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Thread: Spidey's Snack Shack | Cult/Horror Review & Recipe Thread

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    Spidey's Snack Shack | Cult/Horror Review & Recipe Thread



    Yes, We're {OPEN}




    Welcome to the diner at the edge of town, baby! I'll be your host this evening, delivering for your culinary pleasure the media that interested me enough (for better or worse) to hunt down and stock in my kitchen. I'm offering reviews served in nice bite-sized portions, easy to digest but leaves the palate wanting more. Your entree also comes with a side order - recipes I found that relate back to the shows/movies in some way. So go ahead and find yourself a booth or a table. Put a quarter in the jukebox, look over the menu, and settle in. I'll be right with you after I sharpen this knife.

    All reviews are spoiler-free. The same cannot be said about the food. Chew carefully.





    #1: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)



    In Theaters: October 1, 1974


    Appetizer: Billboard #1 Song At The Time
    Click for Spoiler:

    "Rock Me Gently" by Andy Kim (September 28 - October 5, 1974)




    Gonna kick this off the right way with Number One. TTCM holds up impressively well for a movie that came out around the same time President Ford took over for Richard Nixon. It's best known for being a gory horror flick, often cited as setting a new standard for slasher films. You would be surprised by how much blood is in the film, however (Seriously, there's more blood in your average AMC series. Tobe Hooper does a fantastic job selling the psychological here. Implied horror is far more terrifying than buckets of that red kroovy).

    Leatherface is the personification of fears and prejudices that still exist today. Many fans lambaste the decision to portray him as transgendered in later films, though I assume they forgot he was in full makeup, wigs, and kitchen apron here in the original... also seen acting as if he were the housewife of The Sawyers. I don't think it's a coincidence that he is this way right when Disco, a genre popularized by several groups including the LGBT community, took center stage. He's also shown to have a mental disability, a common staple in Horror films, true, but while an entity like Jason Voorhees is similar to a zombie killing machine, Leatherface is the subject of abuse by the other villains of the movie. This paints Leatherface in a different color than later executioner-esque monsters.

    TTCM tackled a growing fear at the time: changes made by modern industry. The Sawyers are a family of slaughterhouse workers whose livelihood stemmed from handling cattle "the good old fashion way" by caving their heads in with hammers. It is mentioned sporadically that industry had changed from that practice to using a nail gun in order to be more humane. I'd argue viewers are witnessing a bit of that cultural backlash in the guise of insane killers, as they had lost their jobs to this evolution in industrial capitalism. At its core, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is about the country boys finding refuge from new technology in the most twisted of ways.

    Sprinkle a little Ed Gein for flavor and a classic is born. If you're in the mood for an oldie but goodie, try this (dis)comfort food.

    💀 💀 💀 💀 💀





    Tonight's Special: Classic Chicken Fried Steak

    AKA Country Fried Steak is believed to have been invented in Texas. It is a staple in Southern cuisine.

    Also, cows.




    INGREDIENTS (Serves 4)

    4 quarter-pound cube steaks (pre-tenderized) or round steaks
    A sprinkling of salt for pre-salting the meat
    2 cups of flour for breading
    2 teaspoons Kosher salt for breading
    1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
    1/2 teaspoon cayenne
    2 eggs, beaten
    1/2 cup milk
    Canola oil, rice bran oil, or other high smoke point oil or fat for frying


    Gravy:

    3 Tbsp pan drippings
    3 Tbsp flour
    1/4 cup whipping cream
    1 3/4 cups milk
    Salt
    Freshly ground black pepper


    1. Pound steaks to an even thinness: If you are using round steak instead of the pre-tenderized cube steak, you will need to pound the steaks thin or they will be way too chewy. (Already tenderized cube steaks can also use some meat mallet attention to get more thin.)

    Place each steak between two pieces of plastic wrap. Using a meat mallet, rubber mallet, rolling pin, or empty wine bottle, beat the steak until it is very thin, less than 1/4-inch.

    As you beat the steak, you will want to turn over often, and spread out the plastic wrap which tends to wrinkle as you work.


    2. Salt meat, preheat warming oven: Sprinkle a little salt over the meat. Preheat the oven to 200F. In the oven put a wire rack over a baking sheet. This will keep the finished steaks warm and dry while you cook the gravy.


    3. Dredge steaks in flour, egg, and flour again: Prepare two wide, shallow dishes such as a pyrex casserole dish. In the first whisk together the eggs and milk. In the second, whisk together the flour, salt, cayenne, and garlic powder.

    Working one at a time, dredge a steak into the flour. Using the heel of your hand, press the flour into both sides of the steak.

    Lift up the steak, shake off the excess flour and dip the steak into the egg wash, coating it on both sides.

