The Top Ten Horror Movies Our Hearts Are Pounding To See In 2013, Why They’re On Horror Boom’s Most Anticipated List, Plus Extras!

First, a quick site update (more to come). So, the holidays came so fast our ‘Christmas/Holiday Countdown’ consisted of exactly two holiday-themed posts (one, if you don’t count the actual Christmas greeting that contained this commercial). We were planning a sorta “Twelve Days Of Christmas” countdown. Even had notes jotted down for this grandiose scheme. Example- On the first day of Christmas, Horror Boom gave to Me- The Collector’s Backstory! On the second day, two reasons to avoid escalators (clip from Terror Firmer, Final Destination 4 clip) etc. all the way up to “Ten Dr. West jokes” and “Twelve Romero Zombie Kills”. That turned out to be waaaaaay  too ambitious. First problem, we came up with the idea ten days before Christmas, before we even wrote anything.  OK, let’s see, we could retro-post a few of them, let’s get working on that, first we got to take care of holiday shopping, but now we can catch up and (blink) oh, hey! It’s Christmas Eve tomorrow! Shit, we gotta get started on our wrapping! (blink) Wow, we need to send thank-you notes for those cool gifts.

OK, on to that 2013 projects/movies list!

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So, we were chatting with friends and started naming off our top five we were drooling to see. I went to jot them down, and realized there were ten movies we were all hopped up for.  Mrs. Horror Boom here got an actual adrenaline rush just writing the complete list down and seeing all ten at once. OK, if you want to get technical, one item on the list are the final four episodes of a certain TV show (that will air starting January second), but we doubt we’ll get  complaints on that, judging from the fact at least 50% of our traffic come from various American Horror Story Asylum-related searches (especially those tagged with “Pinhead Pepper”).

We couldn’t find a graceful way to include this in the title, but these are all coming out in the first half of 2013. Many will hit before Spring is officially here. After Memorial Day, we’ll probably do a list for the second half. Some of these all of us horror fans have been waiting for over 6 months (and almost a year on Inbred’s U.S. release). The ABCS os Death was supposed to be an early October release, for God’s sake.

There’s no way we’d get the list out in a timely manner if we attempted to rank them in order of excitement, so we decided to go with the release dates- first come, first written about.

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Here’s the entire list- we’ll go back and add links to the pieces focusing on each one as they get published. Also, these are in no particular order; we’re having trouble hunting down the release dates on several. Until then, several have previously written pieces with trailers and/or other cool stuff. We’ll take those down when we put up the links to the new spotlight pieces on each one. So let’s get it on!

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Most Anticipated Horror Movies of 2013
1. The ABCs of Death
2.  Maniac  re-boot
3.  Chan Wook Park’s  Stoker
4.  Mama
5. Carrie re-boot
6. American Mary
7.  Evil Dead re-boot (Raimi, Tapert, and Campbell approved)
8.  Inbred (US release)
9.  [REC] 4 – Apocalypse
10. “The Name Game”, “Spilt Milk, ” Continuum”,  and “Madness Ends”- AKA, the final four episodes (a little over roughly a mere three more hours) that will bring American Horror Story Asylum roaring through to the finish line of this American Horror Story chapter. 

If you’re looking for air dates, you can peep them here.  I highly doubt that we’re alone when we say we’re not ready to say goodbye yet to this cast of characters, and this story! 

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The final four episodes of American Horror Story Asylum are a great jumping off point for our list, and the first of the final four acts (The Name Game) is a matter of days away (January 2nd). So, read on about AHSA’s “final four” coming up next…

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Ten Shamelessly Twisted Things We Learned From American Horror Story Asylum Episode 9, “The Coat Hanger” (SPOILERS)

Well, hot damn!

OK, let’s get the following suspicions we had that were confirmed out of the way briefly before we get our serious learn on here . 1. Yes, there is a connection between the aliens showing up and Kit having sex. So far they’ve taken Alma and Grace, and Kit got the tracking device. 2. Lana’s pregnant, alright, and.  3. Dylan McDermott is the son of Bloody Face, Oliver Thredson, and that was him killing pretty much the entire cast of the wrap-around story so far. Which leads us to…

1.  We learned Johnny Thredson’s back-story (which is a lot like many of us predicted …so far). This is coming from Bloody Face Jr. (who will be referred to as “BFJr” when we’re pressed for time), and sociopaths have been known to be pretty good liars (and Ryan Murphy has, too, though only when it’s to throw fans off a scent, not because he’s a sociopath). Here’s what we learned about his back story, broken down, from the cold open… he says, “I wanna stop. I really do..”

  • BF Jr. has had ‘impulses’ ever since he was a kid. The way he described what the impulses and how amazing they made him feel when he acted on them, the therapist thought (before he got to the part about skinning a cat) he was talking about compulsive masturbation. I’m no prude, but that’s just sick.
  • He started out by skinning a dead cat. Then he realized killing them felt even better.*
  • He grew up in foster care. His foster family kicked them out “when they saw the evidence”.
  • He got bounced from foster care house to house, until he figured out how to do it without getting caught. He said he hadn’t “harmed” any animals since he was a teenager.
  • Then he went to prison for armed robbery, where he learned killing small animals is a precursor to psychopathy. That got him thinking what made him the way he was, and who were his real parents?
  • Johnny found out who his real parents where when he started looking it upon the internet that they had “in the joint”.
  • After he found out who he was, those impulses got stronger and harder to control, especially certain thoughts. First they told him to retrace his roots.
  • Now he’s back in the house where his father lived  (not sure how he afforded such an awesome mid-century modern house, I’m pretty sure he’s living there in, let’s say, a non-traditional way, such as killing the owners and occupants and disposing of their bodies)
  • The thoughts and impulses started telling him to hurt women. Not just hurt them, skin them. Like the cats.
  • He got frustrated because he ‘made a mess’ when he tried it (as we see a flashback of him trying to skin Theresa in broken-down Briarcliff, and getting pissed because she was screaming, and yelling at her to shut up and stop moving-“This is delicate work!”). He knew he botched the job because he didn’t have the same medical training and skills as his father.
  • He wants to stop skinning/killing until he can get into medical school (“If it’s not too late”). He wants to learn to do it as well as his father did. And only then he reveals to the now-terrified therapist that his father was …Bloody Face.

