Spooktacular: The Crow

Back in the '90s, young goth industrial Mark watched this once a week or two, just as background angry music vibes, often before doing a radio show or DJ set. "Palm-slam the VHS in and do all the moves" as it were. Now I have a DVD which is almost too good, I dunno what I'd do with 4K Bluray, since the film to me is that dark, blurry vibe. There's terrible sequels & TV shows, and an upcoming whitewashed honkie sequel, which everyone involved with should die of shame. I'm only going to talk about the first one (and the original James O'Barr comic? Maybe sometime.)

Set on October 30th, "Devil's Night" in the film's world, I thought about waiting but I've got something else scheduled. And I need something a little more serious after the last few.

Eric (Brandon Lee) & Shelley are way too cute and nice, by now they'd be all cottagecore, Nightmare Before Xmas their favorite film, farmhouse and antique shop decorated with Hallmark® & pumpkins. But at this time, the returned Eric is all dark rage. Sarah the little girl and Darla the slut mom are kind of pointless, but it gives Eric someone to talk to in a few scenes. I hate Sarah's voiceovers.

His first kill, Tin Tin, is messy, no fighting skill but superior strength & speed, putting his knives back in him. His preying on the pawnbroker is a show of invulnerability, and cold rage. He's figuring out what he is and why.

"At least he didn't do that walking against the wind crap, I hate that."

Ernie Hudson as beat cop, occasional giant walking armory. I just wish he could do one Winston Zeddemore line.

Second kill of Funboy is all taunting and jokes and ironic killing with his own implements. Actually the first 3 are, arsonist T-Bird burned into his ride, but the last two (and all the thugs) stop being ironic.

"This is the really real world, there ain't no comin' back!"

Joyride with T-Bird, for once a bad guy recognizes that he's in a horror movie and not the monster this time. Eric's crow graffiti got more elaborate each time, after this he wouldn't have time to draw these out before the cops arrive, even as slow and useless as they are in the city.

Boardroom meeting has a lot of Batman (1989) vibes. "Gentlemen!" in the same tone as painted-up Joker. Gang of disposable thugs. Invincible hero in black. But all the specific sides are backwards.

"I'm not Skank, that's Skank right there. Skank's dead!" "THAT'S RIGHT."

Final church duel, with an almost mortal Eric and Top Dollar, and creepy sister thinking she can use the crow's magic. Very Highlander, actually, I always expect lightning and Queen music here.

And then a gun with blanks, not checked for safety, shot Brandon Lee dead on set. They finished the missing scenes with the stunt double & bad CGI face swap.

"You didn't say goodbye. And you're never coming back."

★★★★★

Spooktacular: Demon City Shinjuku

Anime from 1988. I'm shamefully watching a dub, as the better version I have has no subtitles! This movie was so popular it got a Big Eyes Small Mouth RPG adaptation, tho it's 2 decades out of print. There's several remake/inspired-by games. I barely remember actually watching this, must've been 25 years ago, but I've used the game several times.

Hairy man with a stick, and sorcerer Levi Rah have a swordfight on a rooftop, and when the sorcerer wins, he plunges an elite shopping district of Tokyo into darkness and ruin. That monster!

10 YEARS LATER, President Can-do-no-wrong has stopped all war and flies around in a Space Shuttle. This is the future world if we only got rid of shopping!

Scruffy hero Kyoya (son of hairy man) & sexy woman co-worker who talks like a Southern hillbilly work at a noodle shop, and he trains kids in kendo, but SECRETLY he's a master magic ninja "Nenpo". Ghost Yoda shows up to recruit him, but says he's not ready, and all he has is a wooden bokken. Can-do-no-wrong is tangled up in evil vines for some reason, guarded by Real Yoda. Daughter of Can-do-no-wrong follows scruffy hero down a dark street to recruit him.

Long segments of Kyoya & President's daughter running around Shinjuku, fighting gangs, getting conned. Everyone who talks is sucked into a black void, or a sewer, or attacked by a giant bug.

