According to the website, “Join Billy Crash and Jonny Numb as they discuss their take on horror films. Intelligent thoughts on the making of movies, dissemination of plot twists, and provoking debate on the good, the bad, and the truly horrific.” And according to listeners such as myself, few podcasts go in-depth as The Last Knock does while not descending into the drone of becoming tedious. And not only that, but the show runs just about every week, new episodes releasing typically during the weekend. They do themes and sometimes straight up movie reviews, from Silent Era flicks and German Expressionism to the latest, such as It Follows and Neon Demon. Basically, if you’re a fan of horror and horror movies, you need to check out The Last Knock.
One-half of The Last Knock:
William D. Prystuak, who is no stranger to Machine Mean. Will has reviewed for us Dracula’s Daughter (1936) during our Universal Monsters in Review series. Professor Prystuak is also an award-winning screenwriter, film producer, and teacher in higher education, as well as a published poet, and essayist. His crime thriller, BLOODLETTING, has been adapted from his script of the same name, and he is currently working on a horror series. William also co-hosts THE LAST KNOCK podcast as Billy Crash with his good buddy, Jonny Numb, and currently, has thousands of listeners in 120 countries. You can find more about horror and William on his Crash Palace Productions site. As an Assistant Professor of English at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania, William teaches business writing and public relations. You can find more about William at any of these fantastic sites: Amazon: http://amzn.to/1Fu9PHS Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/1GhclaJ Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23365977-bloodletting BLOODLETTING Book Trailer One: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TVNji_G-tSI BLOODLETTING Book Trailer Two: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=glK9DiVIHT8 IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm5464477/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1 Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/pub/william-d-prystauk/10/9a1/a55 Horror Podcast: THE LAST KNOCK on iTunes Twitter: @crashpalace. You can read Professor Prystuak’s review of Drac’s Daughter here.
Second-half of The Last Knock:
Jon Weidler, who also is no stranger to Machine Mean. He has reviewed for us Abbott and Costello Meet The Mummy (1955) AND Clean, Shaven for our Fright Fest month back in October. Mr. Weidler works for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania by day but is a podcast superhero by night. He co-hosts THE LAST KNOCK horror podcast under the moniker “Jonny Numb,” and is a regular contributor to the Crash Palace Productions and Loud Green Bird websites. His archived movie reviews can be found at numbviews.livejournal.com, and his social media handle is @JonnyNumb (Twitter & Letterboxd). You can read his review of A&C Meet Mummy here.
December 19, 2016 | Categories: Horror, Movies, Reviews | Tags: bloggers, blogging, dark fiction, fiction, film review, genre, Horror, horror podcasts, horror shows, indie, Jon Weidler, modern film, movie reviews, Movies, podcast, podcasting, podcasts, radio, Reviews, shows, The Last Knock, The Silent Era, voice, William D. Prystauk, writing | 1 Comment
PREVIOUSLY, ON ASH VS EVIL DEAD… So last season, I wrote a review of Ash vs. Evil Dead for The Ginger Nuts of Horror, (mostly) singing its praises. My few criticisms of the first season were the Scully character (do we need one of these in every show with a slight whiff of paranormal? let’s just do without them from now on, please) who eventually evened out and became interesting (right before she was killed),and the sometimes jarring tonal shifts. (You can read said review here)
Spoilers ahead, though (duh) it’s a review. We should all be used to this by now.
The ending of last season polarized fans. Some thought it didn’t make sense for Ash to hand his quest to rid the world of Deadites over to Ruby, though perhaps those viewers hadn’t been watching the same series I was. It’s always been an inner struggle for Ash between being a hero and being a hard-partying slacker—the whole season hinged on that. That, in the end, he gives up the Necronomicon to spend the rest of his days drinking and womanizing in Jacksonville fits perfectly with Ash’s M.O. prior to meeting fellow “ghostbeaters” Kelly and Pablo. That he does it under the guise of “saving” his new friends gives the decision a bit of emotional weight. We feel that even though he’s regressed, he’s at least grown in that he no longer sees himself as a lone wolf.
AND NOW, THE CONCLUSION…
(Although not really. We’re only 5 episodes deep.)
Season Two starts out with the pedal to the metal. No setup required. We already know Ash is partying hard in Jacksonville, and we could already guess Kelly and Pablo would be growing bored and restless, tagging along, likely waiting for Ash to come to his senses. What we probably didn’t guess is that Ash is a popular attraction. Everyone seems to love him. At first, I thought Jacksonville might be some sort of parallel dimension, but I suppose everyone is just drunk enough to find him and his chainsaw entertaining. When Ruby realizes she can’t fight the demon Baal on her own—she finds a picture of Ash in the Necronomicon—she then reneges on her part of the bargain, drawing Ash back to Elk Grove, where he grew up. (I suppose they changed his hometown from Dearborn, Michigan to Elk Grove for the same reason they changed S-Mart to Value Stop, due to a rights issue.) Everyone in Elk Grove knows him as “Ashy Slashy,” the crazy man who violently murdered his friends and sister in a cabin in the woods. It’s his biggest shame and plays into his hero/guilt complex brilliantly.
The gang meets Ash’s dad, Brock Williams, who Ash told them was dead. (Ash’s dad told people Ash was dead, turnabout being fair play.) He’s played brilliantly by Lee Majors, a hard-drinking, hard-partying perv just like Ash. He doesn’t believe Ash’s story about the Necronomicon, and Ash is tired of trying. Or at least, he pretends he is. Their rivalry alone makes the first four episodes worth watching if nothing else. Though there is a lot to love in Season Two.