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2.  We learned that Sister Mary Demon is dee-lighted  to share the news with Lana that she’s pregnant, and that she is NOT getting rid of the kid via a “Drano Margarita” (you don’t want details). Sister Mary Demon tells Lana she WILL have this baby. “This is an insane asylum. People hump like bunnies here, you’re hardly our first unwed mother. Of course, the babies are  born a little…cuckoo”. Later, when she tells Lana the coat-hanger abortion (gah!) was unsuccessful, Sister Mary Eunice simply glows with nasty glee.

I don’t trust anyone… or anything.

 

 

3. Lana Winters has wised up, and turns out to be a very good actress when she needs to be. She tells Sister Mary she must have hallucinated the rape, and when she politely informs Sister Mary Demon that she can’t have this baby, threatening to put her in restraints for nine months if that’s what it took, she played along. Lana has also figured out that Sister Mary Demon is an evil bitch (“You’re worse than Sister Jude… you’re a sadist”), but I don’t think she has any idea—yet— she’s actually demonically possessed. Unfortunately, Sister Mary fucks with her anyway by the end of the episode (more on that later)… but Lana makes VERY effective use of her time until then.

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4. We learned Lana really, really  wants to kill Bloody Face. Like, immediately. This is, I think, the second time Kit has had to talk her out of it and remind her if she kills him now,  not only will Kit take the fall, but Dr, Thredson will never take the blame. Though I think if Kit wasn’t involved, odds are even she would have killed him as slowly as possible without getting busted,  then gotten rid of his body effectively,  probably chopping him into 400 pieces, just for sheer payback. Luckily, she now has leverage on him, can get some payback by making him suffer WHILE getting evidence she and Kit need to prove he’s the real Bloody Face, then kill him (that last part doesn’t work out… yet. “I need Thredson to talk”. Lana gets an idea… a great  one.

 

And I know something else… it’s a boy.

 

 

5. We learned how to really hit Bloody Face where it hurts. Go find him where you tied him up in some deep dark catacomb of the basement (where apparently only giving him enough the minimum amount of food and water to keep him alive) prove he got you pregnant, then threaten to get rid of the baby. First let him think you’ll have it, then give the baby away and brought up in foster care, LIKE HIM.

After some begging, she tells him she’s  getting rid of it, and since she’s stuck here, “I’m gonna have to get creative”, and pulls out a sharp, thick wire coat hanger, and takes her panties off.  “This is a mercy killing, Oliver. No child should ever have to grow up knowing his Daddy was Bloody Face.” (check). Oliver gets very desperate and apologetic, very suddenly. “You owe me this, It’s my child too, please.” In a clever twist, she tells him he’s a sociopath (check) and can never be honest with anybody (check). When he says he’ll prove it, she asks him why he killed each of the women, adding up to a very honest confession. Then she reveals Kit’s been out of sight with the suitcase-sized reel-to-reel recorder –the same one he got Kit’s “confession” on, ha-HAH — the whole time!  Oliver goes back into misogynistic blurt-mode again, calls her a bitch, and that he knows it was all an act. Not so. In perhaps the cruelest act she can think of to hurt him (which you’ll get NO complaints from us about), she tells him she was pregnant all right, but she already used the coat-hanger on his “beloved baby …last night” (we see the wince-inducing flashback).  “It started as a trickle…and within an hour, it was just a bloody mess.”

After they do knife count, I’m gonna pocket one. Then I’m going to come back tonight and slit your throat nice and easy. I always wanted to know what it was like inside the mind of a killer. Now I know.

 

6. Ryan Murphy, and Lily Rabe, have mentioned before that Sister Mary Demon actually has a plan and a goal . Tonight we found out what it was. She tells Timothy that she agrees with what Sister Jude told her- he should  be the pope. Not only that,  she wants to save souls with him, and serve him… alongside him… all the way to the Vatican in Rome. Oh, shit.

I don’t mind telling you …I’m pretty scared.

 

7. Speaking of Father Timothy, we found out how shitty what he is capable of.  Either Dr. Nazi must have some serious additional dirt on him, or nothing will get in the way of his ambition to eventually become Pope, or some combination of the two. The Monsignor took away everything sister Jude had left—her freedom, her safety, and her title as a nun. They even gave all her possessions, including her clothes, to the poor.  “Now you’re just plain Judy Martin”. (We’re going to have to get used to calling her that). Worse,  he knew what he was doing to her was about the cruelest fate possible. Worst of all, he knew it was a cover-up and she was innocent. Thus, we patiently, hopefully waited through the episode for Leigh to turn on him violently.  We’re sure we don’t need to explain why wretched Sister Jude earned that “Goddamned cigarette” from Lana, if you’ve seen the episode.  He appears to try to feel better about himself by “save” Leigh Emerson’s “soul.” Yep, the convicted, confessed killer of nineteen people (20 if the guy whose face he bit a big chunk off of died). Oh hey, here’s something Timothy  learned the hard way, up next…

Lana:  My God, what did they do to you?
Jude: Nothing I didn’t do to you.

