us off to celebrate the Gorgeous Ladies of the Blog Collab, or:  GLOBC…?  Doesn’t have quite the same ring as GLOW.

The Film:

GLOW:  The Story of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling

Where to Watch:

Netflix

The Uncondensed Version:

In case you haven’t watched the original ‘80s show or the updated Netflix series, GLOW was the first women’s wrestling show on TV.  It was surprisingly successful, especially considering that it began as more or less one extended infomercial…with comedy sketch bits, song/dance numbers, and some rather cringey rapping.

Despite the blatant sexism and stereotyping, the women cast on GLOW consider it revolutionary as it allowed them to feel strong and empowered while looking and feeling fab.

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SO MUCH GLITTER.

The show did not begin with great promise–Mando, a real wrestler, trained the women (hired mostly based on looks rather than wrestling prowess) in a run-down gym without proper equipment or safety practices.  After training, things sped along quickly as the GLOW ladies were moved to a hotel in Vegas (because, honestly, where else would this have happened if not Vegas).  As depicted in the show, the ladies are supposed to always stay in character and obey strict rules on curfews and partying.

One of the few wrestlers on the show was Matilda the Hun, who had been trying in vain to find wrestling partners.  She was so hardcore she once literally wrestled a bear and may be my new personal hero.

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In case you’d like some glitter to go with that glitter.

Initially, the creator of the show clashed with the director, who envisioned an over-the-top, campy variety show.  These issues were quickly resolved as the director was also the one with the money behind him.  Some of the ladies look back fondly on their working relationship with the director, while others think he was borderline abusive.

Several of the more memorable personas were Big Bad Mama, a Louisiana voodoo priestess, and the Heavy Metal sisters, who cut things up with a chainsaw and lit shit on fire in the ring.  Ninotchka was the Russian stereotype whose confidence boosted the wrestler herself and made her feel powerful.  The wrestler shares a rather touching moment when she realized her boyfriend was in love with her persona’s confidence–not her.

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Love love love love love.

Just as Machu Picchu is the heart and soul of the Netflix show, Mt. Fiji is the star of the original GLOW (and the documentary).  Fiji was an Olympian and by all accounts the sweetest lady on the show.  It’s heartbreaking to see her current health problems that have largely confined her to a hospital bed.  Many of the women suffered injuries and dead-end careers after GLOW‘s abrupt cancellation.  Several speculate the businessman funding the show stopped because of marital problems that arose as he spent so much time with all of the ladies of GLOW.

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WHOEVER IS CHOPPING ONIONS RIGHT NOW NEEDS TO STOP.

Because the show ended so suddenly, no one felt a sense of closure…which is about to change when one of the wrestlers decides to host a reunion.  If you don’t get emotional seeing the ladies of GLOW reunited, you may have a heart of stone.

The Rating:

4.5/5 Pink Panther Heads

Like the new Netflix show, there is plenty of glitter and over-the-top wrestling mayhem along with lots of heart.  It’s really hard to see the physical and emotional toll the years of wrestling took on these women even though all seem to remember the show fondly whether they found happiness and success in later years or not.  Though all of the ladies were thrilled to be part of a ground-breaking series, they also suffered greatly at the hands of the entertainment industry.  Like most things to emerge from the ’80s:  come for the glitter, stay for the genuine heart.

Would my Gorgeous Lady of the Blog Collab hit it with a bodyslam and leave it down for the count…or crown it champion of the ring (and the collab)?  Find out here!