    Lift the steak out of the egg wash, shake off the excess egg wash, and then dredge the steak again in the flour. Again, press the flour into the steak on both sides.

    Set aside on a plate. Repeat with remaining steaks.


    4. Fry the steaks: Pour enough oil in a large frying to cover the bottom by 1/4-inch. Heat the oil to 350F or when you drop a little flour into the oil it sizzles. If the oil doesn't sizzle it isn't ready, if it burns, the oil is too hot, reduce the heat.

    Working one at a time, lay a flour-egg-coated steak into the hot oil. Gently shake the pan a little to wash a little hot oil on the top of the steak. Or you can use a metal spoon to spoon some of the oil over the steak. This sets the coating.

    Fry until you see the edges of the steak turn golden brown, about two minutes. Carefully turn the steak over in the pan, and fry for two more minutes.

    Once both sides of the steak are golden brown, tip the steak up with a metal spatula to drain the excess oil. Remove it from the pan and place if on the wire rack in the oven to keep warm. Repeat with the remaining steaks.


    5. Make a roux with fat and flour: Turn off the heat of the pan. Pour out all but about 3 tablespoons of fat from the pan. Whisk in 3 tablespoons of flour and turn the heat on to medium.

    Let the flour mixture cook until it's the color of milk chocolate, about 4 to 5 minutes, stirring constantly.


    6. Stir in milk and cream to make gravy: When the flour fat mixture is smooth and a lovely milk chocolate color, slowly add the milk and cream, whisking constantly. Note that the mixture will seize up initially, and will loosen as you whisk in more liquid.

    Add milk to your desired thickness for gravy. If the gravy is too thick for you, add more milk. If it's too thin, let it cook longer.

    Season with salt to taste. Season with lots of black pepper, to taste.

    Serve chicken fried steak with the gravy and a side of mashed potatoes.


    Stop by Spidey's Snack Shack and get yourself a bite!

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    #2: The Legend of Billie Jean

    #2: The Legend of Billie Jean



    In Theaters: July 19, 1985

    Appetizer: Billboard #1 Song At The Time

    Click for Spoiler:

    "A View To A Kill" by Duran Duran (July 13 - July 20, 1985)




    We're still representing Texas here with the lost gem that is The Legend of Billie Jean. Popular rock goddess Pat Benatar supplied the theme "Invincible" for this particular movie, and that's pretty fucking awesome (peaked at #10 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart on September 14, 1985). Some GLOW fans will recall this song playing when Zoya the Destroya faced Liberty Bell in the Season Finale. Still, this film has kinda gone to the wayside in terms of popularity and reviews for it are uncommon. This is a shame because it's a rather interesting tale of a small incident spiraling out of control through media coverage - something all too familiar in today's world. A teenage girl from the trailer park becomes an icon for the youth gone wild via the craziest of circumstances, and the context of the story shifts from exposure = good to the toxicity of hero(ine) worship.

    Sadly one thing does drag this movie down for me, and it's Yeardley Smith (voice of Lisa Simpson). Her character Putter has what I call a severe case of Scrappy Doo: small person built to be a bad ass coming off as an insufferable whiner. Throughout the movie she's there as comic relief sans jokes. She does what little bastard children do in movies - grab a bunch of candy, complain, whine about needing food aka candy, rinse and repeat. Her voice is what you imagine it to be.

    You could write a college thesis on Billie Jean. The feminist symbolism is strong with her as the parallels to Joan of Arc become blatant as the movie progresses. Social aspects of the movie are pretty staggering as I eluded to previously with news media going nuts - even radio stations begin to ask her to drop by and pick up a new scooter, the plot device to the entire movie. There is a drizzle of lower class vs. the upper class mixed in as well. There's enough film theory here to fill a book, that's for sure.

    It's dripping with corny nostalgia, so you gotta sip slowly. Not a very believable piece of cinema, but then again neither were the 80s. Fair is fair.

    💀 💀 💀 1/2





    Tonight's Special: Chocolate Malted Milkshake

    Putter's insatiable appetite for sweets gives us this sugary, almost forgotten treasure of a concoction.



    INGREDIENTS (Serves 2-3)

    2 1/2 cups chocolate ice cream
    1/2 cup original flavor malted milk powder
    1/2 to 1 cup whole milk

    Sweetened whipped cream, for garnish
    Halved malted milk balls, for garnish


    1. In the container of a blender, combine the ice cream and malted milk powder.

    2. Add the milk, a quarter cup at a time, blending between each addition, until the desired consistency is reached.

    3. Garnish with whipped cream and malted milk balls.


    Stop by Spidey's Snack Shack and get yourself a bite!

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    #3: Escape From L.A.

    #3: Escape From L.A.