Young punk Chibi guides them around. Cool trenchcoat guy Doctor Mephisto with faux-Transylvanian/Russian accent shows up to help, which is so not suspicious. A sizzling hot chick refugee from Wicked City shows up, with explosive results. So far all the weirdo monsters have been good, but there's half an hour of nothing happening between them. There's zero character development of anyone, just weird people in a dark city.

Multiple times, Levi Rah can pull Kyoya into ghost worlds to be hit by monsters, or just sit in a nice park (actually an abattoir populated by demon children, the worst kind of children!). But he never seems to seal the deal.

A final showdown, a sacrificial virgin, Levi Rah rules all, and has an actual magic sword instead of a stick and Nenpo. "I despise you!" [exploded] Levi Rah finally gets to monologue at an audience, and it's pretty good. Kyoya finds the magic stick of his father, which failed to killed Levi Rah the first time, but somehow it works now? This final fight makes no sense. Anyway everyone walks away happy, with a hint of a sequel that never came.

The visuals of this film are astounding; this is why we have anime, to make demonic hellworlds real. Not enough is done with the fact this is Shinjuku, there should be more shops, style-gangs or demons, government intervention instead of it being like Escape from New York. The music's pretty mediocre, jazzy trumpet city pop mostly, with some synth stingers. This cries out for a full-on vaporwave soundtrack in a remake. The actual plot is the most linear D&D adventure possible.

★★★½☆

Spooktacular: Rob Zombie's The Munsters (2022)

A prequel origin story we never asked for. Setting seems to be a random mix of 19th to mid-20th C Transylvania by way of overacting and bad jokes. Every shot is lit with colored gels or neon, it's like Atomic Blonde got drunk and threw up on the screen.

Opens with a series of vignettes. Mediocre, campy graverobbers (Richard Brake—Night King, Jorge Garcia—fatass Hurley, shocked he's still alive) collecting parts. Grampa/The Count (Daniel Roebuck) comes up from his coffin, with Igor (Sylvester McCoy! Not my favorite Doctor!) all excited about matchmaking Lily with Count Orlock. Lily (Sheri Moon Zombie) has an excruciating date with Orlock (also Richard Brake), full Nosferatu makeup. The terrible bar is kind of nifty, a goth Star Wars cantina vibe. Werewolf (Tomas Boykin, eventually named Lester) is The Count's disowned son, which at least explains where Eddie will get his lineage; the Countess is not seen or mentioned, but I expect she was a bitch! Breaking news tells us idiot & genius brothers have both died… WHICH BRAIN will the graverobbers collect? Yeah.

"I want a man that makes my blood run cold. That every time he enters my crypt, it's like a stake thru my dead, black, heart." —Lily

Up until Herman's (Jeff Daniel Phillips) unwrapping, I'm pretty dubious of this whole joke. But then he comes out… tells some jokes, clowns around, and… OK, this guy can play Herman. He is really dumb, but having him become a vaudeville/rocker works for dumb.

Zombie-a-Go-Go nightclub is pretty lit. I wish we had that for real.

Long sequence of them dating, over the Count's objection, then typical sitcom hijinks. The visuals are great, the plot is recycled '50s rom-com, and I really really hate rom-com. Half an hour or more with the only amusing bit being them collecting little baby Spot.

Through shenanigans, they move to Hollywood… 1313 Mockingbird Lane… on Halloween. There's a long block party sequence which is actually fun again. The movie nearly redeems itself!

And in the morning, under blazing sunlight, the Munsters react to their new normal life among square honkie pastel-clothed Los Angelinos with the same shock I would. IT IS A HORROR MOVIE AFTER ALL!

The end credits are pretty great, tho, recreating the series intro, then a little rock song by Count Orlock about them.

It has all the flaws of a Rob Zombie film, without any gore or fucking, and only a few funky scenes to make up for it.

