Showing posts with label levity. Show all posts
Showing posts with label levity. Show all posts

Nov 20, 2014


Absolutely terrible.


Shitty Flicks is an ongoing column that celebrates the most hilariously incompetent, amusingly pedestrian, and mind-bogglingly stupid movies ever made by people with a bit of money, some prior porn-directing experience, and no clue whatsoever. It is here you will find unrestrained joy in movies meant to terrify and thrill, but instead poke at your funny bone with their weird, mutant camp-girl penis. 

WARNING: I tend to give away major plot points and twist endings in my reviews because, whatever. Shut up.

If the film Bear has taught me anything, it's this: run, screaming, from bears. For they want nothing more than to trash your minivan, steal your purse, and exacerbate your already strained familial relationships.

Meet Nick. He's 20-something, has a band/girlfriend, and willingly drives a minivan.

His brother is Sam, who might be in his late-20-somethings. You can tell straightaway by his wardrobe that he has never approved of any of Nick's choices.

Nick and Sam and their girlfriends then meet Bear. 

"I don't like the way he's looking at us," says one of the girlfriends about Bear, who seriously looks just adorable. Luckily Sam is there to save the day and shoot Bear something like 37 times.

Nick does not approve of this at all. "That bear was innocent! Now there's one less bear in the world! Thanks a lot!"

In the interim, Sam has just enough time to make an offensive joke about the Chinese before another Bear shows up.

"That's not the same Bear," offers up one of the girlfriends. "This one's got balls."

I honestly don't know if this was intended as a joke or not.


They turn to Sam and his magical gun, but it's empty. They promptly run and flee directly into the van, prepared to leave Jellystone Park forever.

"I don't think so!" says Bear as he pushes the entire fucking minivan over, his strength fueled by his new-found hatred for humans.   

"I'm sorry," Nick says directly to the back of Bear's gigantic fur ass. "I did not mean to invade your home."

In response, Bear lays down next to his fallen cub, looks sad, and has flashbacks to that time this dude named Sam emptied an entire clip into a fucking baby bear.

In the midst of the overturned minivan carnage, all of them offer up legitimately great ideas as to how they can improve their situation:

Girlfriend # 1 picks up a cake box, looks forlornly down at the cake that I guess was for someone's birthday, and thinks, "I wonder if I can fix it."

Sam suggests that Nick get out his guitar and play some music for the bears, in hopes they will sign him to a record deal.

Girlfriend # 2 takes this opportunity to offer up her own pearls of wisdom: "Stop fighting."

Working together, they right the minivan, setting it back on its tires, so that they may continue the minivan's goal of parking its fat ass directly in the express lane and not moving for any fucking reason unless it were to spot a Walmart at the next exit. (And don't forget your Pennsylvania plates, minivan!)

Nick tells Sam he can probably fix the minivan's engine, so he grins as widely as possible for some reason and slips out of the passenger seat. As Nick does all the work, Sam stands over him and continues to berate all of Nick's life choices. According to Sam, Nick's girlfriend is "smokin' hot," but not marriage material, and his career so far has consisted of playing gigs in dive bars for tips. Nick lets all of this roll off his shoulders with ease because he's inhumanly affable. And he LOVES bears.

Meanwhile, inside the van, the girls are getting along famously. "Suck my dick!" one of them says to the other. 

If only.

They quickly forgive each other, though, and trade some secrets, and cry.

Nick manages to fix the van's engine, but then the tire falls off, so it looks like they're walking. 

"I'm getting a really bad vibe like someone's watching us," says Girlfriend # 1.

Cue Bear to stick his head up out of a fucking bush like this is a cartoon. I love it.

Our characters run to a nearby drainpipe and climb inside, which has thankfully been punched full of holes, likely by Bear after a bad day at the mine. This allows Bear to stick his paws in at his convenience and bat around our characters. It's during this moment that Bear becomes not just a vicious animal but also a common thief, as he quite literally steals Girlfriend # 2's purse. I'm not sure why - perhaps it was filled with pic-a-nic foods.

Then they run BACK to the minivan.