    In Theaters: August 9, 1996


    Appetizer: Billboard #1 Song At The Time

    Click for Spoiler:

    "Macarena (Bayside Boys Mix)" by Los Del Rio (August 3 - November 2, 1996)




    This is an unpopular opinion, but after watching both films I think Escape From L.A. is a smidge more entertaining than Escape From New York. Please don't leave my diner. The soundtrack sounds better for my ears, with the original theme an oddly subdued techno medley I'd expect from a SEGA game. Escape from L.A.'s version is pure machismo smoke-all-the-cigarettes-in-the-world PLUS that earworm of a harmonica/guitar strum that features heavily in the movie (you'll know the one) is plain badass. For me the action is better, the location is utilized better, there's a stronger message being told here, and the characters are more memorable. The Duke lacks the charisma Cuervo Jones had, and Duke was played by Isaac Hayes! Admittedly I got tired of hearing "I heard you were dead" for the umpteenth time in the original too, so maybe I'm flat-out bias. Overall the sequel is a fun romp, but there are obviously some problems with it.

    Like many 90s movies before, CGI hurt this flick. Where New York had practical effects and forgettable characters, L.A. is the opposite. Green Screen composites are ridiculous, the surfing scene has both the fakiest fake waves since those old 60s beach movies and the concept itself is flat out ridiculous. Many hate the basketball game presented (I am not one of those people, but I can see why some would argue it jumps the shark). It doesn't do anything wholly different than Escape From New York either. The premise is Copy + Paste. If a person watched them back to back, New York will probably be the one folks argue stands up better.

    What I do get from this sequel is the story of a man struggling with a society that's fallen into two deep political chasms - the US government is an ultraconservative totalitarian with a white Christian/NWO emphasis, and L.A. is a lawless liberal playground ran by a Che Guevara dictator itself. Deeper meaning was hard for me to pick up on in the original, as it mostly came off as a linear popcorn flick with a nice aesthetic. That's not a bad thing, but having some meat helps me get into the movie more (I will review New York and see what I can do, though). There is a fair bit of satire surrounding Snake Plissken, too. Los Angeles is alive and well in the worst possible ways, between killer plastic surgeons and The Happiest Place On Earth the domain of a warlord, there are very few moments I didn't let out a chuckle and nod my head to the self-awareness. And the sequel spoofs quite a few things from New York which is great.

    Sure, it is tacky with how similar it is to the original, but for this little spider it was still fairly thought-provoking. Give it a chance and try to ignore all that retreading.

    �� �� ��





    Tonight's Special: Western Hot Dog

    This by all accounts is a Cowboy movie under the guise of a dystopic. Carpenter himself was deeply influenced by classic westerns.

    And sure, New York is known for its hot dogs, but this variation still packs flavor.




    INGREDIENTS (Serves 4)

    1/3 cup BBQ sauce
    4 all-beef hot dogs
    8 slices white American cheese
    cup crispy cooked bacon (crumbled)
    cup French fried onions
    4 hot dog buns


    Step 1: Lightly grease the grill grates of an outdoor grill. Heat the grill to medium-high heat. Place 2 tablespoons of the BBQ sauce into a small bowl and set aside.

    Open the hot dog buns and placed cut-side down onto the grill. Grill for 1-2 minutes or until toasted on the bottom.

    Turn the buns over and add 2 slices of cheese to each bun. Place the buns onto the warming rack of the grill or away from the heat. Keep warm.

    If you are cooking on the stove, you can place them onto a baking sheet and melt the cheese in the oven.

    Step 2: Place the hot dogs onto the grill and brush hot dogs with reserved BBQ sauce. Grill turning and brushing the hot dogs with BBQ sauce occasionally for about 5-9 minutes or until heated through.

    Step 3: Place the grilled hot dogs into each bun, top each with about 1 tablespoon of BBQ sauce, 1 tablespoon of bacon, and 2 tablespoons of French fried onions.
    Last edited by Spidercanrana; 06-15-2018 at 01:07 PM. Reason: Technical difficulties: My rating for L.A. is 3 Skulls


    Stop by Spidey's Snack Shack and get yourself a bite!

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    #4: Twin Peaks (Season 1 & 2)

    #4: Twin Peaks



    Premiered: April 8, 1990

    Appetizer: Billboard #1 Song At The Time

    Click for Spoiler:

    "Love Will Lead You Back" by Taylor Dayne (April 7 - April 13, 1990)



    Who killed Laura Palmer? A question that plagued viewers even after the big reveal. Twin Peaks is perhaps David Lynch's most notable work outside of Eraserhead, and his own personal style is fully presented here. It's a deeply atmospheric, dreamlike show that's first season raked in a great deal of acclaim at the time. A strange mix of horror, comedy, noir and intrigue, it helped inspire other offbeat fictional worlds like Silent Hill and the modern Riverdale.