★★½☆☆

Spooktacular: Halloween I-II

  • Halloween (1978): I always forget this opens with little Mikey murdering his sister's tits (all we can see thru the mask), it's not a flashback later. Carpenter has a heavy hand with his soundtrack, which is awesome but often overpowers the dialogue in scenes. Adult Michael Myers (Tony Moran) escaping from an institution in the rain is perfectly goth; could he try any harder? How does he know how to drive, or find his old house, or cut phone lines after half a lifetime institutionalized? We don't know, but he's doing good!

Teenage high-school friends & baby-sitters club Laurie (Jamie Lee Curtis, b.1958), Lynda (P.J.Soles, b.1950), Annie (Nancy Kyes, b.1949) (ages 20, 28, 29; but JLC looks mid-20s) fart around and see spooky Mikey driving around, then hiding behind bushes, but do nothing about it. Loomis (Donald Pleasance) warns everyone, stridently and repeatedly, that Mikey is evil. EVIL! Honestly I'm more worried about the good doctor's mental state.

Long segment of doing nothing, there's a good 30 minutes of this film could be cut at the start, it's so very slow. Here's a minute watching Forbidden Planet, admittedly one of my favorite films. Until finally… A KILL! 53 minutes in. Next one's another 12 minutes, after the sacrifices nominate themselves by fucking. Laurie finally starts investigating. "Your fucking on the phone sounds a lot like someone dying!" (she doesn't quite say).

Mikey's staging of his kills like a funhouse is great. Kill spread out on a bed with the stolen tombstone above, jack'o'lantern beside. Hanging one corpse. Stuff another in a spring-open cupboard, oddly illuminated for a dark house. When chasing, he lets his victims see, slowly walks over, waits for them to run around, freak out, and hide… then moves in. Just perfectly theatrical. As noted in Scream, "movies don't make people serial killers, movies make serial killers better!". Neighbors in this very white suburb of course don't help anyone screaming outside on Halloween, like Kitty Genovese.

Laurie's not helpless, of course, she's got that killer instinct of her own. And Loomis is looming around somewhere with a gun, as doctors often do. The Sheriff (father of one of the slain girls) is utterly, totally useless. It's common in horror RPGs to have the police be unavailable or incompetent, and here's the trope creator at its peak.

★★★★☆ for the first 15 & last 45 minutes, ★☆☆☆☆ for the middle 30.

Note: This film was made for $325,000, earned $47M.

  • Halloween II (1981): Immediately starts with the last few minutes of the previous film. Z-grade films often use stock footage or rip off their previous installments, but we don't usually see that in independent but well-funded films like Carpenter's. This has a budget of $2.5M, earned $25M. Almost the exact same soundtrack, and same heavy-handedness.

Not quite Steadicam®, but hand-held filming for killer's POV, might be the first time we'd ever seen that. Pretty soon it switches back to conventional camera behind the action.

Michael is a little different, here played by Dick Warlock (what a great name!)

Even if Mikey gets a couple more kills in, Loomis can't find him. But he can just about shoot another kid in a white mask, who then gets killed by exploding cars. Pointless death! Nobody is punished for this near-shooting/vehicular homicide.

None of the new characters have much development, even as much as the first movie. Sheriff & then useless #2 cop don't believe Mikey got away. Ambulance guys and their nurse girlfriends are creeps. Very slow lack of plot movement, couple cops and Loomis wander around looking at things.

Most of the kills in this are very inartistic, just walk up behind, hit or stab, done. No posing. There's a hot tub scene where Mikey shows a little creativity, and the second kill is more creative/gross. The old doctor & virgin nurse have somewhat more medical deaths, possibly even predicting Dexter! Jimmy the ambulance guy, wannabe boyfriend to Laurie, has the dumbest, most accidental death in any film.

Laurie's cunning, self-defense instincts have been missing for the first hour, but finally she gets up and wanders around hiding; pretty good for a girl who was stabbed & broke an ankle just hours ago.