"Instead of Groundhog Day it's like Grizzly Day where we keep coming back to the same place reliving our terror over and over but instead of the groundhog seeing his shadow it's the bear coming out of the drainpipe trying to kill everybody," says Girlfriend # 1, which is one of the most punchable things anyone has ever said. 

Bear agrees, so he rips her out of the minivan and destroys her. Sad Middle Eastern vocalizations fill the musical score, telling us what has happened is both upsetting AND mystical.

Nick, not quite terribly sure how to confront these new tragic events, runs out of the minivan, cries, and begins to jog in place. Sam hugs him and drags him back to the van, as incensed and disturbed by the jogging-in-place as we all are.

Bear, not satisfied with having taken out Nick's girlfriend, charges the van for Round Two. His adorable, gigantic bear ass can be seen circling the minivan, choosing the weakest spot to attack. 

"I'm going to fucking kill your babies!" Sam shouts at the attacking bear. "I'm going to eat your fucking babies! I am going to skullfuck your fucking face!" he adds, which is not only absurd, but also a bit redundant, but, he's in a really bad place right now, guys.

"He came back for retribution!" Nick offers up. "He came back for his honor! Native Americans believe bears contain a human spirit!"

Then Bear flips over the van. Again.

As our remaining characters root around the van's contents for a potential weapon, it cuts to the bear sitting on top of the van, lounging, one paw awesomely resting on a tire. Memes were invented for this shot.

The back of the DVD case boldly exclaims (including quotation marks) "What makes the film even better is the use of REAL bears, no CGI here, folks," and is credited to exactly no one. And it's true: At no point does the bear seem computer generated or automated. And at no point does the actual footage of the bear suggest it was shot with the same camera as the main action.

Way to go, jack-asses.

Our characters devise a plan to lure the bear inside their van, with the aid of some birthday cake, and then escape the van with enough time to run around the other side and close the door, trapping the bear inside. 

It all goes exactly to plan until Nick gets trapped inside the van with the bear and gets his human ass handed to him. He survives with only a few scratches as the injured bear takes off.

"This is never going to end, is it?" bellows Girlfriend # 2, who is apparently reading my mind.

Sam decides to try and hoof it to their intended destination - a local steakhouse - leaving Sam's girlfriend and Nick behind to openly discuss the affair they had that one time.

"It didn't mean anything to me. You were a good lay, that's all," Nick says, who up until now was supposed to be the likable one.

Girlfriend # 2 begins to sob and the actor playing Nick clearly fucks up his dialogue, but the scene forges ahead, anyway.

Meanwhile, Sam breaks through the shrubbery and finds himself in the parking lot of the steakhouse. And Bear follows, hilariously, right behind him. Sam cowers behind a car for a moment before Bear grabs him and drags him all the fucking way BACK to the van!

Holy shit!

"That bear wants us to suffer," Nick explains. "He brought Sam back because there's unfinished business. That bear knows more about us than we do about ourselves."

"I'm pregnant," adds the girlfriend. (It's Nick's.)

"We Bears are a proud race," adds Bear. (I wish.)

Bear ends in tears, confessions, self-sacrifice, and bears.

The moral of the story is: next time you drive in a minivan with your brother, make sure you're not fucking his wife, or else bears.

Nov 8, 2014


If you were a budding horror misanthrope in your early teens during the ‘90s, then you not only remember, but cherish, this long-running Nickelodeon series about a group of variously ethnic kids meeting in the woods at night to trade spooky tales. Perhaps you remember President Gary's opening remarks during the first episode: "We're called The Midnight Society. Separately, we're very different...but one thing draws us together: the dark! Each week, we gather around this fire to share our fears and our strange and scary tales." The stories were creepy, corny, fantastic, or pretty stupid, but we all remember that nervous knot in our stomachs beginning to tighten as the legitimately eerie opening title sequence began (which includes that awful clown-doll from which I used to avert my eyes). You didn’t know if the groundwork for nightmares was being laid, but you sat, rapt, waiting to see.  So grab your weird bag of magic dust and toss it in the fire. It’s time to see if you’re still afraid of the dark.

