Edgar Rice Burroughs, Starlord & Raptors

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They say in advertising that if you have a boxom, bikini clad lass holding a baby and walking a puppy dog that you can sell people deep-fried cat shit and they won’t care.  Why?  Because the advertising had a sexy, bikini clad lass, holding a baby and walking a puppy dog. That’s mostly true for any product in general, except for fiction. With fiction’s mediums, be they on the page or the screen, we’ve got a broader field. They’re all imagination stimulators that bring forth immediate recognition, allowing the audience to bond with the narrative. Your choices include Knights in shining armor, Vikings, Pirates, damsels in distress, Cops & Robbers, Cowboys & Indians, flying machines and automobiles, and, of course, dinosaurs.  

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With me it has always been the latter, the dinosaurs. They’ve caught my imagination since I was a little boy. My earliest recollections all link back to two sources: KING KONG and Edgar Rice Burroughs. Kong put a sympathetic face on the giant monster, and yes, he fought dinosaurs. The works of ERB took me to outer space and back to our inner earth, with stops at lost islands and hidden valleys along the way. One of those places was the aforementioned lost island, called Caprona, the titular THE LAND THAT TIME FORGOT. The adventure story of the survivors of an U-Boat attack and how they end up on a lost island jam packed with dinosaurs is one of my favorite, ever. In 1975, a theatrical adaptation of the book hit screens, and I was enamored. The next year, a modernized KING KONG came out. There wasn’t a comic book, View Master or coloring book I didn’t have that was somehow tied to one of those properties. This is because dinosaurs are cool.

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Jump forward 20 some odd years from 1975 and author Michael Crichton once again captures my imagination with JURASSIC PARK. The hard science behind the book allowed suspension of belief and I suddenly felt like a pre-teen again, awash in the prehistoric glory of dinosaurs. The movie adaptation that followed a few years later did not disappoint me in any manner, well, unless you include that little issue with Muldoon. Nitpicking aside, the dinosaurs were amazing and far removed from the puppets and back screens of THE LAND THAT TIME FORGOT. Special effects had reached a pinnacle in achievements with the Stephen Spielberg movie. Travel another 20 or more years, while circumventing a pair of sequels that failed to live up to the awe and wonder of the first, and we find a new entry into the JURASSIC PARK franchise. This past weekend, JURASSIC WORLD defied the average critical response, which has been a resting bitch face “Meh,” and opened to record box office receipts and smiling moviegoers by the boat load. Making over half a billion dollars at the multiplex was a feat unheard of, until last weekend. I happily contributed to its coffers and I’m about to happily tell you why I enjoyed the movie as much as I did.

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I’ve finally accepted that we won’t get a proper remake of THE LAND THAT TIME FORGOT, thanks to JOHN CARTER’s marketing team.. Edgar Rice Burroughs has a stigma attached to his estate, one that says the movies won’t be very good.  It’s not a slight on the source material at all. Burroughs’ stories were action packed pulp adventures, he was a superstar of his time, a pop culture phenomenon. Shit, Tarzana, CA, is even named after his most famous creation. His characters were smart, the good guys good, the bad guys bad and the women, be they antagonists or protagonists, were strong. And sexy. But time and time again,  Burroughs adaptations fail at the box office. I’m fine with that, because, you see, JURASSIC WORLD is every bit as much an Edgar Rice Burroughs story as it is the fourth film of the JURASSIC PARK franchise.

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You see his influence throughout not only JURASSIC WORLD, but through JURASSIC PARK, as well. From the remote island setting to the dinosaurs themselves, the JURASSIC franchise is ripe with Burroughs-esque Easter Eggs. The intelligence of raptors is a modern incarnation of the evil Mahars from AT THE EARTH’S CORE, for example. The themes of conflict between the military and civilians can be seen in any ERB story, and is often established by having our protagonist be a member of the military itself. And that’s what makes JURASSIC WORLD the most Burroughs of all the films, its lead male star, Chris Pratt, and the character of Owen Brady. You see, Owen Brady is the quintessential Burroughs hero. He is brave and intelligent, he has a sense of humor and is he ever a ladies man. You can even see a slight Burroughs take on his character name, Owen Brady easily translates into Tyler Bowen, the hero of THE LAND THAT TIME FORGOT, as well as nearly every other ERB protagonist from John Carter to Tarzan. Owen even channels Tarzan himself when he communicates with his “trained” raptors. Brady is an archetypical throwback to the heroes that have endured through time. Even Bryce Dallas Howard’s Claire Dearing could be ripped straight out of any number of Burroughs narratives. She is strong, yet she is also beautiful, and alluring to our hero, making her Jane Porter or even Deja Thoris in a power suit.