The institution finally comes to collect the madman "Doctor" Loomis and implement Reagan's policy of "care in the community" (let crazy people roam & be homeless). Now we find out why Mikey's after Laurie!

Of course nothing stops the Mikester. He's become completely unstoppable and inhuman at this point, an avatar of death. Even the worst possible injuries only inconvenience him.

While there's a little additional plot & lore here, it doesn't really feel like a plot resolution. Maybe he's dead, maybe not. Laurie's got the thousand-mile stare of Linda Hamilton in Terminator. She's ready to murder some of her own.

This is basically 92 minutes of film hiding the 30 minutes that should've been in the first. I'd love to see a "Halloween Good Parts Edition" without all the flab.

★★★☆☆ MEH.

Spooktacular: Coraline

Never saw or read this, despite a lot of Neil Gaiman in my bookshelf.

The stop-motion throughout is amazing. And preposterously expensive and time-consuming, to produce a thing that 80% of the time would be possible live-action, 10% would require some SFX, 10% would need CGI or painted cartoons. It does stand out, but Coraline is the only one who gets real facial expressions, apparently by swapping prostheses and editing out lines. I prefer a more Ray Harryhausen solution of stop-motion and green-screens.

A family with two workaholic drones and a pre-teen emo girl has moved into a weird old house, which never goes badly. How the house is divided up isn't all that clear; the family gets 2 main floors, the basement for 4 old biddies, the attic for the Amazing Bobinski & his mouse carnival. Little girl should not spurn the beets of Amazing Bobinski. He's amazing. Must be the beets. But his beats are weak.

Never put a banana slug up your nose. It may crawl up there and eat your brain and walk around as you, and that's how we get Republicans. Wybie survives by not having much there to start with.

Of course if you find a secret small door in your house, you should go explore it! (the ones in my house lead to a heating duct and a nasty unusable space behind the heater, not to fantastical other worlds, alas.)

The Other Mother goes from extremely friendly and Best Mom Ever, to somewhat more controlling.

"All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." —Leo Tolstoy

In this case, the family is unhappy because Coraline won't let Mother sew buttons in her eyes. Other than that, everything seems better there, and they see fine. I don't see why Coraline's so worked up.

The Cat in the other world is good, Keith David's a hell of a voice for it, but really it shoulda been Danny John-Jules. "Today I've made a whole lotta things MINE!"

So then a quest to collect the four mcguffins, which look a lot like random household objects, a boss fight, a ritual to banish the evil, but all done the way a kid would. The boss fight is very directly inspired/ripped off from a scene in Krull.

As is often the case with Gaiman's work, it's cute & "spook-adjacent", fairy tales and D&D, rather than horror, and this one is more for kids than usual.

★★★½☆

Halloween Movie Spooktacular: Beetlejuice

Every day is Halloween 🎃 to me, but for the next month+week, I'm in full spooky times. I've pulled up my entire horror/weirdo movie list, and I'm going thru them. Some are new to me, some very old.

  • Beetlejuice: 👻 Beetlejuice 👺 BEETLEJUICE. Geena Davis is so goddamned cute it hurts, but her rustic gingham dress and the boy's (Adam Baldwin, before becoming fat and evil) khaki & plaid make them look much more old-timey than the '80s. And drowning in 3m of water is ridiculous. I'm not a particular fan of Jamaican music, must say, and their fixation on it is… squares who don't smoke weed but wear Bob Marley shirts are weirdos.

I don't understand the purpose of Jane, the annoying neighbor/realtor, she doesn't own or sell the house, she doesn't impart any useful information, just hands over a key. Lydia could've found the key on a spidery lintel and this subplot cut.

Delia's (Catherine O'Hara) "hat" of two gloves twisted together is maybe the worst thing in this; her art's bad but her fashion is nightmarish. Charles (Jeffrey Jones) is close to a non-entity, he wants peace and quiet, and likes the rustic normcore of the dead couple, but when the plot needs him to scheme he turns feral again. Urgo or Otho or whatever (Glenn Shadix, Associate Bob from Demolition Man) is bizarre, pretentious, but maybe the only one of the invaders with his own plot & agenda, this feels like one weird scenario in a longer story for him.