The Tale Submitted For Approval: 

"The Tale of Jake and the Fatman Leprechaun"

The Submitter: Eric

The Current Midnight Society Administration: Gary (President, Glasses); David (Vice-President, Administrator of the Useless); Kiki (Secretary of War/Ass-Kicker, Name-Taker); Eric (Director of the Office of Management and Budget/Minister of Looking Smarmy); Betty Ann (Ambassador to the United Nations/Gary’s Unspoken Mistress); Kristen (Trade Representative/Socialite); Frank (Intern/Socialite).

The Jist

Meet Jake. He's a young boy with a primate face who lives in a magical land of elves and monsters that looks like a $10 version of Willow. And he also happens to be in mortal danger! Some kind of long-haired pedophile with leather gloves is threatening bodily harm against him!

Please, someone help him!

Someone has heard my pleads. Some magical old man is here and has begun dueling with the pedophile, barking a bunch of corny Magic the Gathering dialogue. It seems like he might save the day!

Jake then ruins everything by tripping and falling, turning to the dueling men, and saying, "Soary." The men laugh and the bad guy says, "Can someone help me with this wig?" before just taking the fucking wig off himself without waiting for any help because it's just a fucking wig and he doesn't need any god damned help in taking it off unless he's as stupid as Ariana Grande looks but ohhhhh this was just a play??? I thought this was really happening! No wonder that man loudly specified he was wearing a wig! I'm an idiot and so are you!

Turns out Jake is not pedo-prey, but rather a shitty kid actor in what appears to be some kind of shitty leprechaun play called "Will O' the Wisp," which is about "a leprechaun who saves [Jake] from a goblin by turning [him] into a leprechaun, too."

Jake's only dialogue seems to be "aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhh!"

And he sucks every ball at it.

"There's always stage crew, kid!"

This leprechaun is played by an old filthy Irishman named Erin, who demands someone bring him his special tea, which someone does, and he drinks it, and still looks just as filthy, but now satisfied. Said stagehand whispers to Jake that Erin claims this tea brings power to his performances, and her hair is as Irish-red as my nightmares. Since Jake knows he sucks as a performer, he threatens to use his face as a weapon against her until she gives him the list of the tea's "secret" ingredients.

Jake goes to see a tiny man named Sean O'Shaney, who is also Irish and who runs a greenery filled with all kinds of special herbs. Jake hands Sean the ingredients list, who takes one look and flips the fuck out, kicking his size-five shoes at Jake and telling him to piss off.

Jake stuffs his face back into the fly of his pants and sets off, dejected.

Back at rehearsal, Jake and Erin are doing a scene that calls for a bunch of whimsical rhymes and the sharing of a magic potion. Jake takes a swig before doing his lines, but then puberty hits all at once and he becomes terrified of his sudden deep voice. Erin calls Jake out on being such a puss and tells him to go with it next time, and not to be afraid of his power as an "actor."

Pardon me while my lungs re-inflate following my laugh barrage.

Jake goes back to see Sean and explain why he needed those tea herbs, and Sean, in turn, explains that a lot of the shit on that ingredients list had the potential to be used for evil magic. Needless to say, the both of them become instant best friends and Sean agrees to come see that night's dress rehearsal. The scene ends with Jake's face cracking mirrors and Sean making tiny wooden shoes for himself.

Sean comes to see the play and recognizes its dialogue as being some kind of magical incantation, so he yanks on a rope and sends one of the prop trees hurtling toward the stage, halting the rehearsal.

Jake, sadly, dives to safety.

Backstage, Sean tells Jake that play is fucked up and the two high-five hardcore and grab a couple of 'dogs from Sonic.

Later, Sean explains that Erin is actually some evil old "gort" who is tricking Jake into slowly becoming a "changeling" each time they share their scene in the play where they recite the rhyme and swig from the sack. Jake believes this pretty instantly because he's simply hideous and Sean makes for a pretty compelling dwarf of mysticism. That and the ears. Jake's ears begin to grow all pointy and shit. I don't blame him for not noticing he's beginning to turn into an animal because he looks like an animal already. (I'm not going to stop making fun of this kid's face - deal with it.)

Sean and Jake descend to Erin's room (which is below the theater, about which everyone knows and with which everyone is totally cool). They sneak into his room and locate some kind of magical herb for which Sean is all bonered up, but then they are forced to hide under the bed when Erin returns. He disrobes and reveals the giant grandmother vagina on his back.