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Word has it that there are already talks for a fifth film in the franchise. As long as they bring back Chris Pratt and his portrayal of Owen Brady, I’ll be on board, too. Nothing spells a good time like Starlord and the Raptors.

You Know Nothing, Fan Boy: Jon Snow and the Hero’s Journey

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Night gathers, and now my watch begins. It shall not end until my death. I shall take no wife, hold no lands, father no children. I shall wear no crowns and win no glory. I shall live and die at my post. I am the sword in the darkness. I am the watcher on the walls. I am the shield that guards the realms of men. I pledge my life and honor to the Night’s Watch, for this night and all the nights to come.”

Last night’s GAME OF THRONES fifth season finale shocked the shit out of fans of the show in the waning moments of the broadcast. If you didn’t see it, well, Jon Snow, the last of Edd Stark’s male heirs, was given a shank blanket party by his brothers in the Night’s Watch and left to bleed out in the snow. Men with hearts of stone cried last night. Now readers of the books knew this was coming, but it still had a cathartic effect on anyone who viewed it, whether or not they were aware of the twist in the plot. Even I sat there dumbfounded, like a lost child. My wife, concerned that something serious had happened, asked me, “What’s wrong?” I sat my beer down and solemnly replied, “Jon Snow died.”

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I sat there staring at the credits as they rolled, stoic, trying not to cry. But then I realized what George RR Martin and the show runners had done, and I smiled. You see, the writers and Martin sent Jon Snow to the place he needed to go, a place that heralds the upcoming climax of the popular series. They sent Jon Snow to the Underworld. You see, Jon Snow as we knew him, had to die. The story required it. But don’t worry, folks, the same creed that dictated he must die also insures he will return. Confused? You shouldn’t be. You’ve been conditioned to this since watching your first cartoon.

Season Five of GAME OF THRONES has been ripe with mythological Greek references, and this is no different. The sacrifice of Princess Shireen, the rape of Sansa Stark, all of these plot points have their origins in Hellenic mythology. The bottom line is GAME OF THRONES is classic Hellenic story telling at its gruesome best, and Hellenic stories follow a format. Most of you are very familiar with this type of story telling. It’s the most common way to tell a story in modern literature and cinema, you’ve seen it in everything from Winnie the Pooh to Rambo (yes, I’m talking about Stallone here!) and even STAR WARS. The latter example is perhaps the easiest to show, as STAR WARS creator, George Lucas, has made it clear on many occasions that STAR WARS came from Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey.

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The Hero’s Journey is the template for the classic adventure tale. It is simple. Your protagonist is young and naïve, an instance happens ripping him from the simple life he knows. He must undertake a quest to correct the wrongs, during this quest the hero will typically surround themselves with archetypical companions, which will include an elder mentor who is often doomed to be a sacrificial Red Shirt, ala Star Trek. They will often be provided special weapons from the gods to complete their quest. At one point the hero will enter the Underworld, wherein they will also die, yet unlike their mentor, they are reborn and enlightened as the hero they were meant to be.

Each character in GAME OF THRONES has their own story arcs, and Jon Snow’s has always been the Hero’s Journey. The catchphrase attached to him, “You know nothing, Jon Snow,” is an allegory to his naivety. Did the gods give him magic weapons? They certainly did, in the form of Valyrian steel and Dragon Glass. Mentor? Absolutely, in fact, Jon Snow actually has a trio of doomed mentors between his father, Jeor Mormonat and Maester Aemon. Is he surrounded by archetypical companions? Yes, Samwell and his loyal Nights Watch brethren complete that fellowship. And now, as the series nears it’s climax, it’s time for the hero to enter the Underworld and be reborn, setting up the events that will bring our story to a conclusion.

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Jon Snow is Luke Skywalker. He’s Frodo Baggins. He’s John Rambo. Luke entered the Underworld throughout THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, and emerged as a Jedi Knight. The Mines of Moria, wherein Gandalf the Grey finds an untimely demise? You guessed it: the Underworld. When Rambo cuts through the cave during his escape: the Underworld. In order for Jon to complete his quest, he needed to be removed from the Night’s Watch, whose oath tied him to the Wall. The only way to facilitate that through the narrative was to kill him, as an oath is binding unto one’s death.

