Killjoys: Meet the Parents – Family Matters (Review)

 Killjoys - Season 2

Killjoys this week sees Pawter get a chilly reception at home and Johnny gets to meet her parents. Khylen also deals with matters of the family when he visits Telen to see how D’Avin withstood the Level 6 training. Last week Simms was picked up from Westerly and a lot of gifted students were melted in their cryogenic pods.

Johnny and Pawter are on Qresh so she can ask for the exile to be lifted while D’Avin and Dutch are serving a warrant behind the wall in Old Town.  D’Avin does indeed  have a thing for Pree’s new barmaid Sabine(Tori Anderson). When  he stops by for some “painful”  flirting, Khylen makes a connection with the oldest Jaqobis brother. D’Avin become disoriented and  blacks out.

D’Av tells  Dutch about passing out and then begins humming a song Khylen wrote for her.  On Telen, Khlyen and Lee start running tests on Sheriff Jaqobis to learn whey D’Avin could not be turned.

Johnny meets Pawter’s sister Louella (Kimberly-Sue Murray), and her smarmy fiancee Hank (Marco Grazzini). He also meets Weymer Simms (Andrew Gillies); Pawter’s father. Later the doctor catches Johnny swimming naked in the family baptismal pool. 

At the family meal, Pawter is cut short in her request to have the exile lifted.  After the awkward moment  at dinner, the Simms’ butler is frozen to death. A killer fog has enveloped the area around the mansion and the butler walked through it.  Adeline Seyah Simms (Jayne Lewis) begins examining the dead butler’s frozen remains to learn more about this new pathogen.

The other two Killjoys are transporting their  prisoners. Khylen connects with D’Avin again and this time, D’Av fights the Level 6. The two do  a “Freaky Friday” switch where D’Av is in Khylen and vice versa.

At the Simms mansion the killer fog has surrounded the building and Louella gets infected. Pawter saves her life by chopping  off her sister’s hand. On Telen, Khylen is now D’Avin and on the Killjoy ship, D’Avin is now Khylen. At the Jaqobis family home,   Fancy Lee is suspicious and questions his boss.

Rob Stewart and Luke Macfarlene do a splendid job playing each other. The initial bit where D’Avin tries to fool Lee is very funny. On the ship, Khylen taking over D’Av’s body is equally amusing and like Lee, Dutch knows immediately that D’Avin is no longer home.

On Qresh, Adeline injects herself with the virus believing she has a cure. It does not work and she dies. Pawter learns that the fog and its virus can be destroyed by fire. Johnny comes up with a plan.   He will blow the gas lines and save the rest of the family.

Dutch and Khylen, in D’Av’s body, talk and the Level 6 reveals more of what he is doing.  D’Avin’s body begins shutting down because Khylen is in control The Level 6 cannot jump  back out of Jaqobis without Lee’s help as D’Avin has knocked Fancy  out on Telen.

On Qresh, Johnny sets his plan in motion. He leaves Weymer, Louella and Pawter in the mansion. He must get through the fog to blow up the main gas line.  Louella offered up her diving suit so Johnny could  get through the fog.

Johnny goes to place the explosive on the  main gas line.  Hank is waiting in a hazmat  suit and it turns out  that he set up the poisonous fog.  His plan was to murder the Simms family  and take all their joy. He offers to team up with Johnny who declines his proffered partnership.

Weymer walks through the fog to check on Jaqobis.  He is now infected but gets the drop on Hank and Johnny overpowers the villain. Weymer sacrifices himself to save his daughters and the fog is destroyed.

By the end of the episode,  Pawter is the new Seyah Simms and Khylen has learned why D’Avin was resistant to Level 6 conversion. (The army’s operations made him immune.)

The two men get back into the right bodies and both Lee and Dutch are happy to see them return. Dutch learns that she  was not on Arkyn in D’Avin’s memory and Johnny and Pawter share a romantic moment after her ceremony. Later Dutch also appears to be closer to Jaqobis.

After hinting strongly that there are “Two” Dutch’s, it now appears that there may be two of the strong willed Killjoys. (Or at least a twin of some type that Dutch was never aware of.)

Lucy, once again, shows her more human side, by inviting Khylen to “step off the ship” and find better technology. (Dutch reminds Khylen that faster than light is not something that can happen. He replies “not with your technology” and Lucy takes offense. Very funny.)

It was interesting to see that Johnny’s romantic involvement with Pawter may become complicated because of his involvement with Dutch.

Killjoys - Season 2

Pawter is now in a better position to help Old Town and Khylen has information that may help him to convert D’Avin to a Level 6. It looks to be very  interesting times for the Killjoys this season.

Killjoys airs Fridays on SyFy and Space. Do not forget to tune in and catch the latest “lock and serve” episodes.