"Sometimes I shave it into a heart."

Jake and Sean eventually escape and devise a way not only for Jake to return to his somewhat anthropomorphic self, but to turn the tables on ol' Erin. They collude and discuss their plan on how to take out this evil goblin/monster/banshee/whatever he's supposed to be.

On stage during the public performance of the play, Jake does as he's told...for about five seconds. He only has to do two things: not drink the potion, and hold Erin's gaze. Well, Jake doesn't do that second part, even being sure to spell out this failure aloud to the ten-year-old audience watching at home ("Oh no, I lost his gaze!"), because Erin has grown wise toward this plan to defeat him and breaks free of...the spell? Or, the anti-spell? Something that wards off spells, but which is also a spell?

God, I'm tired.

Because Jake is a giant waste of membrane, he finds himself in immediate danger, so Sean hops on stage, in sudden full-on leprechaun garb, and confronts Erin head-on. Because he's tiny and wearing a costume hat, the audience just goes with it, really enjoying how stupid this play has gotten.

Sean takes out a snake, throws it at Erin, and wins.

Seriously, that's it. The end. The audience claps before the curtains fall, which is really poor etiquette.

The Reaction

Man oh man, Christmas has come early. Not only do I get to tear apart an episode that I utterly abhor, but I get to tear apart an Eric story. Here it comes, you Canadian motherfucker.

I hated this episode when I was ten years old, and I hate it more now. Once "Dark" hit massive syndication when I was still a wee lad, what was once "I wonder what new adventure will unfold tonight!" became "I hope the rerun they show tonight doesn't suck!" And whenever this episode came on, I would clench my ten-year-old fists, raise my ten-year-old head to the ceiling, and bellow, in my ten-year-old voice, "God damn it!"

The Tale of Jake and the Leprechaun. Where do I even start? How does one begin picking apart all the bullshit?

Let's start with the "plot."

This old banshee named Gort has it in his head that the easiest way to change little boys into frogs is by hoping he'll be cast in a play in which he'll retain zero creative control, yet still find a way to shoehorn-in a bunch of black-magic dialogue that the play's screenwriter I guess doesn't mind. And THEN he'll somehow turn the fucking boy INTO a frog in front of the entire audience AND stage crew with no one ever becoming the wiser. So, how many performances of this play has Erin done? Does no one ever notice that the kid who plays Boy Victim actually goes missing in real life? Is the play, as written, supposed to end with Boy Victim actually turning into a frog at the end, and all because he trusted the wrong leprechaun? Are we just throwing out that whole beginning where Erin saves Jake from that pedophile goblin? Would a family play really do something as dark as destroy Boy Victim's soul at its conclusion? Is this the only play these people ever produce? Does this playhouse only produce plays about leprechauns? Have they perhaps produced some variations of "The Music Man" in which someone still manages to turn into a frog at the end and the very Caucasian audience can still clap, anyway? Does that Erin motherfucker REALLY live beneath the theater? Does he own the theater? Does he get paid for his performances? Does he get a cut from the door? What name does he use on his W-2? What's his endgame? What's the point of turning a bunch of boys into frogs beyond just being a dickhead? If he wants frogs so badly, why doesn't he just drive down to Jacksonville with a big net and grab them from outside the Bennigan's? Why is everyone within ten square miles of this play Irish? (Seriously – Erin, Jake, the redheaded stagehand, the magical dwarf. This is Canada, okay? This ain't fucking Boston.) How the hell does Sean know who Gort/Erin is? Is Sean a real leprechaun? Are leprechauns immortal? Or really wise? If they're so magical and capable of creating spells and potions, why do they live in birdhouses like homeless muppets? Are they too stupid to know they could use their magic for personal gain, or too stupid not to know how to do so? Are leprechauns just really stupid? Do they just toss a bunch of herbs into a stew pot all day and hope for the best? Where the fuck are Jake's parents during all this, while he's falling victim to one leprechaun while spending way too much time with another about whom he knows absolutely nothing? Why would Jake's parents force him into the performing arts when he's both hideous looking and a terrible actor?

There is not one redeeming thing about this entire episode. Not even Warwick Davis could've saved this shite, though I would'nt've minded a little Phil Fondacaro pun not intended!