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Oaths take the forefront in much Greek story telling, as well, and they were a common theme this season. Arya’s oath to kill those on her Death List, Brienne’s oath to protect Stansa and Arya, Jorah’s oath to defend Daenerys to his death and so forth. Throughout the season, time and time again, principal characters were tested and motivated by their oaths. But, in the end, Martin made it easy on us for the fate of Lord Snow, with one simple line in the Night’s Watch oath: “It shall not end until my death.” And now, the presence of the Red Woman, Melisandre, at Castle Black only verifies Snow’s resurrection will occur. I’m telling you right now, without a shadow of a doubt:

JON SNOW WILL RETURN!

He has to. The format upon which GAME OF THRONES is based requires him to come back. When he does, Snow will be back, bigger and badder, as a soldier of the Lord of Light, and he’ll be on a mission to defeat the Night’s King and to become the King of the North. He has a quest to complete, and that quest is to save the world from the White Walkers and the Night’s King. The latter is his Darth Vader (remember, the Night’s King was once a Lord Commander of the Wall!), his Sauron (Sauron was once benevolent!), his Chief Teasle. Jon Snow’s metamorphosis from being the bastard son of a Lord to becoming a Lord himself won’t be complete until he kills the Night’s King, and in order to do so he had to die, to be reborn.

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Now, whether he shares his final fate happily ever-after with Luke and Frodo, or breathes his last breath with John Rambo, I can’t predict. But dry your tears, stiffen that lip and sleep easy, friends. Now you’ve been educated on why you have nothing to worry about with Jon Snow. He’ll be back for at least Season Seven, I assure you. After all, the boy must die so the man can be born.

“I Only Need One, Mr. Bond”

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My Dad and I love James Bond movies. It is one of the film series that we have bonded over, no pun intended, throughout the years. Now, I’m not old enough to really remember seeing any of Sean Connery’s Bonds in the theater, but any given Sunday that ABC broadcast a Bond movie, Dad let me stay up past my bed time to watch James Bond. Heck, Mom was at BINGO, so a bending of the bed time rules had no repercussions, except on my imagination. I fondly recall my Dad taking me to the then Cinema North theater in a suburb of Syracuse, NY, to see LIVE AND LET DIE, Roger Moore’s first spin as the suave detective with a license to kill. This is also my first memory of seeing a movie, mano-a-mano, with my Dad, without Mom’s presence. A year later we saw THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN, and for the first time in my short life, I thought Bond was going to get killed.

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You see, Bond’s enemy this time was something more than a mad scientist or a megalomaniac. It wasn’t a giant with a top hat nor was it sharks or alligators. None of those enemies could stand up to the English spymaster. But this time Bond was facing Count Fucking Dracula, so I knew it was curtains for the spy. How could Bond beat Count Dracula? It was an impossible feat to my 7 year old mind. Yet beat him, James Bond did, in a visually thematic and tense showdown between the forces of light and darkness on an island fortress. I was awestruck.

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As much as the Universal Movie Monsters were part of my childhood on Monster Movie Matinee, I found the Hammer offerings from across the Pond to be bit more to my liking. Their Count Dracula was far removed from Universal’s Bela Lugosi. Where as Lugosi was short and talked a bit too much about the children of the night with an accent I abhorred; Hammer’s Count Dracula was tall and hissed like a pissed off cat, baring his blood soaked fangs and killing scantily clad virgins by the dozen. Because he didn’t talk, the Hammer Dracula gave the distinct impression that he couldn’t be reasoned with, making him all the more scary.

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Today we learned that Count Dracula finally succumbed to the ravages of time and passed away this weekend. The actor that portrayed the nefarious vampire, Sir Christopher Lee, was 93 years old, a life accomplishment in of itself. I could list Sir Christopher’s accolades, but anyone reading this already knows them. His long and storied career is well documented, his contributions to genre cinema are firmly placed in the annals of history, making him as immortal as the vampire prince he brought to undeath. Count Dracula, Frankenstein’s Monster, Sherlock Holmes, Sauraman, Count Dooku. All characters he breathed life into, sometimes with minimal vocalization. The latter fact is somewhat ironic, as it is Sir Christopher’s resounding baritone, as much as his vertical stature and imposing presence, that are his signatures.

Rest well, Sir Christopher, knowing you helped form a bond between a father and son, and you aided in the molding of that boy, helping him to become…me.

