So the end of the world really is upon us, yes again, and it’s up to Ashy Slashy to save the day! And night, and the nowheresville town of Elk Grove, and what’s left of the people in it. Because really, between the 60-some-foot-high Kandarian demon, the Dark Ones, the rift and the Deadlands, Ruby and her machinations, and the damned Necronomicon and all the deadites that came from it, there aren’t a ton of people left in Elk Grove.
Brandy has more or less embraced the fact that she’s a Williams, and, in that fine tradition, goes about slaughtering deadites and demons left and right, getting covered in blood and gore as is family tradition, too. It’s so cute to see Brandy strike a Ghostbeater pose and drop a one-liner, with her dad looking on with such pride, that the daughter he never knew he had could and would carry on the fight regardless of what happens to him. And when Ash falters and doubts himself, it’s Brandy’s turn to tell him to suck it the fark up, and go kick some ass! Though poor Brandy is still denied the pre-Deadite-fight toke on the traditional blunt, hah.
This is somewhere many TV shows and even movies have faltered in recent years, trying to take something nostalgic we all loved from our younger lives and revamp it here in the modern-day. Keeping the same tone and ridiculous slapstick-y blood-splatter practical effects that made the original Evil Dead films is an absolute passion of the makers of Ash vs. Evil Dead, including Bruce Campbell himself, is hard to do, but these guys pulled it off.
Far too often the remade show or film suffers the Jurassic World syndrome, where the young and cocky new guy trying to stop the world from ending all but turns to the camera and says, “See what I’ve accomplished in your name, Grandpa, aren’t you proud of me? I made your original vision so much better!” That is almost inevitably hardly the case, but the upstarts with way too much money and time on their hands think remaking something they loved from when they were little is the most sincere form of flattery. In Ash’s case, instead, we see him pass the baton to Brandy gradually, by tossing her into the deep end of his world, where she swims like a damn champ.
That’s not to say that others in Ash’s world weren’t given the same loving treatment, in this final season of Ash vs. Evil Dead. Poor Pablo, that hapless lover, and eventual fighter, who embraced his own heroic heritage as a Brujo Especiale, in his own family tradition, has come a long way from when he first knelt and swore to join the Jefe’s fight. And when Pablo heroically runs down the behaunted main avenue of Elk Grove and is included in a very fine tribute to the original ‘Evil Dead’ and ‘Army of Darkness’ films, it is an excellent reminder of other characters who had grand storylines of their own, whom we came to love just as much as we love Ash.
Speaking of tributes, it has to be talked about, the necklace Ash gave Brandy, awww. He said he had it when he first encountered the Necronomicon in that cabin so damn long ago, and for all of us ‘Evil Dead’ fans, even if it’s not the real thing, that necklace sure feels like it anyways. Rather like the magnifying glass that was used to read that damn book that began all this nonsense, I thought; how appropriate.
A whole bunch of father and daughter deadite-slaying later, Pablo’s gone into the rift like that Brujo badass he is and come out with Kelly’s spirit, which he tosses into her body post-haste. She still won’t rise, why?! Because that sort of gag is yet another ‘Evil Dead’ tradition, that’s why. So Kelly’s finally back up kick some deadite demonic ass, finally, onward we go!
Boy, I bet the military are going ‘WTF y’all?!’ as they try to bombard the Kandarian demon with everything they’ve got. Ground forces are having no luck either, and though all our Ghostbeaters are finally together again, only Ash, our reluctantly aging hero, is the chosen one, the one to finally face that freaking gigantic Kandarian demon, alone. Ash bids a loving farewell to his original team, the Ghostbeaters, telling Kelly she will make a strong leader and that Pablo himself is the Jefe now, and to his heretofore-unknown daughter, the unexpected windfall of a child that straightens his spine and makes him face the deadites head-on once more, Brandy, wears the necklace as she bids him a loving goodbye. Nothing to do now but steal a tank, create a makeshift spear with the Kandarian dagger, oh yeah, and face down a humungous demon!
We all enjoyed the giant demon fight scene and can pretty much guess who won, but the whole scene after that was an interesting way to end the series. The film Army of Darkness actually has an alternate ending scene, wherein Ash once again screws up proper wording and finds himself way far off in a destroyed future rather than the present and S-Mart. This ending of another potential far-off future, somehow original Mad Max meets I Am Legend with deadites instead of vampires, where Ash once again has to gear up and go out to fight demons, seems ridiculously far-fetched.