"Have you ever kissed a dwarf?"
"You will..."

Is It Scary?

The fact that my last bowel movement looked like that of a rabbit's is more terrifying.

Is It Corny?

Dear god – under, over, backwards, frontwards, in and out of the butt. Fucking so much corn in this vicinity that the corn-obsessed people who made Food Inc. are going to make a sequel called Food Inc, Too - Fucking Seriously, The Corn Around Here Is Out Of Control.

Is It Stupid?

Your half-sister whose brain fell out one day when she was bending over to tighten her Velcro shoe straps is smarter than this thing.

How Bad Is The Acting?

The politically correct way would be to say Jake likely walked into an audition and the show-runners said, "He has just the look we're going for!" But since I'm in no way politically correct, those show-runners in all likelihood actually said, "He's just as fucking weird looking as we hoped! Cuz he's gotta turn into a frog later, ya know?"


Oh, the acting.

It's terrible. Everything terrible becomes less terrible when shit-smeared across this kid's performance.

"Leave him alone, he's just a kid!"

No, fuck that. Kids aren't forced at gunpoint to become actors (unless they're Macaulay Culkin), so if said kid is going to choose to be in the public spotlight, elbow himself to the front of the line, and be all up in my face, then I am going to call out that kid whose weird head offends me, and whose acting "skills" offend me more.

Does The Kid Deserve His Terror?

Morally? No. But spitefully? Because I hate hate hate Jake? If you ask me, he wasn't terrorized enough. Maybe he should have suffered a real Irish fate and died of skin cancer.

Why Does That One Kid Look Familiar?


Jake will return in eight years to do another episode of "Dark." Here's hoping with a different face.

Also, the little boy who plays Sean, the "adult" dwarf, is from—

Oh. Right.

How Canadian Does Everyone Sound?

Eric says "aboot." There could have been more Canuckisms during the actual story itself, but I was so distracted by how much in hate I was with everything that I probably missed some.

An Eric Douchebag-Ism

Eric's insistence on mimicking an awful Irish brogue resulted in an assemblage of healthy mental face-punching.

Final Thoughts

This episode starts off all emotionally with Eric explaining that his grandfather died earlier that week, and that night's tale was directly inspired by his grandfather's heritage and stories. It's for this reason only, I'm sure, that the episode ends with clapping and hugs, rather than Eric's face being held over the campfire to melt Raiders style.

Kids, make sure your grandparents are well-stocked with Lipitor and Crestor and other things old people will die without, because I can't go through this again.

The end is extremely fucking nigh.

On the Official Gary Creeper-Shot Rating Scale...

I Award "The Tale of Jake and the Leprechaun..."



Zero Gary Creeper Shots


I declare this meeting of the Midnight Society closed. (Splash sound.)

Sep 28, 2014


If you were a budding horror misanthrope in your early teens during the ‘90s, then you not only remember, but cherish, this long-running Nickelodeon series about a group of variously ethnic kids meeting in the woods at night to trade spooky tales. Perhaps you remember President Gary's opening remarks during the first episode: "We're called The Midnight Society. Separately, we're very different...but one thing draws us together: the dark! Each week, we gather around this fire to share our fears and our strange and scary tales." The stories were creepy, corny, fantastic, or pretty stupid, but we all remember that nervous knot in our stomachs beginning to tighten as the legitimately eerie opening title sequence began (which includes that awful clown-doll from which I used to avert my eyes). You didn’t know if the groundwork for nightmares was being laid, but you sat, rapt, waiting to see.  So grab your weird bag of magic dust and toss it in the fire. It’s time to see if you’re still afraid of the dark.

The Tale Submitted For Approval: 

"The Tale of the Sorcerer's Apprentice"

The Submitter: Betty Ann (Oh great, here we go.)

The Current Midnight Society Administration: Gary (President, Glasses); David (Vice-President, Administrator of the Useless); Kiki (Secretary of War/Ass-Kicker, Name-Taker); Eric (Director of the Office of Management and Budget/Minister of Looking Smarmy); Betty Ann (Ambassador to the United Nations/Gary’s Unspoken Mistress); Kristen (Trade Representative/Socialite); Frank (Intern/Socialite).

