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

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    My Other Avatar Is Broken Spidercanrana's Avatar
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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


    3 Tbsp pan drippings
    3 Tbsp flour
    1/4 cup whipping cream
    1 3/4 cups milk
    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.

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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.

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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

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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)


    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.


    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.


    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.


    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.

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