Review: American Gods – Season One

Warning: Potential Spoilers Below

Showtime’s American Gods is a leisurely stroll through a dream. It dazzles, delights, and confuses the viewer, but its story unfold at a mummy’s pace. Much of the series involves road trips and I suspect that was the point: the journey is much more fulfilling than the destination.  Every episode is brimming with disturbing beauty and faerie story detours that are fantastical in every meaning of that word, but the primary story often feels like a skeleton to hang such fancies on. It could be said that the story doesn’t even really kick off until its first season finale, and that the entire season was essentially a prelude to what lies ahead.  In that way, it’s easy to see why many would frustrated by the series. For me, it was very much a journey worth taking.

American Gods is based on the Neil Gaiman novel of the same title. It’s an incredibly strange book and I adore it for that reason. Showrunners Bryan Fuller (developer of Hannibal, creator of Pushing Up Daisies) and Michael Green (writer on Alien: Covenant, writer/producer Heroes) are certainly no strangers to bizarre material. What they have crafted is a work that is faithful to the spirit and strangeness of Gaiman’s novel, if not its story. That’s not to say that their series isn’t recognizable as American Gods, but it’s certainly no word-for-word retelling.
For those unfamiliar with the material, the central premise is that gods and mythological creatures exist because people believe in them and immigrants have brought with them their deities and sprites. As humanity’s faith in such beings wanes, New Gods have been born: figures who represent society’s obsession with modern forms media, transportation, technology, and other such concepts. At the center of this world of gods and monsters is Shadow Moon, a recently released convict who has lost everything that matters to him, including his wife. With nothing left, he accepts a job as the bodyguard of an enigmatic conman, known as Mr. Wednesday. In no time at all, Shadow finds himself involved in a conflict between the Old Gods and the New Gods.
The world of American Gods is not far removed from our own in many ways, and completely alien in others. It’s a realm that has everything ours has to offer, but where belief is powerful enough to give life to legends. Anything a person can think of can potentially exist within this world, which gives many opportunities for truly magical imagery. And the series takes full advantage of it. Some of it is gruesome, some of it is weird, and some of it is gorgeous. But all of it is fantastic. In fact, it’s some of the most spectacular imagery I’ve seen for a television show in some time. The cinematography is nothing short of breathtaking, and the visual effects are a magician’s feat.

Like the book, American Gods takes many detours from its main plot. Though it’s easy to see why this would annoy the heck out of some viewers, most of these detours are pretty darn groovy. There’s one episode that’s mostly dedicated to the tale of an 18th-century Irishwoman (Cornish in the book) that really doesn’t further the conflict of the Old Gods and New Gods, but it makes this universe all the richer. When the series pauses to tell short stories, it feels more like an anthology than an epic. I certainly didn’t mind these diversions.

On paper, the cast seems exceptional. In execution, it’s pure perfection. Ricky Whittle’s Shadow and Ian McShane’s Mr. Wednesday play off of each other in marvelous fashion. As far as I’m concerned, McShane is Mr. Wednesday. Gillian Anderson is delightful as Media, wearing the guise of a new pop culture icon in each of her appearances. (Any show that has Dana Scully doing a David Bowie impression is fine by me!! ;)) Orlando Jones is wildly charismatic as the trickster Mr. Nancy and Yetide Badaki’s Bilquis says a lot with very little dialogue. As always, Crispin Glover is sensational as the mysterious Mr. World.

Perhaps the most surprising and delightful aspect of the first season is the inclusion of a new subplot with leprechaun Mad Sweeney and walking corpse Laura Moon, played by Pablo Schreiber and Emily Browning respectively. Both characters have been expanded far beyond their book counterparts. With Sweeney given a longer lifespan and Laura given more personality and backstory than just a dead wife, the pair very nearly steal the entire show away from the main characters. Their insult-laden repartee and unusual chemistry are nothing short of brilliant. If the series has outdone Gaiman in any regard, it’s in the handling of Laura and Sweeney.