 

8. If a psychotic killer, and possibly rapist,  who you saw bite a guard’s face off a year ago and knock a guard off a ladder and smash the sharp tree-topping ornament in his face recently, does a complete 180 and proclaims piously that he wants to be forgiven by God and make up for all the damage he caused… well, maybe wait, I don’t know, at least a week or so, before trusting him enough to unlock his shackles and leg irons, be alone with him in a chapel, and perform a baptism in a basin about the size of a hot-tub. Otherwise, you may wake up (after being drowned into unconsciousness) nailed to a cross and wishing you were dead so strongly that the actual Angel of Death hears you …and comes calling.

This is going to hurt.

 

9. Now that Dr. Nazi has seen it and has scientific evidence (he saw it and  has the claw print he made), he believes Kit about the aliens. “They’re experimenting. Probably refining  some form of eugenics,” he tells Kit after questioning him (not via torture, but in his office over a “friendly” bottle of fine scotch and a smoke) about having sex with Alma—and Grace— before she was taken. Ryan Murphy teased this info as a hint about what the aliens wanted in the first place, and their interest/connection with Kit;  now he’s confirmed it: Eugenics. But of course, being a “man of science”, he wants to attempt to bring the aliens back-by almost  killing him. This is where the completely batshit things that happen in the episode as Ken Tucker teased before it aired really kick into high gear.

YIPES!!!

This was in the official preview for “The Coat Hanger”, yet nowhere to be found in the episode. We included it because it was so disturbing (it better show up at some point in the next four episodes). See “Stray Thoughts” for more on this.

10. When Kit’s heart stops (so, we suppose a main character did technically die in the episode, though he’ll probably be brought back…we hope), the aliens start putting on their show—the usually ear-splitting noises and flashing, then almost blinding lights. Stunned, Dr. Nazi wan towards the source of a light, and enters a cell/room only to discover PEPPER returned (the aliens took her too, Murphy confirmed, and she came back ”different”),  SPEAKING NORMALLY AND CALMLY,  informing Dr. Nazi that  “The baby’s full term, it won’t be long.” What… the… ffffuu–  Dr. Nazi seems to barely notice Pepper (still a pinhead, but she doesn’t act like one, just looks like one), he’s too busy being blown away by the sight of a now-returned Grace- nude, glowing with life, and very, very pregnant.

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Judy: Yeah, things are gonna change around here. (gets up and destroys “Dominique” record with her bare hands)
Lana:  (impressed)  Well… hot damn.

*Now, see THIS is when the therapist should have kept a poker face but quietly excused herself for “just one second”, then as soon as she was out of Johnny’s eyesight, sprinted out of the building and down the street to safety. Don’t wait until he starts talking about how hard it is to skin a woman alive before you start to panic.

Stray Thoughts:

 

  • I guess we could discuss the themes of forgiveness in the episode; who deserves it and who doesn’t, and how being told by someone they’ve forgiven you is not always positive.  Instead, we’d rather talk about the juicier stuff, and leave it at this:  Telling someone that their sins have been forgiven does not always end well for you, either (see Father Timothy). I think the only type of forgiveness that was positive and from the heart (and very satisfying for us to watch) occurred during the scene in the day room with Sister Jude  Judy Martin and Lana Winters. Lana is sitting there looking the most bitter we’ve ever seen her, Sist Judy enters to the strains of Dominique, looking self-conscious at the her former co-worker’s stares and smirks but trying to maintain her dignity. She starts by sitting down at the table with Lana and says she doesn’t expect her to forgive her, but honestly tells her that what she did to her was wrong—and agrees when Lana adds it was criminal.  When Lana admits that she doesn’t trust anyone, or anything, Sister Jude gets up and yanks the needle off the “Dominique” record- VVVVOOOOP!  and many of the inmates react with applause and even some cheers (so did we).
  • Did anyone else think that Jude was going to keep a sharp vinyl shard and stab or slice someone who had it coming, like within the next minute or so of the scene, instead of returning to the table with Lana (or at least slip a shard into her pocket)? Well, she might have it stashed away. It could show up later…
  • Ian McShane, we’re glad you were back, and we’re sorry to see you escape  (though at least now that the holidays are over, maybe McShane’s character won’t murder or rape anyone else). Hey, maybe he decided to exit via the woods, with the hungry Raspers. You think YOU can bite a face off, Leigh Emerson?? Think you might have met your match, there. Murphy has said that we’ll find out —probably on the finale— what happened to him, or where he went, just for closure. I don’t think McShane will get any more screen time. Sister Jude oops, Jude,  dammit— was terrified to see him approaching her bedside, but kept eye contact and did a fairly good job of not showing her fear, though she couldn’t hide her disgust.
  • There were lots of great lines in the episode, and McShane got one of the funniest. He’s being strapped down in an isolation room for some sort of sexual misconduct (that I hope was consensual, but he’s not exactly Don Draper and if a nun was going to say the hell with it and sleep with a patient, there’s a few slightly more appealing choices—not many, but still)  and Sister Jude, hate in her eyes, says to make it tight. “Oh yeah, I like ‘em tight! Just ask Sister Chastity.” Jude snaps that she will deal with Sister Chastity herself and Leigh replies, “You might wanna start by giving her a new name!” She slaps his face, but you can tell he thought it was worth it.
  • We’re really  concerned that the only evidence (and the only copy) of Dr. Thredson/Bloody Face’s confession is hidden away in the hydrotherapy room. We just hope to God that both Kit and Lana were in on the hiding place. Then again, if Sister Mary Demon has her way, they’re probably both fucked on many levels.
  • We were positive–from the moment the still photos were released– that the cigarette Dr. Nazi gave to Kit was going to be laced with Sativa (so he’d hallucinate and Dr. Nazi would work it into some evil plan)- because his little greenhouse isn’t just a hobby. You can’t just go into store and buy Belladonna /Deadly Nightshade, either, even back in the 60s. If you have no idea what Sativa is, you can read about it here (and on a ton of other BLTC type websites out there, probably).
  • Is Sister Mary forcing Lana to have her baby because she knows what a monster the baby is going to become, or just out of sheer spite because she knows how evil it is to make a gay woman who was raped by a serial killer (who also killed her lover) and got pregnant from the rape have to live with it in her body for nine months and then go through childbirth to have it? We’re guessing a bit of both.
  • I don’t know how much time was supposed to have passed, I’m assuming a few days or so, but Leigh sure healed quickly after Sister Jude jammed that sharp metal letter opener into his neck. He appeared none the worse for wear, other than a gauze bandage wrapped around his neck. Maybe Dr. Hans Gruper, who proved he can actually save a life if he really applies himself, gave him some stitches and antibiotics— after all, Dr. Nazi was in on the “frame-up” of Sister Jude.
  • Anyone else notice there were shots in the preview that were not in the actual episode?  That includes the one above, the one of Sister Mary Demon with someone (I think it was Lana) miming a sarcastic Oh, boo-hoo!   directed at them, and we didn’t see THIS disturbing one either. And we really, REALLY looked for it, too:
Not in "The Coat Hanger", but in the preview for it. Where would it even go?

