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  • “THE HOWLING II: YOUR SISTER IS A WEREWOLF” (Blu-ray Review)

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    No one will ever mistake Philippe Mora’s suicidal sequel HOWLING II: YOUR SISTER IS A WEREWOLF for a “good” movie. But really, when it comes to our obsession with weird fantasy and trash cinema, what the Hell does “good” mean, anyway? One of Merriam-Webster’s dictionary definitions of “good” is “pleasant and acceptable” and certainly, no one wants a horror film that’s pleasant and acceptable, do they? In fact, HOWLING II is so wonderfully unpleasant and defiantly unacceptable that it becomes an almost art-house study in wrongness; a freefall of atonal edits, alternately outrageous and listless performances, oddball grab shots and screen wipes, strange, rubbery gore, perverse costumes… and boobs. Tons of boobs. Almost all of them which belong to co-star Sybil Danning…

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  • “SCREAM: THE TV SERIES: Season 1, Episode 1” (TV Review)

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    The pilot episode of MTV’s Scream opens with a familiar source of terror in teen horror as of late: the horror of embarrassing social media. A video of two girls making out in a car is uploaded to Youtube, leaving one of the high schoolers mortified. Played by Bella Thorne, the hot blonde teen who committed the act of outing the lustful car lesbians returns home after boasting about her bullying to her boyfriend, immediately takes off her clothes and blasts some modern alternative MTV pop music. The newly-designed Ghostface wastes no time at all, texting her puns and acting out a lame modernization of the original Scream’s iconic opening without any of the meta horror movie contexts that made the original so endearing and clever.

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  • “SALEM: Season 2, Episode 13” (TV Review)

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    As fright fans may be able to tell you, you can’t have the devil on Earth without expecting a little damnation. And damnation there was on SALEM’s second season finale, a relatively busy and brutal episode that spans only the short time since John Jr. became Lucifer’s vessel at the hand of Countess Marburg. While the repercussions of said damnation won’t be entirely clear until SALEM’s (presumed) third season, there’s enough death, and fates worse than death, in “The Witching Hour” to satiate even the most bloodthirsty SALEM fan, with accompanying practical effects to boot. And considering the thoughts and images that SALEM leaves us to contemplate over the next few months, no character is going to come back to season three untested as this chapter in the series had anything but happy endings.

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  • “L.A. SLASHER” (Movie Review)

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    Reality television and the assorted “stars” spawned from such fodder have been a scourge on our society for longer than viewers seeking intelligent entertainment can tolerate. But like superheroes taking criminals off the streets, the title character of L.A. SLASHER rids Hollywood of its new wave of celebrities, in the process distorting archetypes and asking: Who are the real heroes and who are the real villains?

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  • TV Review: “REELSIDE PRESENTS GEORGE A. ROMERO”

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    Now screening on Canadian pay television is REELSIDE , a new 6-part series executive produced by veteran Toronto film critic and journalist Richard Crouse in which key Canadian performers and artists explore the creative mechanisms of their similarly Northern based colleagues. In the first beautifully shot installment, David Cronenberg favorite Sarah Gadon joined forces with Cronenberg’s photographer daughter Caitlin on an art project, and future episodes will see the likes of Seth Rogen and Bruce McDonald also discussing their own processes and struggles to make their voices heard.

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  • “SALEM: Season 2, Episode 11” (TV Review)

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    One of the things this writer respects the most about SALEM is that, despite maintaining an excellent serialized narrative and visual continuity, every episode takes on a different shape based on its individual storyteller. Luckily, one of season two’s constant directorial presences, Nick Copus, has proven his episodic contributions to be among the more intense and scary offerings in the series’ history. And with Copus’ most recent (and last) episode this season, “On Earth As In Hell,” SALEM ups the fright factor by tenfold while still offer the same satisfying shocks as the shows fans have come to expect.

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  • “HANNIBAL: Season 3, Episode 2” (TV Review)

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    Ever existing as the classiest chiller on television at the moment, HANNIBAL’s third episode begins to clarify the events following the season two finale in its second episode, “Primavera.” While this episode is certainly less sinister in nature, nearly completely backing off of Hannibal to focus on Will, Abigail and Inspector Pazzi, an Italian detective who previously had a run-in with a much younger Lecter. However, one might argue that “Primavera” is an ultimately scarier episode than its predecessor, focusing more on the visceral and hallucinatory side of Bryan Fuller’s surrealistic vision while exploring the depths of Will and Hannibal’s dependency on one another.

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