Lydia, of course, this is the film that made me love Winona Ryder. Creepy little goth girls are my favorite. Overly indulged and rich, rather than the punk version I'm more familiar with. She has no fear of the weird, only annoyance at how tedious and self-indulgent her family are, and here's a normcore dead couple to imprint on instead. Pretty soon she'll be wearing black gingham.

Finally on to the freakshow! The underworld desert is very undeveloped in this, just sand, angular shapes, and stop-motion sandworms. I've seen a few episodes of the cartoon, which covers this more, but need to find & watch the rest.

The dead bureaucracy waiting room, all the dead workers, there's just fantastic character designs and makeup, and some great practical gags like the separated woman.

Betelgeuse (Michael Keaton) is a little more lazy evil than the monster he pretends to be. He'll do evil deeds if he can get something out of it, but he's probably been doing this a long, long time, millennia, and can't really put in the effort anymore. "I've seen the Exorcist 167 times, and it keeps getting funnier every single time I see it!"

Juno (Sylvia Sidney) does a good Linda Hunt imitation, her advice isn't very useful as you'd expect from a career bureaucrat. "Never trust the living!"

The trivial access of the living to the Handbook for the Recently Deceased is a bit of a problem; so many ghosts leaving their books around would be pretty obvious.
★★★★★

What I'm Watching: Love+Death+Robots S3

Previously, S1 part 1, S1 part 2, S2.

Short season this time. No spoilers?

  • Very Pulse of the Machine: Beautiful, adapted from a fine story by Michael Swanwick, which you should read everything he writes, especially Vacuum Flowers. ★★★★★
  • Mini-Dead: Horrific subject run at high speed and tilt-shift makes it adorable. ★★★★½
  • Mason's Rats: Mercilessly bloody, esp if you have any sympathy for rats. I do not, but some kind of accommodation with the enemy must be made. Neal Asher story. ★★★★½
  • Kill Piss Kill: Call of Duty garbage that starts with an asshole pissing at the camera and gets worse. Didn't finish, hate it, everyone involved should be composted. ☆☆☆☆☆
  • In Vaulted Halls Entombed: Call of Duty vs bugs & Cthulhu. Writing's a little better than the shit medium deserves. Alan Baxter, who no shit calls himself "Warrior Scribe", "The Lord of Weird Australia". Wanker, but not the worst modern Mythos story. ★★★☆☆
  • Jibaro: Mount & Blade battle between a jewelled Siren and a bunch of knights… but one is deaf. And you want what you can't control. Excellent illustration of D&D encumbrance penalties. Very pretty. Written/directed by Alberto Mielgo. ★★★★☆
  • Swarm: The Bruce Sterling story! Kind of overly gross, dark, uncanny valley graphics, but the aliens look great, the Nest is nearly complex enough to be the Swarm. Doesn't flinch from the story ending. ★★★★½
  • Bad Travelling: Neal Asher again. Sailors deal with a bad case of crabs. Good story, CGI looks potato-y like the old videogame Summoner, characters except the navigator are moral & personality voids. It's the 3rd of 3 short stories in the Jable Sharks world, but only one adapted. ★★★★☆
  • Three Robots: Exit Strategies: Scalzi tries to be politically correct. He will be first to be killed and eaten after the apocalypse, as we all hate smug jerkoffs. I almost appreciate this one for letting my contempt for Scalzi reach a new low. ☆☆☆☆☆

This season there's not a single female writer, 2 directors are women, but one is of that CoD shit, earns a demerit to the female side.