    I wouldn't call this binge-worthy, as it takes its time developing character and their subplots over the big picture, but then again this show was popular at a time where shows were meant to be watched one episode at a time in the week. Plenty of time to mull things over at the water cooler. It also falls into an old soap opera aesthetic with a sappiness that isn't for everyone.

    A deeper meaning is a little hard to decipher as well, but then again this is David Lynch. Explaining this show is like explaining a dream. This is the type of stuff you just have to put your seatbelt on and see where the driver takes you. Believe me, it's an unfamiliar road, and deserves a better navigator than me to tell you where we're going.

    If you have some time to kill and you're looking for a unique experience, grab a cup of coffee and feast on this perplexing mystery. See you again in 25 years.

    💀 💀 💀 💀 1/2




    Tonight's Special: Homemade Cherry Pie

    Everybody is obsessed with the cherry pie at the local diner, so it was only natural to include it.



    INGREDIENTS (Serves 8)

    Chilled pie dough for top and bottom 9-inch pie
    4 1/2 cups pitted fresh cherries, see note if using frozen or canned (2 1/2 pounds, unpitted)
    1/4 cup (30 grams) cornstarch
    2/3 to 3/4 cup (135 to 150 grams) sugar, adjusted accordingly to sweetness of cherries
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1/4 teaspoon almond extract
    1 tablespoon lemon juice
    1/8 teaspoon salt
    1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter, cut into small squares
    1 egg yolk
    1 tablespoon heavy or whipping cream
    Additional sugar for topping crust (coarse sugar is a nice option)


    MAKE FILLING

    Heat oven to 400 degrees F.

    In a large bowl, stir sugar, cornstarch, vanilla extract, almond extract, lemon juice and the salt together then add cherries. Gently toss to combine. Set aside.


    PREPARE AND FILL CRUST

    Remove half of dough from refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for 5 minutes. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to a 13-inch (1/8-inch thick) circle. (Occasionally, check if dough is sticking to the surface add a small amount of flour when necessary).

    Check for size by inverting pie dish over dough round. Look for a 1-inch edge around the pie dish. Carefully press the dough into the dish.

    Spoon cherry pie filling into pie crust. Discard most of the liquid pooled at the bottom of the bowl. Dot filling with little squares of cold butter.


    TOP PIE

    Roll out second half of dough then top pie. Use a knife or pair of kitchen scissors to trim dough to within 3/4-inch of the edge of the dish.

    Fold edges of top crust underneath edges of bottom crust, pressing the edge to seal it so that it creates a thicker, 1/4-inch border that rests on the lip of the dish. Then, crimp edges by pressing the pointer finger of one hand against the edge of the dough from the inside of the dish while gently pressing with two knuckles of the other hand from the outside. Refrigerate dough at least 20 minutes or freeze for 5 minutes before baking.


    BAKE PIE

    Just before baking, make egg wash by whisking egg yolk and cream together in a small bowl. Use a pastry brush to brush over the top crust. Then, sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of sugar. Then, cut 3 to 4 slits in top of pie.

    Bake for 20 minutes then reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F and bake an additional 30 to 40 minutes longer, or until the crust is golden and the filling is thick and bubbling. Cool pie at least 2 hours, preferably 3, before cutting to allow filling to set.

    Note It might be helpful to bake the pie on a baking sheet covered in aluminum foil so any juices that drip over the pie dish are caught.


    Stop by Spidey's Snack Shack and get yourself a bite!

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    #5: Ginger Snaps

    #5: Ginger Snaps



    In Theaters: May 11, 2001

    Appetizer: Billboard #1 Song At The Time

    Click for Spoiler:

    "All For You" by Janet Jackson (April 14 - May 26 2001)



    Ginger Snaps is a Canadian horror movie that became the fifth highest grossing film nationally in December 2000 to November 2001. Perhaps the purest cult film so far in my reviews - gaining attention by positive word-of-mouth through various film festivals before that theatrical release where it was practically forgotten about. It found its fangs through DVD sales, making it popular enough to receive two sequels, one called Ginger Snaps 2: Unleashed and the other Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning.

    This one is definitely on my list of best late 90s, early 00s horror, and a large part is due to the execution of the film. Camerawork is champion here. The score is leering and ominous without being too much, and the mains have a wonderful chemistry. And when we get to werewolves...blue ribbon material. They even have an original look to them before the definitive lycanthrope became progressively more generic through CGI years later.

    Bad parts are visible, of course. The secondary antagonist flat out sucks in a bad Buffy episode sort of way. The adult characters are campy cringe, but if you're into that then it's kind of a pleasant juxtaposition to Ginger and Bridgette, the gothy main characters. The edgeness can also be a bit to take in especially with our modern culture where that trend is mocked mercilessly online.