Firstly, it ups the ante with wild scenes of gore and brutal deaths. You’ve probably seen the NSFW clip that’s been making the rounds, and if not I won’t spoil it here. (You can watch the clip here if you’re really interested: http://bloody-disgusting.com/tv/3410013/nsfw-ash-vs-evil-dead-clip-everyones-talking. Or you can just watch the series, and you really should be watching it if you can.) It’s this kind of over-the-top stuff that makes the second season really shine. You can’t find anything else like it on TV, mostly because of a thing called Standards and Practices.
Two, the jokes and interplay between characters are still on-point. There’s a scene where they’re discussing why Ruby is unable to find the Necronomicon and Ash “can’t fart without tripping over it”–it works so well because of the characters’ reactions, and Bruce Campbell’s gleefully stupid portrayal of Ash. I’ve watched it about a dozen times, and it makes me laugh. Every. Single. Time.
Third, Pablo and Kelly have their own storylines. Pablo, after having had his face torn off to adorn the cover of the Necronomicon, has now been seeing visions of possible futures. The book also calls to him, and he’s more susceptible to its allure. And Kelly is recruited by Ruby to find and kill her “spawn,” which she hopes will make it easier to send Baal back to Hell. Kelly is eager to prove herself, especially once Pablo reminds her of how much she doesn’t care that her life sucks.
And lastly, Ash vs. Evil Dead burns through plotlines as quickly as Ash burns through beers. The second a new thread is introduced, the one leading up to it is burned (usually violently). Nothing grinds my gears more than a series that hinges on one minor plot point for an entire season, or half of one. It’s lazy writing and makes for damn boring TV.
Ash vs. Evil Dead Season Two keeps the twists coming fast and ferociously. So far, it’s better than the first season in almost every way, and I can’t wait for more.
Duncan Ralston was born in Toronto and spent his teens in small-town Ontario. As a “grown up,” Duncan lives with his girlfriend and their dog in Toronto, where he writes dark fiction about the things that frighten, sicken, and delight him. In addition to his twisted short stories found in GRISTLE & BONE, the anthologies EASTER EGGS & BUNNY BOILERS, WHAT GOES AROUND, DEATH BY CHOCOLATE, FLASH FEAR, and the charity anthologies BURGER VAN and THE BLACK ROOM MANUSCRIPTS Vol. 1, he is the author of the novel, SALVAGE, and the novellas EVERY PART OF THE ANIMAL and WOOM, an extreme horror Black Cover book from Matt Shaw Publications. You can read Duncan’s work on the altar of Amazon b(u)y following this link here.
And as always, if you enjoyed what you’ve read here on Machine Mean, please subscribe to our mailing list by clicking on the FREE BOOK image below where you will not only receive updates on new reviews and articles but also a free anthology of dark fiction. And don’t worry, this is a spam free newsletter with well over 200 happy subscribers!
October 28, 2016 | Categories: Horror, Reviews | Tags: Ash, Ash Vs. Evil Dead, Ash Williams, author, Bruce Campbell, chainsaws, Comedy, dark, Dead, Duncan Ralston, evil, Evil Dead, film, Fright Fest, fright fest 2016, Guest, Guest author, Halloween, Halloween Movie Marathon, Horror, horror comedy, horror reviews, movie reviews, Reviews, shows, Starz, TV, TV shows | Leave a comment
It seems to be official now: AMC and the undead minds behind the Walking Dead comic book series are in talks over a Walking Dead companion show spin off, with a brand new cast of characters and locations. And when I say brand new, I mean these guys have not even been established in the comic book world. The zombie apocalypse isn’t isolated, its a huge universe with plenty of potential stories to be harvested. An actual companion story arch might be refreshing, giving us the “bigger” picture of a world gone awry. Though, be it as it may, nerds and fans of the still airing Walking Dead have begun to complain.
We’ve all got our opinions regarding what’s best for horror and the zombie culture, but are you (angry interest nerds) seriously complaining about getting more of what you love? One commentator snickered something about AMC being greedy and wanting to capitalize on a popular show. To this, I would simple say: “Are you nuts? You’re talking about a television network here, of course they’re concerned about capitol. But I’d argue, friend, that the folks over at AMC are not dumb. Walking Dead is hot right now, zombies are hot right now. This should be good news for zombie fans across the board. How many other TV spin offs have gone on to be actually better than the original? Lots. Seriously, if a bunch of geeky forensic nerds can get three companion shows, why can’t the Walking Dead get at least one? This should be a no-brainer, you igit!”
Okay, perhaps i’m being a little harsh, but my patience with angry internet nerds can be sometimes tested, especially considering how awesome this news should be and how these guys have already written it off. Come on folks! And its not as if the creative minds behind the original aren’t going to be behind this one; the twisted folks who’ve been writing these stories in the comic universe for over a decade are still in the drivers seat. Check out the office announcement from Daily Dead here:
“AMC announced today that the network is in the initial stages of developing a companion series to its original drama series The Walking Dead, which premiered on AMC in October of 2010. The Walking Dead is currently the #1 show on television among adults 18-49. Robert Kirkman, Gale Anne Hurd and David Alpert are on board as executive producers, with AMC Studios set to produce. The companion series has a target on-air date of 2015.”
Hopefully as more news regarding the spin off are released, more fans of horror will step up and defend whats going on. I’d personally enjoy seeing more Walking Dead, especially from a brand spanking new perspective. Until then, lets demonstrate some patience and see what happens, without resorting to biased opinions.
September 16, 2013 | Categories: Horror, Shows | Tags: AMC, Angry Internet Nerds, Horror, Robert Kirkman, shows, spin off, The Walking Dead, zombies | Leave a comment