What I'm Reading: William Hope Hogson's The House on the Borderland

Cited by H.P. Lovecraft as one of his major influences, this was written in 1908, Hogson was a failed sailor, physical fitness enthusiast, failed poet, and writer at which he had some success, mostly with his later Carnacki stories. This and The Night Land are the two most directly applicable to weird tales and fantasy/horror gaming; I read both of these last back in the '80s, don't remember TNL as being anything deep, this one I remembered as a weird tale worth rereading.

Hey, this is all spoiler. Read the book, I think it's fantastic, but flawed, and I can't talk about that without spoilers.

From the Manuscript discovered in 1877 by Messrs. Tonnison and Berreggnog in the Ruins that lie to the south of the Village of Kraighten, in the west of Ireland. Set out here, with Notes.

The Framing Device: Two young men on a camping vacation in Ireland find a ruin around an endless pit, and an old manuscript diary, which they read. At the end, they question the local guide and find out some of the events of the manuscript match an old-timer's story. Woo-ee-oo. I'm glad the "let me tell you a story someone else told" device went away, it was also used in A Princess of Mars and far too many of H.P. Lovecraft's stories, where a story by the protagonist is more immediate.

The Recluse: An old man (name never given) lives alone. Almost. His sister Mary who has nearly no dialogue, no purpose except to explain how a man can live without having to cook for himself. And a dog, Pepper, who is the hero of the story, not quite an impossibly smart TV show dog (a half-century before Lassie will be invented). He comes to remote Ireland to buy a shunned house where he can have peace and quiet to write. This largely seems to consist of him sitting in his den reading all day, with dog by his feet, which is a fine lifestyle I engage in myself.

The Monsters: Investigating the OTHER vast endless pit at the far end of the gardens, monsters come up. Hero dog and old man flee back to the house, a siege fit for any monster/zombie flick ensues, including a few cunning tricks by the monsters and the Recluse. This entire initial section is basically enough for any other novel; it is perhaps a little fast at introducing and dealing with the monsters and attacks, but happily he's not some tedious typical paid-by-the-word Victorian writer. Almost too much so, it reads like any modern action-horror book, 30 years before Lovecraft or Howard got to this point in their writing.

The Visions: Mary denies knowing anything of the weird. I'm not sure how to take that. Was she driven mad by the monsters? Is the Recluse crazy? … Maybe? Next is a long out-of-body experience of seeing the universe. We find out just how important the House is, if not why. The Recluse learns more of the Pit, and exploration starts off very D&D-like, arming up and carrying a stack of candles, and then goes completely off from expectations. Another vision begins, which has horrific consequences.

The Love: Here's what I don't understand. He's seen, essentially, a faerie queen, or a ghost, and fallen for her, and cannot stay with her. The sections about her are almost incidental, and yet drive his later behavior. If she'd been inserted at the start of the visions, even driving them along, she'd make more sense. If there was any way for him to reach the Sea of Sleep, or her to reach out, that'd tie her into the story. As it is, it's just a weird "and also ghost lady".

Again Visions: Time passing and the ultimate fate of the Earth and Sun, and a reunion of planets and the House in an arena at the end of time. Which may be taken to mean the titans are playing games with mortals, the arena house is a reflection of the real house, like we may use miniatures and models to represent a game. And then back in the present, everything is lost, a final confrontation, which no heroic dog or old man can stop; if the things beyond this reality want to strike you down, they will.

The visions are hard to read. It's often not clear what's acting on what, which planet or sun is being seen at any time. The overall flow works, but the details are unfinished. Would they even make sense if they were more coherent? The Love's role is unclear, and a man just enamored of a faerie lady isn't fitting with the vast cosmic scope of the visions, or the fairly earthy monsters.

★★★★½ - must-read, but half is too weird to understand.

Also, the poem at the start, is "Shoon of the Dead". I'm sure Shaun of the Dead is named for Romero's Dawn of the Dead, but it's odd.