Not in “The Coat Hanger”, but in the preview for it. All we know is it BETTER damn well show up later! We already got screwed with all the AHS S1 DVD/Blu-ray; Murphy describes all kind of cool shit on the commentary, then says, “we had to cut it out, but I’m sure it’ll be a special feature on the deleted scenes/out-takes on this DVD, you can watch it there.” NO we fuckin’ CAN’T! Because there’s no deleted/extended scenes, or even out-takes in the special features on the whole set! At the very least, tell us where the above was supposed to go. Cross your fingers with us that this and the one above comes up later in the next four episodes…

  • We can’t fucking wait for the last four episodes (starting January 2nd, 2013), and  really  can’t wait to see  the two toughest cookies in the joint: Judy Martin and Lana Winters- team up. Of all the (human) women in there, they’re the ones whose good side I’d try to stay on (or join up with). This should be very, very good.

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Ten Things We Learned From American Horror Story Asylum, Episode 4 – “I Am Anne Frank, Part One”

Kit: You’re confusing me. You’re saying that if I’m crazy  I wouldn’t believe Dr. Thredson, but if I’m sane,  my crazy stories would be true?
[pause] 
Grace: I have no idea what you just said.

Well, that got ugly. Last night (unless you count Demon Sister Mary Eunice’s all-too-brief appearance as she happily picked out a cane with what looked like spikes on it for beating Kit and Grace), all the horror –and there were heaping helpings– had all-too-human causes. Nothing supernatural happened, but almost every character was in their own personal hell, caused by a fellow human being/s. There was also a strong theme of identity, sense of self, and which self you present to the world. Some characters present a wildly exaggerated version of the truth, some are willing to try to erase their identity in a ‘the ends justify the means‘ type of motive, some are more honest than we’ve ever seen them, and some show they not only have a dark side, but that dark side is enough to make them a monster. We see patient’s flashbacks that could be truth, or a lie. We see Dr. Thredson rather coldly explain to Kit why and how he killed his wife, and it’s shown in flashback format (for the record, I don’t buy it. As I recall, they were talking about telling everyone they were married, he wanted to share their love to the world, she wanted to wait).  Lana had a little fantasy (that I notice didn’t include Wendy–if so, I missed it) about finally being recognized as a serious reporter that was the final push for her to ask Dr. Thredson how soon she could begin treatment. Things didn’t go as Lana planned. Secrets, stories, and lies. We got introduced to this really quickly by Kit and Grace’s conversation in the kitchen at the beginning of the first act:

Grace: …it doesn’t matter what I believe.
Kit: It does. Especially in this place. Your story is who you are.
Grace. I wish I could forget my story.
Kit: No, you have to say it out loud all the time just to keep it straight in your head. Tell me. Tell me your story, I won’t judge you.

Which leads us to…

1. We learn that Grace’s father and step-mother were murdered with an axe (in a disturbing, gruesome scene that I loved) but that Grace’s stepsister, Patsy,  accused her of the murders and that ‘no matter how many times I told my story, no-one would believe me.’. We later find out (Sister Mary Eunice is more than happy to plop Grace’s file in front of Kit to show him ‘she’s not as innocent as she claims to be’ when they have a minute alone in Sister Jude’s office) this is a pack of lies (though I doubt anyone started to dislike Grace as a character when we heard the truth –especially coming from Grace as told to Kit ) and that Grace’s father sexually abused her-and she was ‘so young’ when it started. When she finally got up the courage to tell her step-mother, she didn’t believe her (or more likely, didn’t want to believe her) and gave her candy to keep her quiet. Finally Grace had all she could take, snapped, and killed both of them with an axe. While wearing fuzzy bunny slippers.  What seemingly pushed her over the edge, she says, was that her father had sold all her horses… and she never lied about how much she loved to ride. Grace’s sister walked in and caught her red-handed (rather literally in this case) hacking up her father, and so Grace was arrested and sent to Briarcliff. We don’t find out whether it was true that (as in Grace’s first version of the truth) her father and her step-sister Patsy (I assume she was a stepsister, and not his biological daughter) were secretly lovers who wanted the farmhouse for themselves. We also learn that Grace loved riding horses and misses the feeling of pure freedom and flight that it gave her more than anything else.