All in all, the first season of American Gods is one heck of road trip. If one doesn’t mind frequent stops and detours, the series is superb fantasy. Gaiman’s magnificent novel is done great justice, and even improved upon in some regards. It’s very episodic, but most of its diversions are strong in their own way. We’ll have to wait to see if the second season stays in this direction, but I wouldn’t be disappointed if it did. American Gods is truly divine.

Happy Birthday, Crispin Glover & Clint Howard!! :)

Happy Birthday to two site favorites: Clint Howard and Crispin Glover!

Both Mr. Glover and Mr. Howard are among the most beloved actors in the world of cult cinema. Neither one is your average leading man, but they’d be far less intriguing if they were.

Crispin Glover is one of the most unique personalities in cinema. He has appeared in blockbuster crowd-pleasers, but his heart clearly lies with the darker, challenging side of film. As an artist in many fields, Mr. Glover is always provocative and has the uncanny ability to perturb viewers in fascinating ways. While the average film-goer may recognize him as the nebbish father in Back to the Future, Glover’s acting work has included everything from slasher films (Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter), art films (Dead Man), big-budget fantasy (Alice in Wonderland), offbeat crime films (Wild at Heart), black comedies (Nurse Betty), and other varied films. No matter the film, Glover always brings an intensity and strange quality that is all his own. Glover has brought his surreal talents to directing with What Is It? and It Is Fine! Everything Is Fine, both part of a planned “It” trilogy. There’s no denying that Glover is a true original.

Clint Howard will (to the general public, anyway) always be known simply as “Ron Howard’s brother”,  but has Ron had memorable roles on three different versions of Star Trek? No, but Clint sure has! In fact, Clint has had a pretty legendary career in his own right. Starting in 1963, Clint Howard has been in… well, just about everything. Mr. Howard is the ultimate character actor. He’s been in countless iconic television shows, horror movies (including The Ice Cream Man, a favorite of our fearless ho-stess!), comedies (the first two Austin Powers movies, among many others.), has gone face-to-face with Captain Kirk and Dr. McCoy on the original Star Trek series, and was Roo (!) in two Disney Winnie the Pooh shorts! In 1998, Howard won the MTV Lifetime Achievement Award. It was clearly a gag, but it shouldn’t have been. Clint Howard has been around for over four decades and has produced many roles and moments that will be remembered by fans forever. If that isn’t award-worthy, we don’t know what is.

 In honor of these two eccentric gentlemen, we thought it would be appropriate to have a little music… performed by the birthday boys, of course! The first is a new wave rocker performed by Clint Howard and the Kempsters, the second is Crispin Glover doing his best (and the all-time best) Olivia Newton-John in The Orkly Kid. Both performances are delightfully strange, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Happy Birthday, Boys!

 

Happy 33rd Birthday, Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter!

Three Times Before You Have Felt The Terror, Known The Madness, Lived The Horror. But This Is The One You’ve Been Screaming For…

Happy Birthday to Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter, the greatest (and Crispin Glover-iest) of all the Friday the 13th films!!!!!!! 🙂

Now, if you’ve been paying attention to the site. you know I LOOOOOOOOOVVVVVEEEEE this jaunty Jason jam! I mean, how can you not?! It has Corey “Feld-Dog” Feldman, Mah Boo, and Crispin Glover at his dirty danciest! 😉 However, if you need further explainin’, allow me to do so in the video below…

We all know how perfect the film is, but did you know there is an alternate ending? It’s crazy to think they almost ended on something other than bald Corey Feldman staring at the camera, but it’s true!

Originally, the ending was supposed to uphold the proud Friday the 13th tradition of a Carrie-like fake-out. After “defeating” Jason, Tommy and Trish (the survivors) wake up to the sound of police sirens. Trish notices water dripping from the ceiling and decides to investigate. She enters the upstairs bathroom and discovers her mother’s lifeless body floating in the bathtub. Suddenly, the mother’s eyes pop open to reveal ghastly white eyes! Jason appears behind the horror-stricken Trish, ready to strike! As Jason is about to finish her… Trish wakes up and it was all a dream.