What I'm Watching: Severance

Well, it's on TV+ which normally I treat like a sub-Disney® quality back-alley shithole gutter of the most boring shows ever conceived by AI to lull Humans into submission before mulching the species (that popular one? That's the one I mean.), but Severance seems fun! Very Office Space, and The Office, and Better Off Ted, crossed with Paycheck (best Baffleck movie; mediocre PK Dick adaptation; worst John Woo), but even more brain fucking and crying. Also some of the Stargate SG-1 episode "Beneath the Surface".

A woman (Britt Lower) wakes up in a windowless underground office, doesn't know who she is. A man (Adam Scott, very punchable face but I'm not sure where I've seen him before) cries and then goes to work and is chipper and kind of pointless. The office job is pointless, maybe relentlessly stupid. Maybe it'll make more sense later? Their outside lives are frankly not that good for the kind of pay you'd expect to get for taking this job.

The office maze is driving me a little crazy. I'm pretty sure it's just a grid. They walk & talk right, right, right, left and are somehow in a different corridor. But they all look the same. The "break room" and "wellness room" are just like the "break pods" at one corp job I had, where it was almost literally a punishment to be sent there if you were having a rough time of it.

The office procedures are repetitive nonsense. The coffee is Rwandan. Literally blood coffee.

The biggest irony of this show is that it looks and acts like Apple already does. If Timmy Apple could do this to people, he absolutely would. Forcibly. With drill holes in the skull. He's already threatening people with their jobs or coming into the UFO-shaped office to catch plague, what's a little endless torture in a fluorescent-lit Hell? How did this get past their own self-awareness and PR?

Also doesn't help that they're promoting in pre-roll fucking ads wecrashed, a documentary about WeWork's cult, rise, and fall, which looks excessively like Severance. This isn't really an SF show, it's just how corporate workplaces already are. The cyberpunk dystopia of my yout' is here.

I'm not a fan of the episode length, nearly an hour. Half inside, half outside; but at least so far the inside is fun, light, gets to the point and tells the story, while the outside is long meandering talks with people that drag on for an endless eternity with maybe a minute of plot. I'm going nuts sitting thru this junk. Half length, and it'd be twice as good, as I often say about these bloated streaming waste-of-hours. I don't get it; there's no advertising, so why make it take forever?

TV+ continues to be the absolute worst app in a long cycle of shitty apps from Apple. I select the show in the main TV+ window, but can't see the title of each ep. Guess the next one's the first unlabelled video blob? Then it opens a player window. Of course you can't even screenshot, I have to use my iPhone camera if I want to take notes or something (like the weirdo keyboard, or the partial floor map). I'm surprised Apple hasn't embedded a "don't take pictures of this" signal in the show. Yet. Just wait until they issue Eyes with content filters.

★★★★☆ so far, aside from the pain in the ass of watching it on TV+.

What I'm Watching: Post Mortem: No One Dies in Skarnes

Oh, Netflix. There was a long dry spell of Grim Scandinavian Crime Dramas after the last Bordertown, and Deadwind S2 was aimless without a main plot (tho still amusing mostly). But now they have Post Mortem: No One Dies in Skarnes (there's like 3 other Post Mortems in the last couple years). Also technically horror, but mostly comedy.

A young woman Live (pr. "Leeva", Kathrine Thorborg Johansen) is found dead in a field… mostly dead. Not all that dead. Her brother Odd (Elias Holmen Sørensen being a Norwegian Zach Galifianakis, just hilariously incompetent) and father run the small town's only mortuary. And then she starts to have problems with a need for blood.

Odd is soon in charge of the mortuary, and struggles desperately to keep it open. Live's murderous instincts should be a nice windfall… Instead she just gets wannabe cop/boyfriend Reinert (André Sørum) tangled up in it, and hapless Odd nearly bankrupted a couple times.

It's shot like a horror story or drama, but everyone is so foolish and slapstick it never manages to not be comedy (very morbid, hope you don't mind blood & dead bodies). Some of the eps drag or cycle over the same ground a bit; hopefully if they get more seasons they tighten the plot up more. But just a charming little show.

★★★★½