2. We discover that the high-end out call escort back in the episode Treats and Tricks was so terrified by her Halloween date with Dr. Nazi that she actually went to the police. I realize she was a more professional ‘lady of the evening’, who didn’t drink, but can you imagine actually going to the cops and saying that she was turning a trick, found some horrifying photos while rifling through his things, and (we don’t see this during the original scene, but I bought it) found some Nazi memorabilia. Looked like a medal of achievement he’d wear proudly), got so scared she ended up biting him and kneeing him in his groin to incapacitate him long enough to just get the fuck out of there? I’m surprised that (in 1964) they didn’t blow her off, threaten to arrest her if she made false accusations again, call her a whore and boot her out. My theory is she was friendly with someone in the department, which is why they took her seriously and even investigated. One of the cops also asks Sister Jude if Kit looks like someone who could skin a woman with “surgical precision”.

…they found her two days later. Her skin had been removed. So had her head.    -Dr. Thredson

 

3. Sister Jude is onto Dr. Arden. I especially liked the way she heard he was being questioned by detectives and then pretended to ‘accidentally’ walk in on their meeting.  Hmm, when I say Dr. Arden, should I perhaps say…

4.  Herr Doktor Hans Gruper, of the Nazi SS. Anne Frank (whose story is feasible, and if I know this show, I bet we’ll never find out anything more regarding whether or not it was true– if she’s lying, I don’t think she knows it). I believed the whole story, especially when Anne Frank/Kassie described him flipping a coin back in Auschwitz because he couldn’t save every girl, seeing the flashback, then seeing that same coin as described was one of the two Nazi souvenirs that poor prostitute found in the stash Dr. Arden had hidden in his bedroom. Not to mention, his interest in identical twins…

5.  We found Dr. Thredson’s fixation on ‘helping’ Kit is not as benevolent as we first thought. Remember when he seemed like the ONE person employed by Briarcliff, or in any position of authority there, who was sane? He objected to the exorcism as ‘outdated’, as well as the ECT done on Lana to ‘cure’ her homosexuality. We now have the seed planted in our minds that Dr. Thredson could be using his knowledge just to fuck with Kit, and maybe brainwash him into thinking he really did kill his wife. He fed him a story. Very firmly. If he can get the authorities to believe Kit did it but isn’t sane enough to stand trial, he’ll be “allowed to live out the rest of his days” at Briarcliff (oh goodie–I guess it’s still an improvement on the electric chair, though). By the end of the episode, he’s a weeping mess; telling Sister Jude that he doesn’t know any more, he must have done it, he doesn’t remember, but nothing else makes sense. Dr. Thredson seems to have accomplished his mission. Speaking of Dr. Thredson…

Could this be Bloody Face?

6. Dr.. Thredson also seemed like he cared a little about Lana and even hinted he might have had to go through aversion therapy himself at some point. He seems fixated, especially during this episode, about ‘helping’ Lana and Kit, even if he has to bend (Hell, even break) some rules to do it. We ask ourselves, what’s the common thread (no pun intended) between Lana and Kit? Bloody Face. I don’t know about Kit, but for Lana, we can’t see a happy ending, even if her only ‘crime’ was sneaking around Briarcliff so she could write an exposé and stop having to write about domestic issues and bake-offs due to being female. Dr. Thredson getting her out of Briarcliff, one way or another? “I’m leaving here on Friday and I’m taking you with me. I don’t know how yet, but… I will not leave you in this place, Lana. That’s a promise.” It’s too good to be true… especially on American Horror Story. Speaking of things not ending well…

Kit Walker. Does he seem like the kinda guy with the surgical precision to remove a woman’s skin …and her head?
-Detective questioning Sister Jude

 

7. While watching Lana’s revolting ‘aversion therapy’, I actually wondered who I felt more sorry for– Lana or Shelley. The sexy photo of Wendy that Dr. T suddenly revealed in the slides seemed an especially low blow …and he just took it from their house after he went to allegedly check in on Wendy and give her the note. Uh… there’s something way the fuck wrong with this picture. His description/flashback to her of the incident during movie night sounded kind of shady. He just broke in–Lana didn’t give him a key–saw some blood on the floor, then thought hey, while he was there he should grab that erotic photo of Wendy, then went to the cops, who told him the case was closed? I call bullshit on that. During the cold open, Shelly could still form coherent sentences, but at the end of the episode, she was barely recognizable; covered in boils, legs gone, one of her eyes larger than the other, only able to beg “Anne” to kill her. A mid-episode scene w/Dr. A on the phone showed her strapped to the table, unable to do anything but gasp and wheeze for air. My theory is he’s been giving her injections of diseases (like TB and syphilis) and if she lives through all of them, Shelley will “probably live forever,” per Dr. Nazi. For some reason, during this episode especially, I kept thinking of this certain HORRIBLE urban legend (fortunately, I only heard it as an adult, though it still  messed me up) when it came to Shelley’s fate.  When I think of Shelley now, I daydream about a scenario on the season finale where someone (hopefully all the female cast members he treated like dogs who have survived the season) cuts off Dr. Arden’s hands and feet and tosses him to the Raspers …and who is that crawling out of the fog and trees towards him? Now that we see her more closely could that be …Shelley, horribly mutated and deformed at the evil shithead’s hands, who happens to be very hungry?  Why, yes, that is her, and since she’s so messed up, it’s going to take her hours to chew his face off!  Now THAT would be a great pay-off. Well, I can dream, can’t I?