Which, somehow, makes it work mostly for Ash’s whole Evil Dead world. All three seasons of Ash vs. Evil Dead, and hell, the movies that preceded them too, were over the top, goofy and funny and completely not plausible ever, but more than anything, fun. We’re all aging and resenting it too, just like Ash, and just like our beloved boom-stick wielding Jefe, we want to roar off into the sunset to kick ass, just one more time!
As most of us already know, the third season of Ash vs. Evil Dead was the final season, as Starz cancelled the show. Tons of fans turned hopeful petitions to places like Netflix, only to be further saddened when the man himself, Bruce Campbell, took to social media and stated he was finally done playing Ash Williams, but what an amazing ride it has been. We fans, myself included, loved all the hard work and energy and passion that was poured into every single episode of the show, and the show can be likened to ‘Stranger Things’ for nostalgia tribute value entertainment. Hail to the King, and his beloved Ghostbeaters, forever baby!
Joy Ride Is An Extremely Raunchy And Hilarious Comedy
Joy Ride is an extremely raunchy and hilarious comedy that takes the mantle of ensemble risky
comedies that at times, leave your mouth on the floor. Joy Ride focuses on two best friends
Audrey and Lolo (Ashley Sullivan and Sherry Cola) end up getting roped up into a trip to Asia,
they end up on gals pal cross-continent trek to find Audrey’s long lost birth mother so she
doesn’t lose a huge business deal.
The chemistry in this movie is superb. Every character has their moment to shine and there’s
rarely a scene where you don’t get a belly laugh. I was shocked at how crazy and bold this
movie got, continually pushing the line to get a laugh. The movie does a good job of getting to
the point and getting to the scenes that really make you chuckle. There are some editing choices where the story flies by some stuff, and it feels a little incomplete, but never at the expense of really enjoying being around for the journey.
I thought that this was a sleeper for this year and certainly a movie worth watching with your
friends some weekend. It’s great to throw on if you want a laugh and really just enjoy some
great actors riffing off each other. The focus on culture was a nice touch and really elevated the movie to another level. While I would say if you’re easily offended, this movie is not for you – if you’re looking for a no holds barred comedy, Joy Ride is a trip worth taking.
Who Doesn’t Want To Wear The Ninja Suit Of Snake-Eyes Or Dress Like The Mandalorian?
Hasbro has had their pulse app out for a while now. It allows for access to items to buy, preorder, and a look into future projects and releases. It also allows for a very cool thing most nerds (a group of which I am a proud card-carrying member) have always wanted, the ability to make yourself into an action figure. I’ve contemplated making one for a time but, I finally got my chance to get my hands on one at Comic-Con this year. Now, of course, I had to wait in line as it was a pretty sought-after item. Who doesn’t want to have themselves wear the ninja suit of Snake-Eyes or dressed like a Mandalorian? I was approached by one of the booth staff as I was showing my nephew all the cool ways we could get him his own MIles Morales action figure with his face (as he’s a massive fan) and invited to take a seat and scan our faces into the Hasbro Pulse app with the help of their awesome team and make this dream a reality. My wife was with us, so of course she got in on the fun too. We scanned our faces in and it was very simple and quick. Then we all selected our figures to add our heads to. We all chose Power Rangers(Me as the Black Ranger, my wife chose the pink ranger and the nephew got the red ranger). Then we were told that we needed to wait about 4-6 weeks and we’d have our custom action figure team in our hands. This was a major part of our Comic-Con adventure and definitely, a memory my wife and nephew won’t forget (as it was both of their first Con ever). Thank you to Hasbro for being so generous(also getting me brownie points that home) and I highly suggest checking out Hasbro Pulse and all the cool stuff it has to offer.
The Last Voyage of the Demeter: Double-knock on wood!
Adapted and written largely from the Captain’s Log chapter of Bram Stoker’s magnum opus Dracula, The Last Voyage of the Demeter tells the story of Dracula’s journey by ship from Carpathia to London, and what happened to her crew in the interim.
So here we are in Bulgaria, middle of 1897, and Captain Eliot (Liam Cunningham) of the Russian schooner Demeter is here to take on some strange cargo from some unknown client and transport it to Carfax Abbey in London. In need of some extra hands, the Captain sends out his capable Second Wojchek (David Dastmalchian) to scout for some, and initially the roving black doctor and aspiring philosopher Clemens (Corey Hawkins) is passed over in favor of more work-roughened men. The adorable cabin boy of the Demeter, Toby (Woody Norman), narrowly misses being crushed by the mysterious dragon-marked crates being loaded onto the ship, saved by Clemens himself and switched out with the superstitious sailors running from the Demeter like they had been poisoned by the sign of Dracul. And now, armed with some nine or so crewmen, Doc Clemens, and Captain Eliot himself, the twenty-four strange what looks like coffins adorned with dragon signs brought mostly safely aboard, the Demeter can make for open water and the Hell that awaits them there.