    Not many movies can tackle teenage girls' battling with puberty and still be frightening horror flicks, but this one captures that parallel almost flawlessly. It's a savage dive filled with all kinds of satirical blood. Ginger herself is a hormonal paradox: juggling beauty with ugliness, being a loved one and a rival, etc. Her character is what gives the movie its substance; she is a feminine adolescent lashing out because of the changes her body is undergoing, and her sister is caught in the crosshairs.

    A decent enough plunge if you need your alternative fix. For me, it is one of the better werewolf movies out there, with the best third act I've seen of its kind. Top that off with genuine scares here and there and it more than deserves its rating. Take a bite and tell me what you think.

    💀 💀 💀 💀




    Tonight's Special: Mom's Ginger Snaps

    A sweet dessert that packs a little kick.


    INGREDIENTS (Serves 36)

    1 cup packed brown sugar
    3/4 cup vegetable oil
    1/4 cup molasses
    1 egg
    2 cups all-purpose flour
    2 teaspoons baking soda
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1 teaspoon ground ginger
    1/3 cup white sugar for decoration


    1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

    2. In a large bowl, mix together the brown sugar, oil, molasses, and egg.

    3. Combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cloves, cinnamon, and ginger; stir into the molasses mixture.

    4. Roll dough into 1 1/4 inch balls. Roll each ball in white sugar before placing 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets.

    5. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in preheated oven, or until center is firm. Cool on wire racks.


    Stop by Spidey's Snack Shack and get yourself a bite!

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    #6: Darling

    #6: Darling



    Initial Release: September 26, 2015

    Appetizer: Billboard #1 Song At The Time

    Click for Spoiler:

    "Can't Feel My Face" by The Weeknd (September 26, 2015)




    Darling is a Black & White indy psychological horror film set in a haunted house. It pays homage to the works of Lynch, Polanski, and Kubrick with an immersive style that uses a musical score to walk the viewer to the plot points. The movie received a theatrical release in New York and Toronto, Canada before going to on-demand video a week later.

    Sitting at 71% Fresh, on the surface it looks like a good enough little ditty that just got lost in the shuffle of mainstream cinema. Most reviews that I could find are positive, often citing the director's ability to channel the directors I mentioned while adding an editing flair that is all his own.

    I disagree with these critics. Darling comes across as a student film project more than it does an addition to the horror library it i̶m̶i̶t̶a̶t̶e̶s̶ steals from. There are splicey jumpscares used as a crutch for the paranormal. It is nauseatingly overdone. The good parts - atmosphere, lighting, and camera shots, get swallowed up by the orchestra that tries to give some kind of tension to what is playing on screen. 9/10 it's just the protagonist walking around, broadcasting no new information and somebody forgot to tell the conductor. Her backstory can be told in four words or less, making her one of the most unsympathetic mains I've seen in recent Horror. The narrative dream broke several times for me, leaving me thinking about the director more than the titular character.

    Moments escaped this movie that could've been capitalized on, and that's probably what bugs me the most about Darling. Plenty of scary setups but nothing to push the button for it. While there are definitely worse Horror out there with worse scares, some of them at least can fall back on being so bad it's funny. Darling doesn't have that quality. In the end, it's a forgettable "woman going crazy in a spooky house" type of deal that has been used by many films before it with fantastic execution. You're just gonna be left confused by the time you finish it and sigh at the contrived post-credit scene. If this ol' phone is ringing, just take it off the receiver and go do something else.

    💀 1/2




    Tonight's Special: The Gum Underneath Your Table

    Just like the plot of the movie, this little ol' wadded piece of candy used to pack flavor but after being gnawed on for so long and left to decay in my diner, it probably tastes a little wooden by now.


    INGREDIENTS (Serves 15-20)

    Big Red
    Wrigley's Spearmint
    Wrigley's Winterfresh
    5 Gum - Cobalt
    Bazooka
    Dubble Bubble
    Trident Watermelon
    Trident White
    Juicy Fruit


    1. Remove wrapper. Carefully apply stick into your mouth.

    2. Rest gum on the surface of your teeth. Begin gnashing until you experience the sensation known as taste.

    3. For the next ten minutes, chew until there is no longer any flavor left and you feel yourself needing to gag.

    4. Remove wad of gum from your mouth. Place your arm in the underhand position.

    5. Direct the gum to the bottom carriage of the table. Once underneath, lift your hand upwards.

    6. Apply enough pressure to the table so that the gum can use its adhesive properties.

    7. Wait a few days after prepping your work. Go ahead and snag the gum and repeat step 2. Hey, at least it's your own gum.


    Stop by Spidey's Snack Shack and get yourself a bite!