Anne: I know who you are!
Dr. Arden: You don’t even know who you  are!

 

8. Monsignor Timothy turned out to be a rotten prick. He’s in on Dr. Arden/Gruber’s evil Nazi past, but maybe he’s being blackmailed. Still, he was so shitty to Sister Jude when she finally went out on a limb to discuss it with him. He knows her weaknesses, and how to hurt her. “This isn’t about me. I am trying to protect you, this institution, our dream!”  Sister Jude entreats him. “Maybe this job is too much for you,” he sneers cruelly to her. “This job means everything to me,” she tells him,” we believe her, and he knows it. Then he has the nerve to bring up Movie Night, and gets downright shitty, telling her she was, “a drunken fool, almost slobbering.” Tough Sister Jude wiped away tears. Hey, you don’t say that to a woman, Father Jerkoff, even if she is a Nun; she wants to keep her dignity. After telling her to “pray on it” (grrrr) he immediately returned to his office, got on the phone w/Dr. Nazi, tersely telling him, “They’re onto you, Arthur. If you have any housekeeping to take care of, I suggest you do it now.” Monsignor Timothy replaces the phone headset back on the receiver, and takes a long drag off his cigarette. So they’re on first name terms?

“You killed the thing you loved most” – Dr. Thredson, to a weeping Kit

9. Sister Jude does have a heart. Oh, she’s scary as hell, ordered Grace and Kit to be ‘sterilized’ when she accuses them of ‘trying to make a murder baby! ‘and insanely strict, but I think she did feel some motherly concern for “Anne Frank” after seeing the concentration camp numbers tattooed on her inner arm. She has a talk with the Mother Superior, who is surprisingly cool and supportive of her. Later, when Kit says he wants to confess to her (not about banging Grace in the kitchen, as she first assumes) “about his crimes”. He asks her even if did something bad but couldn’t remember doing it, “he knows, right?” Sister Jude flashes back to the hit-and-run (which she still can’t forget, so far I think she was hammered, but not in a total blackout) and softly answers him, “God sees all.”  She also is visibly moved when he tells her,  stammering, “I need to be forgiven,” and she responds with surprisingly genuine compassion. “God forgives all.” She even puts her hand on his shoulder to comfort him, but the scene abruptly cuts away to the physical confrontation between Dr. Nazi and “Anne”. Was I the only one yelling, “Shoot him! JUST SHOOT HIM!” at the screen? I think not. I cheered when she called him a ‘Nazi piece of shit!’ and shot him in the knee. I hope it hurt like hell.

But there are eyes everywhere. The eyes of madness and disease. These people here are resigned to die here. We were never resigned. We always held on to a shred of hope. —“Anne Frank” in a letter to “Kitty”

 

10. Finally, no-one seems especially concerned about the complete and total disappearance of Shelley, Pepper the Pinhead, or “The Mexican.” In fact, it only came up in a flashback when Dr. Thredson was telling Lana that he saw her, Kit, and Grace leave and then return together, all three soaking wet from the rain and shaking with fear.

Stray Thoughts:

  • I had a bad feeling when Dr. Thredson brought up Skinner’s ‘behavior modification’ rather than ECT treatments to treat homosexuality, since we know that’s horrible bullshit too and definitely know in 2012 that being gay is not a choice, not something that can be cured, and certainly that aversion therapy continues to this day and the data shows that if anything, it does more harm than good. On the bright side, gay marriage has now become legal in my state as of election night, so society has finally made progress, at least in more liberal areas of the US. Looking forward to going to lots of weddings! I know it won’t undo all the damage done in the past, but it’s a good start.
  • From the previews, it looks like someone’s getting a lobotomy (icepick-style, through the corner of the eye, AAAAGH) on “I Am Anne Frank, Part Two.”  There was a shot (see featured image) of Kit being dragged down a hall by guards, but I think it’s a fake out and that the eye they showed looked (sadly) like Grace’s. Could Sister Mary Eunice be behind this, while Sister Jude is pre-occupied with investigating Dr. Nazi.

  • Is it just me, or is it somehow much more revolting when sexual terms are described with their clinical names? The four-letter words might be filthy, but they sound much less creepy. Bleh.  It seemed like Dr. Thredson was trying to use euphemisms, but no wonder his comment, “We’re all rooting for you,” finally made her grab the bucket and really puke harder than even the chemicals had.
  • Wondering how they got the flashback version of Dr. Gruper/Arden to look exactly like he would decades ago?  The actor was James Cromwell’s son! You can read more about it here in this Huffington Post article.
  • Which reminds me–I’ve heard and seen that “Miller 64” commercial (the one that consists of the manly men singing what sounds like an Irish sea shanty) 300 too many times, to the point where I’M  going to need a bucket like Lana’s if I have to sit through it again. They play it on Sons of Anarchy every commercial break, too. UGH! Where’s the bucket?
  • Dr. Thredson is looking very good for either Bloody Face, or being involved. I hear Lana’s “re-union” with Wendy will be the stuff of nightmares.
Anne Frank Chestnut Tree. Edited for brightnes...

Anne Frank Chestnut Tree.. Derived from Image (Photo credit: Wikipedia).