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Stranger Things Chapter Three: Holly Jolly – Silent Hill-ish (Review)

Finding Will...in Stranger Things

Each episode of Stranger Things appears give a sly nod and wink to existing horror films and/or video games. In this instance “Chapter Three: Holly Jolly” thrusts the viewer into a Silent Hill-ish environment at the very start of the episode. It is also evocative of Stephen King’s  “From a Buick Eight,” not the overall plot but the subplot or plot device  of an alternative world. Something  that King’s book and this  series, also have in common with Silent Hill.

(Fans of the game Silent Hill will recall that the alternative world was in James’ head, for all intents and purposes, but that is still  a parallel or alternate setting nonetheless)

It would not be surprising to find that Will has been taken into a parallel world. Take away the falling ash, a’la Silent Hill the 2006  film and the theme is of another dimension. A place where Will is hiding from the faceless creature who chased the boy to his home and took Barb.

(Speaking of nods and winks in relation to Stephen King: Look at  the scene where the explorer goes into the alien looking entrance with a cable attached to his suit.  Just as the brave chap discovers some growly thing is in there with him,  the cable begins to whip back and forth and whirl about in circles.  Dr. Brenner orders the man reeled in and the cable suddenly goes limp.  At the end of the cable, instead of the explorer there is a bloody bit of suit. Who did not think of  Stephen King’s “The Mist?”)

It is all too tempting to watch Stranger Things just to find out how many loving homages the Duffer Brothers have included.  However, the storyline itself is the main attraction here. In this installment, for example, more is learned about Eleven.

We find out  that the girl’s powers are enormous. She kills  the two technicians who take her to the room, after refusing to kill a cat.  She also suffers nose bleeds, or leaks blood from her ears, when she uses her power.

*Sidenote* The funniest bit in the series thus far was Dustin holding the Millennium Falcon model up and releasing it so Eleven could  make it fly.  The thing drops to the floor twice as the girl looks blankly at Dustin. Later, when she is on her own, the model is floating in the air while she fiddles with the handheld radio. Very funny indeed.

Joyce Byers learns that she can talk to Will via the lights.  Her son Jonathan believes that she is having a breakdown. She puts up Christmas lights and uses them to communicate with her missing son.

Eleven explores MIke’s house while he is at school. (Another funny bit has Mike frustratedly bellowing at his mother when she tells him to hurry up, again.)  This is used to tell us more about Eleven.  Some things are not clear, such as her emotional reaction to the music box and the pictures on Nancy’s wall. Her interactions with things in the house peel back more layers.

MIke’s mother, along with his little sister Holly,  bring Joyce a casserole. The little girl goes into Will’s room and the thing in the wall reaches for her.  Joyce realizes that Holly actually saw the creature in the wall as well.  She sends the two away.

Steve and his friends rip up Jonathan’s pictures of the party  and break his camera.  Nancy is not impressed and she starts to help Byers pick up the torn photos. Later, when she expresses  concern for  her missing friend, Steve turns out to be a bit of a douche.

Eleven re-lives the cat episode, triggered by the cat she sees behind Mike’s house.  We learn that the child was monitored and observed. She was put through trials and forced to use her powers.  (Once again, a little reminiscent of another King book and protagonist;  “Firestarter” and Charlie McGee.)

Nancy goes to Steve’s house and finds Barb’s car. She goes into the woods behind his pool  and sees the faceless creature that took Will and her friend.  Joyce speaks to Will using the Christmas Lights. Eleven takes the boys to Will’s house and as the boys argue, the police and an ambulance zoom past.

Will tells his mother that he is “right here” and then tells Joyce to “run.” The faceless thing claws its way out of the wall and chases Joyce into the night.  The three boys and Eleven follow the police to the local quarry.

They watch in horror as Will’s body is taken from the water. Mike is furious with Eleven and accuses her of lying about his missing friend.

Stranger Things is clearly about parallel worlds or universes.  The clues are all there. Take for example the name of Dr. Brenner’s testing facility  and the town it is located in – Hawkins. This is very close to “Hawking” as in Professor Stephen Hawking, who touts the theory that black holes may lead to parallel universes.

Just a thought…

Kudos to Winona Ryder and Millie Bobby Brown. When the Emmys roll around for this year, both these performers should be getting gongs for their performance.   Ryder and Brown managed to evoke laughter and tears in Chapter Three alone.

There are five episodes left of this Netflix series and many viewers have already binged the entire season. For those who cannot bear for this to be over just yet, join us as we watch one episode at a time.

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Between: Extraction – Pressure (Review)

Adam, Wiley and Jason

Gord dies as a result of last week’s shooting.  Adam becomes strident in his mistrust of Liam and Chuck has a major meltdown.  Ronnie stages a coup out at the survivalist camp and Franny is hellbent on revenge.  Between’s “Extraction”  is quite dark this week. In spite of Wiley’s amusing attempt at banter with Liam,  the pressure has become intense.