The Jist

"Dean Berkham was the kind of guy who blended in," Betty Ann explains. "He didn't have many friends, he didn't do sports, and he never joined anything. He just kinda...was."

So, since that sounds exactly like me when I was in high school, we can determine that Dean is a fucking loser.

It's also really important that we establish right away one thing: Dean sucks everything hard at chemistry. Like, so hard that his teacher, Dr. Crenshaw, becomes physically incensed at the sight of him and nearly rains blows down upon him right in the middle of class.

Hang in there, Dean!

But things aren't a total loss. Dean is friends with a cute black girl named Alix, who is his "total opposite," which implies that Dean is not a cute black girl. I wish he was! Two for the price of one, amiright?


Oh, right – the episode.

"My cancer's back..."

Later that day, an archaeologist named Dr. Oliver does a guest lecture in Dean's world civilizations class. She looks really uptight and well-dressed, so when it turns out she's British, I'm not surprised. During her lecture, where she shows off only the items used in conjunction with mankind's most fucked up history (there's a lot of that!), a snake scepter found in an ancient Babylonian temple captures Dean's attention because he's really into rhinestones. The scepter apparently once belonged to Goth, an evil sorcerer, enslaver, and precursor personified of all sad kids at the mall everywhere.

After the lecture, Alix writes off the whole evil sorcerer follow-him-find-fortune/denounce-him-die-hard thing, but Dean's pretty interested. He goes back to see Dr. Oliver and her collection of relics, and she gives him permission to...ahem...touch anything he wants. :D

Naturally he goes right for the scepter, which – no bullshit – you can hear rattling around like crumpled soda cans since it's clearly made of cheap aluminum. But those rhinestone eyes begin to glow, and before you can say Arnold Vosloo, the scepter puts the whammy on him. He walks down to the old pool room that no one uses anymore and goes right to the filter, where thirty years prior, other kids had hidden some kind of probably-essential talisman that looks like a dehydrated scrotum and half-shaft while they were fooling around with snake scepters.

Dean, now totally taken over by this Babylonian force inside him, uses his new-found abilities the same way ancient Babylonians did – by really getting the upper-hand on crabby old Crenshaw, his chemistry teacher. He also becomes a raging tool. You can tell by the new motorcycle leather jacket. Hey Dean – way tougher dudes called: they want their jacket back.

Alix spies him stealing chemicals from the chemistry lab one day and follows him to the pool room, where apparently a bunch of other students are already bewitched by the scepter in the same way he is. He says a bunch of bullshit about Goth, the aforementioned Babylonian god, and gets a total boner for him, but then Alix knocks something over like a dumb-ass and flees from the pursuing kids. She manages to evade them and them doubles-back to Dean because she is dying to know why he's acting like such a b-hole. She sees him take out his ball-sack and put one of his balls in the scepter's mouth.

Needless to say, we're all aroused.

"I'm gettin' hiiiiiiiiiiiigh!"

The whole ball-in-mouth thing seems to be like calling collect, because Goth appears in floaty-head form above the bucket of magical ingredients and begins to provide Dean with the final steps needed in order to fully resurrect him, and luckily he provides all of this info to Dean in modern English, which ancient Babylonians definitely knew.

As Alix runs from unused pool room to college-size chemistry lab to majestic amphitheater with balcony seating, I hope you've by now noticed that your own high school was actually really shitty.

Alix tries to convince Dean to fight the evil force inside him, but he ain't havin' that. He runs away without swinging his arms and it's hilarious.

Dean reconnects with his evil band of after-school cult members and they all pedal away to eat some really evil Bagel Bites at Dean's mom's house. Even though Alix is not on a bike, she does a great job of catching up with them. And just kidding about the Bagel Bites – they're actually at that old pool room again. She blows it kind of instantly since she's seriously the worst at sneaking around and she's captured.

Dean does a LOT of talking to the camera, courtesy of guest scene-director Spike Lee, and lays out the whole plot. They're using the school's empty pool to create the "cauldron of mystic vapors" on which Goth is depending to be reborn and wear, like, real golden scarves and collars and stuff – not that smoky kind he's been rocking the last thousand years.