Ten Things We Learned From American Horror Story Asylum, Episode 3 – ‘Nor’easter’ (SPOILERS!)

Warning about Spoiler Warnings for this weekly feature: I’m now just going to start putting a spoiler warning in the title of the post.  I think that’ll keep me from getting me yelled at. Besides, I know regular readers of Horror Boom 1. are intelligent and 2. have my back.  OK, on with the mostly horrifying things we learned – even I let out a shocked “HOAH!” loud enough to wake my husband at that last brutal reveal. Now THAT was I call a goddamned episode of American Horror Story last night!  Let’s do this!

Kit:  Run, RUN! RUN! Don’t look back, just RUN! Go GO GO! Into the tunnel! GO!

1. The last act of Episode Three, ‘Nor’Easter’ reminded us what genre of show we’re watching, that’s for sure. HORROR, and proud of it. We now know what The Raspers in the woods look like and the show runners were smart to keep behind-the-scenes pics/footage out of the media, since they’re even more horrifying than we pictured. How horrifying are the Raspers? Enough to send three patients more desperate to escape than anything in the world sprinting back full-tilt into what is probably the most wretched, shitty, frightening asylum in the TV universe, one that includes a chief administrator with deep-seated issues who will beat the shit out of you for even a slight infraction if she feels like it, and a head doctor who is a sadistic, soul-less monster who makes the aforementioned chief administrator look like Mother Teresa.


2. Speaking of the above doctor, and things we’ve learned, WE GET IT, RYAN MURPHY AND CO., DR. ARDEN HAS A MADONNA-WHORE COMPLEX!  We pretty much figured that out by the end of episode two; having a call girl dress up like a nun and take her make-up off, then turn back into a misogynistic pervert (among other hints). However, shortly after obtaining a tube of lipstick (“Ravish-Me Red”)  he really started to unravel, and smeared it onto the cheeks and lips of a pristine, white angelic statue of the Virgin Mary, then grew furious and shoved it off the pedestal it rested on so hard that it smashed to smithereens before he practically screamed “WHORE!”.  If any viewers have not been clued in to his issues by that little vignette (I doubt it), they’re not smart enough to watch the show. Please return to exploring the other, really monstrous facets of his character, such as…

3.  A man who is very likely a war criminal. I’m guessing of Nazi origin, whose birth name was probably something along the lines of Klaus Von Ardenshvitz, with a sick nickname like “The Mad Butcher of (insert name of concentration camp here)”. When he was jabbing Kit’s neck with some of the longest needles I’ve even seen (how much torture can that poor kid take?) we learned that Dr. Arden assumed the bizarre metal chip that scuttles around like a rectangular robotic beetle–Dr. A even stored it in a jar like a live specimen– was some sort of tracking device. He has apparently decided Kit is some sort of spy; he questioned him about who he was with and who sent him–Russians? East Germans? The CIA? The Jews?  

Sister Jude finally starts calling bullshit on Dr. Arden …but is it too late?

4. We also learned a lesson that poor Shelley learned far too late:  if Dr. Arden wants to have sex with you, just humor him, no matter how revolting, vile, and unfuckable he is, it’s still better than the alternative. And whatever you do, no matter how tempting it is,and how much he deserves to be made to feel like a pathetic excuse for a man, don’t laugh at or make fun of his penis size (or lack thereof). I was positive she was not going to live to see the end of the episode after that, but instead, he reminded her (and us) that you don’t have to die to go to hell.

Now we know why having Chloë Sevigny pose this way was foreshadowing… look at the legs. EEEEEEEK!

5.  The Raspers are apparently named that because of the sounds they make. We probably suspected this before, but after I watched the episode, I re-watched with closed captions, and they read [RASPY BREATHING] when we saw one of them lurking in the woods when Sister Mary Eunice fed them. Their dinner was that poor Hispanic woman who not only got stabbed to death with scissors, but was also only referred to as “That Mexican” by the staff. Speaking of that meal…

6. The demon in Sister Mary Eunice (that kind of has a cool ring to it, doesn’t it? Could be a great 60s-70s movie title: The Demon In Sister Mary Eunice) even seemed to make a choice to keep her/its distance from The Raspers.  She didn’t have her usual devilish smile,  plus she looked to be keeping an eye out –and I doubt it was because she cared if Sister Jude or another hospital staff member saw her.  After she unceremoniously dumped their fresh dinner out of her wheelbarrow and onto the ground for them, we noticed she didn’t turn her back on them – she took several steps backwards before a cutaway.

7. Sister Jude and alcohol do not mix well. Here’s my transcript of the entirety of her amazing monologue which had its hilarious moments but also showed she has a heart, and is a woman capable of feeling sadness and guilt. It started when she walked unsteadily into the makeshift movie theater completely hammered and blowing her whistle, which already sounded a tad off…

Sister Jude:  Take your seats. Take your seats! No more dilly-dally.  SIT DOWN.  SIDDOWN(brief exchange with guard about ‘missing Mexican’)
Welcome, one and all to Briarcliff Manor’s inaugural movie night! Heh. Whether this evening marks the start of a beloved tra—tradition, or just another bitter disappointment,  is entirely up to you! (Pulls out notes). Now! Settle in, relax, and return with me now to Ancient Rome as we  present the 1932 Cecile B. DeMille classic, “The Signs of the Cross”, starring Miss Claudette Colbert as the empress Pop-pia or…Pohpia, and as the Emperor Nero, the incomparable Mr. Charles Laughton, who I understand is an enormous whoopsie. (Thunder scares inmates)   No no, no! None of that! None of that. Chin up! Chin up high. Hey! (giggles, actually looks happy).  Don’t be afraid of the dark. At the end …of the storm… is a golden sky and a bright silver song of a lark… walk on though the wind  …walk on through the rain (clasp’s Pepper’s face and beams at her) …though your dreams may be tossed and blown, walk on! Walk on, with hope… in your heart… (voice breaks) and you’ll never walk alone… you’ll never …walk… (Lana and Dr. Thredson exchange concerned looks) ...but she was alone.  A tiny little fragile thing out, out in the world …in the gloaming… (continuing to unravel and losing her battle to fight back tears)  …and the storm that came was not rain and not wind, it was something… altogether else… (Even louder thunder-clap.  Sister Jude gasps and manages to pull herself back together)  LIGHTS!  I’m off to find the Mexican. (strides out)