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    #7: Phantasm

    #7: Phantasm



    In Theaters: March 28, 1979

    Appetizer: Billboard #1 Song At The Time

    Click for Spoiler:

    "Tragedy" by The Bee Gees (March 24 - March 31, 1979)



    Phantasm is a cult horror film that spawned a franchise with Phantasm II, Phantasm III: Lord of the Dead, Phantasm IV: Oblivion, and Phantasm: Ravager. Upon initial reception it garnered mixed reviews, but on later viewings the general feel for this film was positive, with credit going to its dreamlike aesthetic and nightmare fuel.

    Has quite a few good things going for it. The Tall Man is worth adding to the list of great monsters in Horror. He's visually imposing yet presented like a guy that could walk around the neighborhood and nobody suspect a thing. You will see shades of more notable horror villains after this movie was produced, so in a way I see The Tall Man as someone who inspired a few icons we know and love. The effects for the truly weird parts are fucking awesome really, giving us the low-budget yet gruesome Evil Dead-like quality. And have you ever played that movie game where you try and guess what comes next? I did, and I failed over and over again, and that's a good thing. Unpredictable horror is like finding a $20 in the parking lot. Just makes the day a teensy bit brighter.

    Being an truly independent movie, all the actors are amateurs. Worst part by far, and even laughable at times. The lighting also bugged me throughout (I wasn't watching the Remastered edition). Here there be jumpscares, and lots of them, but keep in mind this wasn't all that overdone in the late 70s. Many other films like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre were playing with that fire five years before Phantasm, so it gets a pass from me.

    I am of two minds about the ending of the movie. Without giving too much away, it's definitely one of the more overplayed kinds of epilogues even for the time. This conclusion is my personal bane. On the other hand, I went back and rewatched the film and yeah, it's quite brilliant the subtle bits hidden in the background here and there to give the narrative those final moments. A lot doesn't make sense unless the audience believes in the misdirections, so I'm just going to shrug my shoulders at it.

    Plenty of subtext to be had here if you're looking for a topic that's not popular anymore. There once was a sub-genre of Horror movies that fixated on what strangers can do to our deceased. Fears of grave robbing were once en vogue in classics like The Body Snatcher, I Bury The Living, and yes, Plan 9 From Outer Space. Phantasm borrows from that "dead" trope in sensible fashion - through an adolescent protagonist. Phantasm pays homage to the theme while encapsulating something wholly unique on its own, even peculiar, but I'll leave that up for you to see yourself.

    I don't say this often: Phantasm deserves a remake. It has plenty going for it but is bogged down by the inexperience of the actors. A lot of time has passed sense it was popular, so I don't see any reason why it shouldn't get a revival.

    Don't come in trying to make sense of everything. To be fair, Horror doesn't work that way.

    💀 💀 💀




    Tonight's Special: Egg Custard

    Inspired by all the gore in this film, which was often yellow.



    INGREDIENTS (Serves 6)

    2 cups milk
    2 eggs, beaten
    1/2 white sugar
    1 pinch of salt
    1 dash vanilla extract
    1 pinch ground nutmeg


    1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).

    2. Whisk milk, eggs, sugar, salt, and vanilla together in a bowl until completely combined.

    3. Pour egg mixture into 6 custard cups; sprinkle tops with nutmeg.

    4. Place cups in a baking pan and fill pan with enough hot water to reach halfway up the sides of the custard cups.

    5. Bake in the preheated oven until custards are set, about 1 hour. Cool completely.


    Stop by Spidey's Snack Shack and get yourself a bite!

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    #8: Suspiria

    #8: Suspiria



    Release Date: February 1, 1977


    Appetizer: The WWE World Champion At The Time

    Click for Spoiler:



    Bruno Sammartino

    (December 10, 1973 - April 30, 1977)


    • Winning the title back in December of 1973, Bruno Sammartino became the first man to ever regain the WWE Championship.
    • This also marks the fourth longest title reign in WWE history, clocking in at almost four years. Only two men have held the championship longer than Bruno's second go around: Bob Backlund (5 years) and Hulk Hogan (4 years).
    • First Italian-born WWE Champion.


    Suspiria is a supernatural giallo film (Italian horror) that appeals to the senses in a very distinct way. Sound and visuals are king in this piece of cinema - providing an exceptional bit of terror even when nothing wholly insane is happening. But where Darling takes a pause to play with this for no other reason than to remind us that it's supposed to be a Horror movie, Suspiria uses it as the preliminary build-up to what is coming at the character onscreen. That, and the music is memorable. Truly scary moments are abound in this ditty, sort of in the essence of Japanese horror. I say this because as an American horror fan, I am used to watching the spookshow cease to a point, allowing that breather but still in the back of my mind I think "this could have kept going" or "what if the monster xyz...". Suspiria doesn't hold back, and that's something I enjoy most about the film.