As, um, interesting as that would have been, I prefer the more Feldman-tastic ending we got. However, I recommend checking out the original  ending below. The original audio is lost, but the cast and crew provide their commentary. It’s a eXXXtremely cool bit o’ Friday history. Mah Boo approves!

Happy Birthday, Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter! You’ll forever be slashin’ away at our hearts!! 🙂 xoxoxo

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(With Ted White, the sweetest Jason evah! :))(The first time I met the dreamy Mr. Jimmy Mortimer himself :))

(And the pic that got me Twitter-banned for a while…while I was in Japan tweeting about Crispin’s shows, actually, even though I’d had it up ages before that. Hmmm…That CAN’T be a coincidence. Clearly those Twitter bastiches are #TeamFreddy!! ;)) xoxo

News Bleed: The Big G (And Lil’ B) Edition.

BUM-TASTIC UPDATE: After this was posted I learned the sad news that Kenny Baker has passed. 🙁 You can get details basically everywhere right now, and his official website is here.

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Kenny_Baker-1Thanks for everything, Mr. Baker. You are loved. xoxo

Now back to the regularly scheduled happy stuff…

One of my favorite books of all time is getting made into a movie starring one of my favorite (and one of the absolute hottest :)) actors of all time!! What a time to be alive!!!! 🙂 xoxo Bloody Disgusting

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So much AHS Season 6 Teasing going on right now…Here is but a taste of the madness to cum. 😉 Variety

Wadsworth has given the Rocky Horror reboot his official blessing, so I guess I have to give it a chance now…#HisWillBeDone 😉 Inquisitr

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So much awesome news a’happenin’ over in Halloween Horror Nights Land (inc. a Krampus maze…HUZZAH!!! :)) HHN.com

#GirlPower!!! 🙂 Io9

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(Jen Lynch’s Official Twitter, btw)

#MAKEMKHAPPEN!!! (We’re talking to you now, James Wan!!! ;)) GameNGuide

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Godzilla Greatness. 🙂 Kotaku

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and since it’s still Saturday AM as I’m writing this…

Have a wonderfully wicked weekend, Kinky Ho-mies!! 🙂 xoxo

PS- ICYMI, my “Sigourney Beaver” pics are now up on my DP site. xo

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#WetWednesday: The Swimming Pool Edition, Part 2.

(Submitted by Smutmaster Eric, of corpse! 😉 Thanks, Kinky Ho-mie!! 🙂 xoxo)

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Featuring: Anikka Albrite, Maddy O’Reilly & Maika Monroe.

The Long Hard Ride (2014)

lhr1City girl Kelly Rodgers (Anikka Albrite) thinks she’s just struck gold when she inherits the Broke Twig Ranch. But she discovers the ‘ranch’ is actually a wild west bordello, where comely corseted babes (Maddy O’ Reilly and Marie McCray) keep every customer satisfied.

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It Follows (2015)

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A young woman is followed by an unknown supernatural force after a sexual encounter.

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Ho-stess’s PS– It’s 4/20, which means it’s International Ho-ver Day!! (Did you think I was gonna say something else?? ;)) Happy Birthday to two of my very fave actors, Mr. Crispin Glover (who just signed on for Starz’s American Gods…yay!!) and Mr. Clint Ho-ward (who will be at Monsterpalooza in Hell-A this weekend!! *squeeeeeeee!!!*) Ho-w fitting that their mutual birthday falls on #WetWednesday, amirite?? 😉

These vids rep the precise moments I fell in forever-lust with these uniquely badass beauties…I dare you to watch them and not get wettified!! 😉 xoxo

#MMM: The “Crispin Glover is Even Weirder Than We Thought” Edition…

…and that’s a very good thing. 🙂

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So, a few weeks ago I got this email from the Egyptian Theatre in Ho-llywood announcing “An Evening with Crispin Glover”.