The duty of showing Clemens around the ship falls to a cheerful Toby, who proudly shows him the living areas, the Captain’s quarters, the very-large cargo hold, the galley and kitchen where the overly-devout Joseph (Jon Jon Briones) cooks the crews meals, the various above decks, even the sails, and the rigging are all at least touched on, and the livestock pens that Toby himself is in charge of, including the handsome good-boy doggy Huckleberry, or just Huck. We the audience get a very clear feeling of what it’s like to actually be aboard the Demeter, just how large she really is, and what living on a ship for months at sea is really like, the reality and practicality and the dangers of it.
Everyone more or less settles in for a hopefully uneventful voyage, taking mess around the common table and exchanging ideas or aspirations for when they arrive in London early thanks to the fair winds, and receive a handsome bonus for their troubles. But that involves being alive and making it to London to spend said bonus and pay, and the coffin crates spilling dark soil from the motherland and disgorging all sorts of other nasty secrets, have some serious plans to the contrary.
First, it’s the livestock, innocent and shrieking in their locked pens as a monster takes great furious bites out of their necks, and of course, the creature just straight up ruins poor doggy Huck. Then there’s the fully grown girl that gets dislodged from an open coffin-crate, covered in bite scars and as pale as death, she eventually starts interacting and talking after several blood transfusions from Doc Clemens, Toby learns her name is Anna (Aisling Franciosi). And then, as the weather turns foul and the winds begin to be a serious problem, the attacks turn toward the remaining humans onboard the Demeter.
Most people these days are familiar with Dracula, that gorgeous cunning vampire Elder who can supposedly transform into a bat or a wolf, seducing women to voluntarily offer up their veins like an unholy sacrament, a being at once beautiful and powerful, but also horrific and murderous if given half a heartbeat to smell your blood. This is not Dracula.
Instead, the creature that hunts the humans occupying the Demeter is an absolute monster, not a single human feature left to it, barely even recognizable as humanoid-shaped, instead boasting not just full-length bat wings but an entire exo-skin of bat membranes that can be used for feeding, a mouth full of needle-like teeth akin to a predator of the deepest darkest parts of the ocean, those yellowed Nosferatu eyes that will not tolerate light in any way, and of course giant pointy bat-ears. This is a thing, a grotesque straight from the depths of Hell, and no amount of glamor magic can make this Dracula (Javier Botet) seem like anything other than what he, is – a parasitic demon who only wants your blood. There is no reasoning with it, no trapping it, not even really any talking to it (kinda hard to talk when your throat has been ripped out), and, like the much more frightening Dracula stories of old, no amount of pure faith behind a symbol does anything other than give false hope.
Coming face to face with an actual abomination does different things to different people. The formerly delightfully foul-mouthed Abrams (Chris Walley) dissolves into a blubbering mess; poor Larsen (Martin Furulund) didn’t even get to see his own death coming; and it turns out Olgaren (Stefan Kapicic) wants to live so badly, he’ll suffer becoming a blank-eyed Renfield if that’s what it takes. All of Cook Joseph’s purported pure faith didn’t stop him from trying to take the coward’s way out and didn’t save him anyway when the sound of unnatural bat wings descended on him. I find that kind of irony delicious. Dear Anna, resigned to her fate to be eternal food for the horror that terrorized her village, nevertheless wants to try and save whoever is left of the Demeter with her own sacrifice, and there aren’t many. Wojchek of course wants to kill Dracula, but for all his logic and solid practical nature, has no experience whatsoever with this sort of thing, and sure doesn’t want to sacrifice the Demeter, the beloved ship he called home that was promised to him by Captain Eliot himself, in order to destroy that demon. Even poor sweet Toby isn’t safe from the creature’s clutches, and what happens to the cabin boy of the Demeter is what finally sends Captain Eliot over the blooming edge. And who could blame him? For this sort of thing to happen during the last voyage of such a proud, solid ship as the Demeter, is some serious bullsh*t.
To leave such a film open for a potential sequel, especially when called the last voyage of something, was a pretty hefty ask, and somehow the filmmakers managed it. I personally think a different version of Van Helsing, the infamous vampire hunter, teaming up with a certain black doctor who nurses a serious grudge against Dracula, could be a kickass sequel. Until then, experience the doomed final journey of the Demeter and her poor crew in all it’s bloodstained glory, in theaters now!