Adam comes back to the group after finding Liam’s name on the dead prison officer’s sat phone.  Waving his gun about and repeatedly demanding that Liam tell them the truth, he becomes a major annoyance.

(While he is supposed to be the good guy in this scenario, as opposed to his evil dad, Adam come across as shrill and irritating. He is, after all, immune to the virus.  His almost hysterical accusations and demands on Liam are just annoying. Wiley obviously thinks so as well.)

Wiley finally steps in and tells him that the only choice  they have is between Liam Cullen (Steven Grayhmand death.  Adam backs down and now Cullen has to find a 22 year old to try the cure on.  It is time crucial as Adam turning on the sat phone alerted the Horatio drug corporation. The next step is to evacuate Liam and kill the remaining survivors of Pretty Lake.

Liam and Wiley search records for possible 22 year old survivors. The first one  they find is already dead.  Renee Foley is now the only 22 year-old that the virus has not killed yet. Their next move is to find the young woman and inject her with the cure.

At the survivalist camp Ronnie catches Renee with her secret food stash. He locks her in with her hoarded food and begins orchestrating her removal as leader.  He is still haunted by Pat (Jim Watson) and later has a fight with his dead brother.  

(Sidenote: The most amusing moment of the episode has Pat telling Ronnie that he will stay there and see that Renee does not escape.)

(Sidenote number two: Ronnie gets the best line of the episode.  After telling Renee he is hurt that she did not tell him it was her 22 birthday, he tells her he got the perfect gift.  “What’s that,” she asks. “Tuesday,” he replies. In other words, a chance to live another day via Liam’s drug.)

Franny learns that Renee shot and killed Gord. She gets a gun, and Harrison,  and heads to the survivalist compound to kill Foley.  Mark also heads out to the camp to kill Renee.  Everyone arrives at roughly the same time.

Ronnie  ousts Renee and as Mark readies himself to shoot, he sees Franny and Harrison. He fires his gun in the air and stops Gord’s sister from committing murder. Renee’s former  followers begin shooting at the woods. Wiley, Liam and Renee use the distraction to escape.

Back at the lab, Renee gets her injection.  Later Franny, Harrison and Tracy get theirs.  Franny stops by Gord’s body to grieve. She sees Renee and points a gun at her.  They struggle and Franny shoots Renee. The young woman falls to the floor.  Franny drops her gun and walks away.

Ronnie settles in at the camp in his new role as leader and Wiley finds Renee.  Liam goes to his extraction but he does not leave Pretty Lake.  Adam takes his place leaving Cullen locked in the trunk of his car.

Adam may be annoying, with his immunity, but he is now he attempting to “set things right.”  It may be too late if Renee dies though.

The population of Pretty Lake in Between has gotten smaller. That combined with the limited amount of inoculations available means that very few are going to live if things go south.   Adam’s leaving could have  disastrous consequences for  the survivors if he is caught.

As it stands, he could already have signed Liam’s death warrant.

Between is streaming on Netflix with all six episodes available to watch at once. Binge the lot or space them out. Either way stop by to see who lives and who dies.

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Queen of the South: El Engaño Como La Regla – Squeeze (Review)

Queen of the South - Season 1

Things have become tense on Queen of the South.  In “El Engaño Como la Regla” events from last week are catching up to Camila and Theresa.  Mendoza is still upset with James for letting Eric murder the man in his bedroom  and things have cooled down between them. Epifanio has put the squeeze on Camila, cancelling all her shipments. He also informs the DEA about her Colombian delivery.

Just as Camila feels back in control, the DEA swoop in and take the shipment. Theresa and James barely escape as the shootout leaves many Columbian’s dead.  Brenda is increasing production, “stepping on the product” massively to increase her profit.

She asks Theresa to pick up Tony from the ‘Y’ as she cannot. Theresa is working on a delivery so she cannot either.  Brenda calls her son and tells him to get a bus. She texts him the address and Tony tells her he will be fine.

With the supply cut,  Allen (Grant Garrison) tells Camila that he has been talking to “The Birdman” aka Eric.  Vargas is not pleased that the Jimenez cartel are squeezing into her territory.

Theresa makes her first delivery  to immigration lawyer Russell (Will Beinbrink). In short order the legal eagle offers her some cocaine and then a free bonus. All Russell wants is a little preferential treatment. ” If,”  he says, ” it ever stops snowing in Texas,  please think of me first.”

James calls Mendoza back to the club and Camila orders her to pick up the Colombian shipment with him. The DEA strike at the parking garage and the two escape by jumping over the railing.  James takes a trolley  and  Theresa  goes back to the car they took into town.

She calls James and says she will collect him.   He tells her to head back to the club and that he will meet  her there. As Theresa starts to take the ramp back she changes her mind and gets James.