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This sort of event happens quite often in LA, and almost always sticks to the same formula: Celeb Dude shows film, answers random audience questions for twenty minutes or so, takes a few pics with fans, then leaves. I wasn’t expecting anything more than that from Mr. Glover’s appearance, but since he is on my list of Forever Crushes (thanks largely to his dreamy turn in Friday the 13th Part 4 :)), and I didn’t really know too much about him other than his mainstream film roles (and Clowny Clown Clown, a forever-fave) I wanted to go check him out.

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(#rawwwwwwwwwwwwwr!! :))

My curiosity was further piqued when I read what people who had already gone to some of his appearances had to say about the eXXXperience. Here are but a few eXXXamples:crispin2crispin3

Um…Yeah. Count me so in for this!! 🙂

He was very adamant about not taking pics/vids during his show, so unfortunately I have no actual footage to share with you. I did manage to get this one image to show it’s a literal slide show, so drink that in for a moment:

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As I said, I really didn’t have a clue what to eXXXpect (other than “weirdness”, which I’m always down for :)), so I was ho-nestly, truly, crazily blown away by Mr. Glover’s performance…and film…and books. Perhaps even more importantly, the way he treated the hundreds of fans who waited in line for literally hours to see him (I know…I was right there with ’em! :)) was beyond impressive.

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(“Sorry, Mr. Glover, I totally didn’t realize I was pushing my bewbage into you when we took this…” -Me. Lying. ;))

The event started around 8pm, and Mr. G didn’t leave until the VERY LAST person in line got the chance to get his autograph, take pics, and even have a personal convo with him. (I was very close to last in line, and I know I didn’t get out of there until about 3:30, and he was still as courteous and polite to everyone at that late hour as he had been at the beginning of the night.

After this brief glimpse into the Wacky, Wonderful World of Crispin, I wanted to know (and share with the universe! :)) the so-not-mainstream side of this intriguingly unique artist who was obviously so much more than George McFly. I contacted him about an interview for the site, and he was kind enough to oblige (sort of…I think ;)). I met him for tea to discuss deets, but he was just too freaking fascinating…After all the billions of interviews he’s done about every topic under the sun, I couldn’t even bring myself to pretend that my Awkward Fangirl-ing interview style would present anything to the world that wasn’t already readily available. So, I got selfish, and instead of trying to interview him for Kinky Ho-rror, I decided to just talk to him…for hours. (I guess it’s more accurate to say I listened for hours, since I was too intimidated by him to articulate much aside from tiny, mouse-like “squeeeeees” under my breath. Until he offered up some very tasty Tequila, that is, and then I wouldn’t shut up…Huzzah for liquid courage!!! ;))

I realize I’m droning on a bit (hey, this is being posted on #ManCrushMonday for a reason ;)), so I’ll jump right to my main point for all my fellow ADD-ers out there:

Crispin Hellion Glover is a uniquely awesome dude, onscreen and off. If you have the chance to check out one of his Film/Slideshow Tours, you HAVE to. (Click here to stay updated on tour dates and such...NOW!! ;))  If you enjoy the living shit out of Clowny Clown Clown (and ho-w can anyone not?? :)), you HAVE to check out the rest of that indescribably unique album. (Auto-Manipulator  is my new theme song…#JustSayin’. ;)) If you think he’s insanely, panty-meltingly ho-t (and ho-w can anyone not??? ;)), you, sir or madam (no judgments here! :)), have eXXXcellent taste, and here’s some #ManMeatMonday deliciousness to get your week started on a hot-as-fuck   note. (You’re welcum! :)) Now, if you’ll eXXXcuse me, I have a lil’ Auto-Manipulating to do… 😉 xoxoxo

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(Classic Radness also featuring Nic Cage. :))

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