    For as good as the scares are, two things did bother me when the credits rolled. One, which is small and entirely my feelings for it, is the monster reveal. Not going to spoil what it is, because in a way the film takes its time setting up that mystery, but I was underwhelmed. Now this is me and my particular interest in the subject matter, but the monster is nothing at all but fluff because...this is the second and biggest problem I had with the movie: there was a lack of motive. Sometimes it's scarier not knowing the intentions of the antagonist. I get chaos and horror go together like soulmates, but I am the sort that needs an idea for what the bigger picture is. The moral of the story, the subtext, etc. At least a reason why they're targeting the protagonist. The monster of this movie deserved more of an explanation than they're there and they're evil. Since I have no idea why the big bad of the horror film is doing what they're doing, I can't really give anything of substance here.

    For what it's worth, it grabbed my attention and didn't let go until the third act. It's a beautifully vibrant, audio ringer of a Horror movie and deserves a peek.

    💀 💀 💀 1/2




    Tonight's Special: Pasta Salad

    A total feast for the eyes, this dish is bloody colorful and, obviously, Italian. Bone at the teeth.


    INGREDIENTS (Serves 4)

    1 pound tri-colored spiral pasta
    6 tablespoons salad seasoning mix
    1 (16 ounce) bottle Italian-style salad dressing
    2 cups cherry tomatoes, diced
    1 green bell pepper, chopped
    1 red bell pepper, diced
    1/2 yellow bell pepper, chopped
    1 (2.25 ounce) can black olives, chopped


    1. In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook pasta until al dente, rinse under cold water and drain.

    2. Whisk together the salad spice mix and Italian dressing.

    3. In a salad bowl, combine the pasta, cherry tomatoes, bell peppers and olives. Pour dressing over salad; toss and refrigerate overnight.


    Stop by Spidey's Snack Shack and get yourself a bite!

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    #9: A Boy And His Dog

    #9: A Boy And His Dog



    Release Date: November 14, 1975

    Appetizer: Notable Events Of The Year

    Click for Spoiler:

    • The Vietnam War came to an end in April.
    • Cost of a gallon of gasoline = .44 cents
    • Margaret Thatcher became the first woman leader of the British Conservative Party.
    • Sony introduced the Betamax videotape.
    • The first blockbuster movie, Jaws, released in June.
    • Patty Hearst became America's Most Wanted and was arrested for armed robbery that September.
    • Apollo and Soyuz Joint Flight marked Apollo's last modular flight in space.


    With the recent passing of Harlan Ellison, I thought it'd be okay to shift around a few movie reviews and get this one done now. A Boy And His Dog is based on his narrative mythos of the same name. Some Fallout fans would be quick to tell you that it was this piece of literature that inspired the post-apocalyptic game dynasty. Set in the American Southwest, this movie is part of the public domain.

    When people say inspired, I think of how Chainsaw Massacre, Silence of the Lambs, and Psycho were inspired by the murderer Ed Gein. There's enough to draw comparisons, but the films stand out as their own thing and nobody can confuse the three. After watching and reading A Boy And His Dog, one thing is clear - Fallout wasn't just inspired by the story, they stole from it. Everything you know about Fallout from vaults, wasteland motif, scavenging, 1950s paranoia, nuclear world, etc is here. Even Vic, the protagonist, calls his dog Blood "Dogmeat" at one point. But I digress.

    The movie sort of sets an unfamiliar tone compared to the written work. Reading A Boy And His Dog is a disturbing, gritty endeavor that is just a hit to the gut and you'll just feel like you witnessed something you shouldn't have. The movie does touch on that horrid world a bit, but undermines it with a dark sense of humor. Blood, speaking through telepathy, exchanges barbs with Vic that are pretty funny. Of course there is social commentary in this film - not exactly about warfare or politics, but definitely the byproducts of it. Mankind has reverted back to its most basic of desires in the world, meaning Vic and Blood are chasing down two things: food and women. That's their drive, particularly the latter for Vic. It's uncomfortable to see this sort of universe play out, but I'm sure that is the point. When the bombs dropped, so did civility.

    But there is something countering the lawless land, and that's the vault Vic enters. This part of the story is what really takes off for me, making the movie just okay to HOLY FUCKING NIGHTMARE FUEL. It's not scary the way boogeymen are, but you'll find yourself entering an eerie hell when getting to this place. There's a fair bit of subtext on the Truman/Ike Administration here as well, showing how society becomes a creature whether or not it is out in the wastes. Best parts of the film for sure.

    Audio/Video I thought was fine and kinda nostalgic for a 1970s movie, but I did get confused with how closely the voice of Blood was to several characters in the film. Bothered me a bit. And Vic was a bit ham with how aggressive he was portrayed. On top of that, the ending to the story/movie are the same, but the atmosphere is extremely different. It's pure horror when the reader realizes what happened. Here it's played down horrendously, with a pun attached to it. Hated this take.