Later he sends his girlfriend Kim (Blair Bomar) into hiding.  She is not happy about staying at the “rusty old trailer” by the lake. Kim  complains that the “last time”  used up all her sick leave. 

Camila asks James what happened and The Charger (Juan Felipe Barrientos) suggests selling Theresa  to Epifanio for $5 million to repay the Colombian’s.  Camila appears to be thinking about it.

After Russell takes an interim supply of coke from Eric,  Camila calls Epifanio and asks for permission to take the Jimenez man out. He refuses.  He claims that the treaty with the Jimenez family protects Eric and Camila.

Theresa starts planning a means of escape for her,  Brenda and Tony (Adolfo Alvarez). She first approaches a priest whom she believes is spiriting Mexican illegals into the country.  He tells Theresa that this is not what he and the church are doing.

With her cocaine supply choked off by Epifanio, Camila is feeling the squeeze and it will not be long before she takes desperate measures to fix the problem.  Theresa is also desperate to get that book back from below the border.  Her safety with Camila is at risk now that the drug supply has dried up.

Epifanio is concentrating on getting Camila to give up Theresa while he is running for governor, it cannot be long before he makes a mistake. Cesar is not looking too happy about the continued campaign either. Could the Batman be ready to turn?

The rift  between James and Theresa has been mended somewhat but so far Camila’s right hand man is still more interested in Kim.

 Queen of the South - Season 1
James

Early in the episode the “Queen of the South” gets a visit from her future self again.  This time she is advised that sometimes a lie is needed to survive.  Regardless of what lie she chooses to tell, Theresa’s life is in danger again.

Camila now has no supply and is about to have some very angry Colombian’s banging at the door.  The battle between the Vargas couple has intensified and it will be interesting to see who wins.

Queen of the South airs Thursdays on USA.

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They’re Watching (2016): Shut Up and Eat Your Goat D**k (Review)

Brigid Branagh as Becky in They're Watching

Written and directed byJay Lender and Micah Wright They’re Watching is a vastly entertaining blackly comic horror film set in Eastern Europe.  It is yet another POV film, but without a unique device like the 2015 horror film “Nightlight.” While that medium is wearing out its welcome, this film manages to almost make it work.

They’re Watching is about a US home improvement show gone international.  Potential American home buyer Becky Westlake (Brigid Brannagh)  finds a “fixer-upper” in Moldova.  The artist and her professional soccer player boyfriend renovate a dilapidated house and outbuildings in Pavlovka. 

The camera crew of this realty show return to Moldova to see Becky’s progress on the house.  This group of “ugly American’s”  manage to annoy everyone and outrage the community.  Before doing their bit to create an international incident, they meet up with local estate agent Vladimir (Dimitri Diatchenko) who sold the property to Becky. 

Greg (David Alpay) and Sarah (Mia Faith) are caught filming a funeral service for three dead children.  They get found  out when Kate (Carrie Genzel)  calls Sarah on the walkie. Alex (Kris Lemche) buys some pot from a local while Greg and Sarah  flee the church. he local cop tries control the situation. 

They’re Watching is a good bit of POV fun.  The crew and star of the house renovation show bicker and argue . They also take time to have some laughs.  The production crew are split into slightly more savvy world travelers and the new kid Sarah.

The newest member of the crew is amazed that this tiny European village has no Starbucks. “How do they live without caffeine,” she cries.  The locals burned a  witch at the stake 100 years before and it seems that they still believe in witches.

This film is more a comedy of errors  than a comedy of terrors. Although to be fair the last few minutes of the movie does have a good bit of horror in it.  In keeping with the theme of a horror film that does not take itself seriously, however,  the “magical’ effects are rather schlocky.

Show host Kate Banks  is pushy, arrogant and strong willed. Camera man Greg is haunted by an event in Afghanistan.  Sound man Alex takes nothing seriously and Sarah has just graduated from film school. 

Banks is  thoroughly unlikeable and Sarah is cute in that puppy dog sort of way.  Alex is the funniest of the lot as he literally takes nothing seriously..  Vladimir, gregarious Moldovan realtor,  is the comic relief; full of homilies and advice.

The film is not to be taken seriously as a horror film. It is a good bit of fun as it makes fun of the reality realty television market. It also has a jab  at the horror genre.  The movie does feel a little like a  comic version of Hostel or The Shrine.

Lender and Wright also appear to give a sly wink to the  1972 film Frogs, starring Ray Milland and a very young Sam Elliott. Their  film changes direction several times before ending on a hokey magical massacre in the outskirts of Pavlovka. 

In terms of fun They’re Watching is  a solid 4 star film.  Despite using the tired POV format it is enjoyable and fun.  As long as the viewer is not looking for serious scares they will enjoy this film.

The film is streaming on Netflix at the moment and is worth a look or two. How can one not love a film with the line, “Shut up and eat your goat d**k?”