- "So then she's like, 'I'll have the large!'"
- "Get the fuck off the stage!"

Dean fills the pool with all the necessary magical bullshit, despite Alix's best intentions, and Goth is successfully resurrected. Alix breaks Dean's magic balls and wakes him from his asshole trance. Dean wakes up pretty quickly from his brainwashing and realizes he's been acting like a heel for most of this episode and orders Alix to pour a random bucket of chlorine into the pool to dilute the ingredients, which she does.

"Ha ha! Your human science cannot–" Goth hilariously begins, but then oh snap, human science DOES defeat him. He screams, falls into smoke, and goes back to limbo, aka waiting on hold for Comcast customer service.

So, not only does Dean save the day and all his friends, but he also proves that he knows some chemistry shit, which apparently is the REALLY important thing to take away from this episode.

"It was on Crenshaw's chemistry exam!" he said.

Use chlorine to defeat Goth, an ancient Babylonian god. True/False.

Sure it was.

They both have a BIG laugh over this and Alix forgives Dean super-quick for trying to sell her unfettered sex to an evil god dressed like an underpaid greeter at Harrah's Casino.

Oh, by the way: Dr. Oliver was totally a bad guy this entire time. You knew that, right?


The Reaction

You know…I feel absolutely nothing toward this episode. I mean, I’m pretty sure I liked it, and I’m pretty sure when I was a wee-boy it used to be one of my favorites, but…I dunno. I got nothing.

Pretty weird, right?

My biggest gripe might be this entire episode is rising action. Dean becomes possessed way too quickly before he can establish his likeability, and then he spends most of the episode snarling, making the lemon face, and just being kind of a fuck. I mean yeah, I get it, I’d be prickly too if I had the evil force of a snake scepter all up inside me, but it feels like nothing happens here except: Alix sees Dean do something fishy, Alix follows him and immediately gives away her position, Alix flees. Repeat. Repeat. Oh quick, throw some of that shit in the pool we win the end.

But after having said all that, I still liked it.

Man, what gives?

Is It Scary?

All Dean does is make mean faces and steal bottles of acid, so, no, it's not especially scary. The entire fucking episode is chemistry. For real. The scariest thing about chemistry is that I had to take it twice in high school.

Is It Corny?

Not too bad. I appreciate the whole ancient Babylonian thing. I'm sure a lot of it was made up, but some of it actually depended on a real history. I liked that.

- "So then she's like, 'Better make that the small!'"
- "Get the fuck off the stage!"


Is It Stupid?


How Bad Is The Acting?

Acting's just fine.

Do The Kids Deserve Their Terror?

No way. The evil Dr. Oliver totally bewitched Dean, who was only trying to enhance his education by wanting to learn more about ancient civilizations. And Alix deserves her terror even less because she's a total ten, and she was still willing to be friends with Dean, who is a four at best. He's like a Gary, but without glasses, and less punchable.

Why Does That One Kid Look Familiar?

Matthew Mackay (Dean) pulls a hat trick and does another episode of "Dark" this same season. And sadly, Staci Smith (Alix) never acted again after this, at least according to IMDB, which is a shame because she was actually decent – that and I like to look at her, which sounds even creepier once you realize she was probably fifteen when she did this show.

Oh well!

Her only other acting credit is in something called Prehistoric Bimbos in Armageddon City, which, needless to say, I have to track down immediately.

How Canadian Does Everyone Sound?

We get one lousy "aboot" from Betty Ann. Rip-off.

An Eric Douchebag-Ism

"Ah, another bore-fest?" he inquires when Betty Ann says she'll be telling that night's story. (Take that, Betty Ann. I hate you.)

Final Thoughts

This show has a real problem with allowing everyone equal story-telling time. Fucking Betty Ann told the previous meeting's story, too! I mean, Gary's the leader of this social group and he's only told one story so far and it sucked an entire bag of balls.

How does she keep getting away with this? I bet it's because she threatens to Betty Ann them all to death.

The end of everything.

On the Official Gary Creeper-Shot Rating Scale...

I Award "The Tale of the Sorcerer's Apprentice..."


4 Gary Creeper Shots


I declare this meeting of the Midnight Society closed. (Splash sound.)