    But for a forgotten film based on a story that was lifted for a mega popular game franchise, this wasn't a disappointing view. Toss this bad girl on the skillet and eat her right up.

    💀 💀 💀




    Tonight's Special: Ham and Cheese Omelet for Two

    Whether it's Blood and Vic or Vic and Quilla, this breakfast is meant for two...

    The movie also gets quirky with its humor. Often hammy. A bit cheesy sometimes. Just eat the damn thing.




    INGREDIENTS (Serves...well, 2)

    4 or 5 large eggs
    Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
    Small bunch chopped chives, tarragon, or parsley
    2 tablespoons (25g) unsalted butter, divided
    4 ounces (110g) ham steak, diced
    2 to 3 ounces (80g) grated cheddar cheese


    1. Combine eggs, salt, pepper, and herbs in a medium bowl and whisk until homogeneous and frothy, about 1 minute. Allow to rest at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes. The eggs should darken in color significantly.

    2. Meanwhile, melt 1 tablespoon butter in a 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat, swirling, until lightly browned. Add ham and cook, stirring frequently, until it has begun to brown on the edges, about 3 minutes. Transfer ham to a small bowl, add cheese, and toss to combine. Wipe out skillet with a paper towel and return it to medium heat.

    3. Add remaining 1 tablespoon butter to pan and cook until lightly browned. Re-whisk eggs until foamy, then add to skillet and cook, using a silicone spatula to push the edges in toward the center as they set and tilting the pan to spread the uncooked egg underneath. Continue pushing in the edges of the eggs and tilting the skillet, working all around the pan, until omelette is almost set, about 45 seconds.

    4. Sprinkle ham and cheese over half of omelette, remove from heat, cover, and let omelette sit until it reaches the desired consistency, about 1 minute.

    5. Using silicone spatula, loosen the edges of the omelette from skillet and shake skillet to ensure that it's not stuck. Carefully fold omelette in half, then slide it onto a serving plate and serve immediately.


    Stop by Spidey's Snack Shack and get yourself a bite!

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    #10: Hereditary

    #10: Hereditary



    Theatrical Release: June 8, 2018

    Appetizer: What Trended This Day

    Click for Spoiler:
    • The Washington Capitals
    • Kate Upton
    • #NationalBestFriendDay
    • Anthony Bourdain
    • Prince



    Hereditary is a supernatural Horror movie and is the widest release of any movie of A24 fame (The Witch, It Comes At Night, etc). It is currently generating positive reviews by critics but is polarizing by mainstream audience, par for the course with the studio. Compared to the likes of The Exorcist and Rosemary's Baby, I came in expecting a cautious build up to a crazy climax.

    This movie can be interpreted several ways. While some may want to explore the feminine occult themes with the women who are front and center of the film (and with a twinge of irony, are a mother, maiden, and crone), others will be quick to say the opening shot of the film will teach you how to watch the entire movie. The mother is designing a dollhouse, and throughout we are reminded that this is what she is working on. I believe that in order to get the full understanding of this movie it is best to keep the mother's perspective in mind. As I watched, two branches were at play: the literal, on-the-screen contextual plot, and the sweet subtext hiding in dialogue and attitude. I walked away getting the sense that this movie was focusing on a mother coming to terms with the trans identity of a loved one. It sucks I can't get into specifics on why this is, because it is indeed spoilerific to press on, so just take my word for it here. There is an underlying theme of what a person is and what they're supposed to be, which is very important to that community.

    Hereditary is a slow burn but when it gets to the heart of it all, expect fireworks. There is a focus on drama over horror - definitely more arthouse in its execution than what the average scary movie fan may want to cope with, but it's a fine enough horror film that deviates from the pratfalls of the business standards. I'd go ahead and grab a few napkins for this one.

    💀 💀 💀 💀




    Tonight's Special: Crispy Chicken Tenders

    Charlie made clucking noises throughout the film. I have it on good authority that chicken make this sound as well.

    Lol crispy.




    INGREDIENTS (Serves 7)

    1 cup all-purpose flour
    1 cup dry bread crumbs
    2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
    1 teaspoon salt
    3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
    1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    1 large egg
    1 cup buttermilk
    1-3/4 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
    Oil for deep-fat frying


    1. In a large resealable plastic bag, combine the first six ingredients. In a shallow bowl, whisk egg and buttermilk. Dip a few pieces of chicken at a time in buttermilk mixture, then place in bag; seal and shake to coat.

    2. In an electric skillet, heat oil to 375. Fry chicken, a few strips at a time, for 2-3 minutes on each side or until no longer pink. Drain on paper towels.


    Stop by Spidey's Snack Shack and get yourself a bite!

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