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Death Metal Essentials by Walt Hades and The Maxx Axe

Mortician_-_Hacked_up_for_BarbecueIf you want to combine Horror with metal, then look no further than Mortician. This Yonkers, NY based death metal group has everything every good-hearted metal/horror fan could want; aggressive songs, brutal lyrics sung in true death form and an overall aura of blood curdling horror. “Hacked Up For Barbeque” is the 1996 debut album for the band. Not only does it include the criteria above but they also include various samples from some of the more famous, and infamous, horror movies around. For example, the title track includes sampling from the 1974 film “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” where Leatherface (Gunnar Hansen) discovers Pam (Teri McMinn) invading their home and disposes of her on his favorite meathook. This scene directly influences the lyrics of the song and personifies it’s intense brutality. If this tickles your horror bone (directly adjacent to the funny bone) then this album is full of those choice bits to satisfy your hunger. Mortician have gone on to create 7 more albums and many demos/singles to quench the bloodthirst of their fans. You can find out more about them at their website, http://www.morticianrecords.com.

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So you have a taste for some Swedish Death Metal? Then Hypocrisy can be your main course! Formed in 1990 by death metal pioneer Peter Tägtgren, Hypocrisy were one of the forerunners for the Swedish Death Metal movement in the 90’s. Their songs present simplicity and brutality. “Osculum Obscenum” is their 2nd album which exemplifies the classic death metal formula with it’s riffing and lyrics. However, it takes a bit of a turn as not all songs are the stereotypical 240bpm. Various tempo changes are showcased on several songs including “The Pleasure of Molestation” where you go from sick brutal beats to slow methodical grooves, but never lessening the aggression. Peter Tägtgren has also worked with and produced some of the biggest metal bands to ever come screaming out of Europe including Immortal, Children of Bodom & Celtic Frost. Learn more about the band, it’s line up changes and influence on the swedish death metal scene at their site http://www.hypocrisy.cc.

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In Flames-The Jester Race. Considered by many, including myself, as arguably the most perfectly produced death metal album. The Gothenburg, Sweden based outfit’s sophomore album incorporates things hardly found in standard death metal albums at that time, such as intricate acoustic interludes and instrumentals, heroic dual lead guitars, deep melodic grooves and well-crafted songwriting that doesn’t primarily consist of topics like death, dismemberment, autopsies, rape and necrophilia. With classic fan favorites that include “Moonshield”, “Lord Hypnos”, “The Jester’s Dance” and the title track, the album is completely lacking of a dull moment, sending the listener into a full-speed-ahead blast into hyperspace that will leave them exhilarated and wanting more.

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Opeth- Still Life. Opeth is what you get if you take the brutality and malevolence of death metal and blend it with the technical complexities and structure of progressive rock. Songs can range anywhere between 5-11 minutes, filled with crushing guitar riffs, acoustic passages, middle eastern influence and bluesy 70’s-esque guitar solos, as well as guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Mikael Akerfeldt’s ability to transition from deep, deathly growls to a clean, golden voice similar to that of The Moody Blues’s Justin Hayward. The band is a unique creature of its own kind, developing and progressing with each passing album. This album, released in 1999, is a strong exercise in musicianship and storytelling, as it tells the tale of a godless man’s return to his home village after a 15 year banishment, seeking out his long lost loved one. This kind of story seems to come right out of a Tigon Productions or American International Pictures film (see the ARKOFF formula). However, its compelling and each song matches the mood for what is being told. Other recommended albums from Opeth include My Arms, Your Hearse and Blackwater Park.

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Cannibal Corpse- The Bleeding. The Maxx Axe and I both have a mutual love for  he band that is considered the measuring stick of all traditional death metal. We also both feel the same when it comes this album. With every album of theirs filled with the same brand of violent, graphic artwork, stomach churning lyrics and brutal, neckbreaking, fast paced metal attacks, why do we feel 1994’s The Bleeding is their best work? The reason for me is it sets a change of musical direction, songs have slowed down, making the guitar riffs a bit groovier and more “Sabbath-esque”. Vocalist Chris Barnes, in his final work with the band before departing to form Six Feet Under, possesses the same timbre in his growls but has definitely modified the cadence, producing a much more decipherable effort (that way we can understand all of the juicy, violent, murderous, necrophalic details). Musically, it is a true headbanger’s delight, ending their initial era with what still remains their best work.