Dr. Thredson: What the hell was that?
Lana: She’s bats, or haven’t you noticed?

That was a flawless, well-written monologue, and unsurprisingly, Jessica Lange absolutely nailed it. I needed to watch it half a dozen times to get it all down and transcribe it, and I loved watching it every time.

8. Sister Jude took her vows shortly after the hit-and-run,  and the date on the newspaper with the girl’s photo and the headline that indicated she had been “Missing Six Days” was June 28, 1949. So now we know the hit-and-run happened on or about June 26th …and that Sister Jude has been a nun for fifteen years.

Sister Jude: Movie night is at an end!
Patient: But the movie ain’t over yet.
Sister Jude: Yeah, everybody dies. Satisfied?

 

9. When we got a look at the giant thing in the hall that made Sister Jude scream and then pass out, it was obvious that unlike The Raspers, it was never human and that it might be an alien; we catch a glimpse of some long insect-like limb unfolding when we got a brief partial view. I try to write these before I read recaps, reviews, and EW.com’s post-show interviews with Ryan Murphy, but I had to check on this, and Murphy has confirmed yes, that was the alien that Sister Jude ran into. When Demon-Sister Mary wakes her, she says, “Oh my God, they’ve seen it too.”


10. And finally, we learned something most horror fans already knew: Don’t ever try to liven up your honeymoon by having sex in an abandoned mental institution that you know is supposed to be haunted and  housed a notorious serial killer. You will end up being killed. Bad idea. Actually, they were screwed when they went in there in the first place, but they were really pushing it. Jesus, what went wrong with your life where the biggest turn-on is having sex on an electroshock table in a “death chute” where you just read 42,000 people have died? There’s kinky, and then there’s just idiotic (not to mention bad karma).  Three of the Bloody Faces were guys wearing masks, Bloody Face #1  was knocked over by Leo (still trying to protect his new wife, even with one arm), then stabbed a dozen times by his bride, with that icepick-like, sharp tool used to give trans-orbital lobotomies, no less.
Just when it looked like they might make it out alive, two other “Bloody Faces” named Cooper and Devon showed up, and Devon shot both the honeymooners dead. Cooper was upset at “taking things too far”, but Devon, who appeared to be hopped up on speed, loved it and tried to justify it to Cooper by saying that was what they got “for stabbing Joey”. Then they noticed Leo’s arm had been ripped off. Uh-oh.  Now who the hell could have… practically before the sentence is out of Cooper’s mouth, the real Bloody Face (or not, he didn’t attack them yet, but the two guys looked pretty scared) shows up. We don’t know yet if the guys were out of their minds, out of their minds on meth, part of a cult, pulling a really ill-advised prank, if it was some it was some kind of freaky initiation, or some combination of all of the above. Anyway, it probably could have been avoided if the two had just taken a photo or two and left. Or never gone inside at all. Bad idea even if you’re NOT in a horror movie/series.

Sister Mary Eunice: I can’t imagine what you’re so afraid of! Get on your knees and we’ll pray it all away…

Stray Thoughts:

  • I’d buy a lipstick in a shade called “Ravish-Me Red.” Some cosmetics company should do a tie-in. They did it with True Blood  last season( though all the colors were goth and overpriced, so I didn’t pick any up).
  • I think if I had to have a choice between Dr. Arden and the Demon, I’d pick the Demon. The Demon is scary as hell, and murderous, but at least the demon has a sense of humor and you’ll probably get a quick death. Also, it hasn’t tried to rape anybody yet.
  • I love Sister Jude’s phone greeting: “Briarcliff Manor!”
  • My current theory on Dr. Arden and The Raspers  (that could be a band name. Hey, Dr. Arden and The Raspers are doing a show at The Crocodile next month. Yeah, the cover charge is 15 bucks,  you think they could put us on the guest list? ) is: Dr. Arden was indeed a Nazi and is now a war criminal due to the ungodly experiments, unusually cruel and sick, that he performed on prisoners. He’s been conducting horrible, blood-curdling medical experiments on patients at Briarcliff, probably going back to when it was a tuberculosis hospital, maybe giving them diseases like syphilis or gangrene. I think his goal (“we just have to get them through the winter”, he told Demon-Sister Mary) is to construct some kind of super-human “master race,” impervious to illness, that is very hard to kill (they did look pretty tough and chased Kit, Grace, and Lana at a very high speed).  And Shelley is his next victim, she’ll end up one of the raspers, will be way past saving, and she’ll end up killing a main character and eating them, or a main character will kill her because 1. they don’t recognize her or 2. they do recognize her and give her a mercy killing.  I also wouldn’t be surprised if they “rasp” because they survived tuberculosis and/or had their tongues or vocal chords cut out. Jesus, how did my brain come up with all of that sick shit as my theory? Guess I’ve been watching too many horror movies…