So there is just a sampling of some essential Death Metal. We could have gone on and on about some more of our favorite death metal bands, but that will have to wait for another time. Until then, keep it brutal. \m/!

WE ARE STILL HERE: HP Lovecraft and the Taste of Snow

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If there is something I hate about most modern movies, it’s winter. You see, growing up in the North East, you know snow. You simply know everything about it. You are as intimate with it as you would be with a lover. You know how it sounds, how it feels, how it looks, how it tastes, how it smells. This is because winter isn’t simply snow. It’s cold and salt and dirt and ice and dog piss, as well. All of these factors add up to one of the biggest pains in the ass that God ever created. Winter. It’s a bitch to drive in, shrivels your balls and makes your nipples hard for no reason other than to test your hardiness. In movies, they try to fake snow and winter often and I never buy it, I always know when it’s on a set. There are the rare exclusions to this rule, but, typically a movie fucks up winter and it will often pull me out of the narrative, in turn ruining the flick for me. Ted Geoghegan’s first feature length film, WE ARE STILL HERE, embraces snow and all of its attributes. You see, winter is also desolate and often leaves you with a sense of hopelessness, especially once you been cooped up inside for close to 6 months. From the opening frames of WE ARE STILL HERE, you can taste the elements of the often harsh New England winter, immediately establishing the tone for the movie as it sucks you in to its moody, slow burn.

Screenshot (620) WE ARE STILL HERE may at first seem like the same old haunted house/ghost story that has been told in every major studio release the last 5 years. And this means most anything from James Wan (THE CONJURING). The tag line, “The House Needs A Family,” even reinforces this. A middles aged couple, played by Andrew Sensenig (POWERS) and Barbara Crampton (RE-ANIMATOR, YOU’RE NEXT), has moved into a home in rural New England after losing their son in a tragic car accident. Shit immediately gets weird, leading the mother to believe their dead son’s spirit has come with them. We’ve seen this movie before, right? I hate to disappoint you, but this is about where it stops being a cliché.

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You see, WE ARE STILL HERE goes someplace else and borrows its inspiration from a well deeper than the glossy, CGI infested fair we’ve been force fed by the big studios. Pulp is the secret here, both from the printed page and the silver screen, and you can smell the influence of their respective mildewed pages and melted celluloid as clearly as you can the snow. Ted Geoghegan hasn’t made a mass market frosted affair with WE ARE STILL HERE, but he certainly has beaten Guillermo Del Toro to the punch with the best Lovecraftian horror movie in recent memory. By further including a smoking dash of the classic drive-in Italian zombie B-movies, Geoghegan has created something old, yet new, and certainly not typical of our current screen scares.

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The town at the center of the narrative, Aylesbury, even sounds Lovecraftian. In fact, WE ARE STILL HERE has the grocery list of ingredients required for a classic HP Lovecraft story. New England setting? Check! Creepy townies with a hidden agenda? Check! An ancient, un-named evil? Check! A sense of paranoia and hopelessness? Hell yeah! The film moves like a New England winter, slow and prodding, establishing the mood. Adding to this, the period is hard to nail down, and as a result, we are not forced to endure the wasted scenes often prevalent in modern movies, wherein we spend 10 minutes of valuable screen time disabling the electronic devices. Is it the 70’s (the cars and TVs)? The 80’s(the phones)? Now (digital dart board in bar)? You don’t know, and that lack of knowledge only enforces the isolation of the characters, while giving us added character development in the story. Seemingly in spite of this tense build, the movie is surprisingly gory, something you wouldn’t expect from a moody piece, ala THE BABADOOK or IT FOLLOWS. Instead, the film finds itself embracing blood and guts throughout the third act as much as it does Lovecraft. In any other film, the blood and gore presented here would be over the top and comical. But WE ARE STILL HERE never once lapses into the ridiculous or comedic, despite how absurd the spraying blood may be.

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The cast looks the parts, too. Barbara Crampton, a veteran of HP Lovecraft inspired cinema, plays the wife to veteran character actor Andrew Sensenig, the latter stepping up to the forefront in a lead role. As surprised as I was by his appearance, it ultimately became the keystone that allowed me to bond with the film. Sensenig has that common man appeal, something required for a Lovecraft tale to work. Scream Queen Lisa Marie (THE LORDS OF SALEM) as Crampton’s conveniently psychic friend, and TV veteran Monte Markham, playing a creepy townie, round out the required Lovecraft character archetypes. Markham channels the X-FILES Cigarette Smoking Man for David, a town patriarch who knows more than he is leading on to.

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WE ARE STILL HERE will bind to you like a New England winter, holding you in its icy grasp, giving dual meaning to its title. You will wake up one day, tomorrow or six months from now, and you will taste the salt and dirt of its snow and smell the mildew and feel the despair. Yes, WE ARE STILL HERE will remain with you, long after the credits (which you do not want to skip!) close, much in the same manner as Room 237 might disturb a hotel guest or pea soup may make you cringe. Ted Geoghegan’s suspenseful homage to the scares of his youth joins IT FOLLOWS as one of the best examples of horror cinema to be released this year. WE ARE STILL HERE is currently playing in theaters and on VOD.

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HANNIBAL “Antipasto”

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The third season of Bryan Fuller’s HANNIBAL premiered last night on NBC. It’s been a long wait for this season. Since its inception, HANNIBAL was a late winter, early spring offering. For some reason, NBC’s scheduling moved it to the summer death slot. Was this to bury HANNIBAL or to utilize HANNIBAL to build ratings? I ask this question, because HANNIBAL seems to be the TV show everyone is afraid of. Fans are afraid of it because of the genuine scares. Middle America fears it because titular star Mads Mikkelsen isn’t Anthony Hopkins. Censors fear it as a result of its frank depictions of violence. Critics and die hard horror fans, on the other hand, have embraced the show. Since I am both of those, it’s no wonder that in my TOP 10 FANTASY AND HORROR TV SHOWS OF 2014 I proclaimed HANNIBAL the best show on television. Period. I’m happy to inform you all that the third season has not faltered from this standard of excellence. 131

There’s no Will Graham this time around. The season 2 cliffhanger left our intrepid FBI agent and company in various stages of vivisection. We’ll have to wait until next week to see who survived. Instead, ANTIPASTO is all Hannibal, who we learn has relocated to Venice. Or is it? As the story unfolds, we come to realize Hannibal is actually the window dressing for the episode. The narrative bounces between the present with Venice, recent past with the torture of Eddie Izzard’s Gideon and the secrets of Hannibal’s relationship with his former shrink, Dr. Du Maurier. And that’s the catch, right there. ANTIPASTO is on much the same level as MAD MAX FURY ROAD. You see, for as much as MAD MAX FURY ROAD was a Mad Max movie, the story was about Furiosa. In turn, for as much as ANTIPASTO is an episode of HANNIBAL, the story is about Dr. Bedelia Du Maurier (Gillian Anderson) and her dark spiral from being an observer into a participator.

Hannibal - Season 3 ANTIPASTO is written by Bryan Fuller & Steve Lightfoot and directed by Vincenzo Natali, the man behind some of the most disturbing genre bending movies of recent times, namely the cult hit CUBE and Frankenstein-esque SPLICE. His pacing is perfect and he brings out a side of Gillian Anderson I’ve not seen before. Yet it is Fuller and Lightfoot that sneak in many prose puns throughout, dialogue that is more typical of the Hopkins Hannibal, which is most curious. Lines such as “We’d like to have you for dinner” and so forth. Until now, Hannibal hadn’t really displayed this verbiage, the snarky sense of humor that Hopkins showed in the movies inspired by the same source material. Is this showing a new personality trait as Hannibal’s insanity runs out of control? Perhaps this little character quirk will be enough to bring the rest of the public on board with Bryan Fuller’s reimagining? Regardless, it beckoned something that is not often a signature of HANNIBAL: Out loud laughing. It’s a welcome change and evolution for the show, balancing well against the scenes of extreme horror carefully placed throughout the episode. Call it a little bit of sugar to lessen the bitter, if you will? I like it and believe it adds some much needed middle America appeal without souring the main course that die hard fans are accustomed to. june4_Hannibal

Those of us that watch HANNIBAL are almost cult-like in our adoration of the hourly drama, eating up each offering with glee. Perhaps this is a reflection of the titular antagonist, whose culinary offerings are as gourmet as the show itself. Full of visual imagery, each episode of HANNIBAL is a finely crafted piece of art bouncing beautifully though its non-linear story with the grace of upper class cuisine. Each portion of the timeline represents a different dish on your plate, as you yourself would alternate between the various sides of your meal. HANNIBAL a special, fancy horror d’oeuvre, which I’ll gladly share with that select niche of other HANNIBAL enthusiasts as we sit on our band wagon, waiting for the rest of you to join.

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