Jun 1, 2024

Monthly Media Recap - May 2024

May was an odd month for movie watching. It was front loaded with the second weekend of Salem Horror Fest and a couple of other films. There was a long lull and then I packed in a couple more at the end of the month.
There's a lot to cover but I promise if you stick to the end (or just skip there) you'll see something truly original and wild.


Bad Batch (S3, Disney+)
What a great way to end the series! Star Wars animation has been knocking it out of the park, mostly...see below. I really hope they continue to do long form story telling because it gives the characters time to shine and grow. I'm a little sad to leave this crew behind but knowing Dave Filoni, they'll probably turn up again.

Tales of the Empire (Disney+)
This was good but much like it's predecessor Tales of the Jedi, I don't enjoy the less than 20 minutes episodes telling a fragmented story to fill in some blanks as much as the ongoing series format.

X-Men '97 (Disney+)
I'm still trying to catch up on the 92 series but man this was amazing! And my boy Nightcrawler finally gets his moment in the animated spotlight. My only minor complaint is that it felt like they crammed in too comic story lines without really giving them time to breathe.

Cult-tastic! Tales from the Trenches with Roger and Julie Corman (Tubi)
This 13 hour (!) series is more Corman than even I could want. Each hour long episode is dedicated to a specific type of Corman flick like SciFi, Fantasy, or Monsters. It's fun not only hearing stories about these movies but also seeing clips from unfamiliar ones. I finally finished the series just a few weeks before he passed. 

Infested (2023, Shudder)
I'm usually more of a giant spider(s) on the rampage kind of guy but decided to check this out. Obviously not a recommend if you have a thing for spiders but they did a creepily fantastic job on the effects here. If you don't freak out the next time you *think* you feel something on you after watching this, you're probably dead already.

Rating: 7/10

Lowlifes (2024, Tubi)
Until this movie, I was putting "Tubi Original" on the shelf right next to "SyFy Original" and maybe this will be the exception but this really knocked my socks off! It was very well done and has some nice practical effects plus a different take on the backwoods cannibal thing.
Rating: 8/10
I've said it before, I'm more of a Marvel guy but I wanted to check out the Big Event because DC animation is where they usually hit their home runs. I read Crisis when it came out and that's about all I remember of it. Does it need three parts? I'll have to let you know. I probably should have waited until all parts were streaming before starting this!
Rating: 7/10 

I seem to remember really liking this when it came out. It was the 90s, brooding vigilantes were in style. But the thing I have the most memory of is the banging soundtrack which got heavy rotation from me in its day. Watching this 30 (?!) years later, the story could definitely have been told better but if you're here for some supernatural vengeance giving bad guys their due, you can't go wrong. Brandon Lee's performance is really what makes this a joy to watch.

Rating: 7/10

I don't remember a big demand for a sequel and even if there was, I doubt what they wanted was an inferior remake with someone that could have been Brandon Lee's stand-in. I get that in order to have a Crow, certain things have to happen but this is too much of a rehash of the original.

Rating: 4/10

Salem Horror Fest Weekend 2 

Sigil (2023)
Despite being in a happy relationship with one another, Maeve and Bridget are falling apart. While Bridget’s family is supportive of their relationship, Maeve’s family won’t even show up to her voice recitals anymore. In an effort to avoid the family festivities associated with the holiday season, Bridget takes Maeve to a secluded rental home in the countryside. There Maeve finds a strange sigil on a tree. She unknowingly makes a wish that could give her all the love she’s ever desired from her family, but at the cost of the person who loves her the most.
Despite the horror taking a bit of a backseat, I was invested in the girls and their relationship. The director/writer and lead woman (his fiancee) were both in attendance and did a Q&A after the movie. Movies like this are why I love the Horror Fest. This is the kind of movie you'd have to stumble on randomly on a streaming service but deserves a bigger audience.
Rating: 7/10

Purgatory Jack (2023)
This neo-noir mystery thriller is set in the afterlife, a dangerous landscape that’s run by a bloodthirsty, limb-collecting gang and populated with outlaws and outcasts. The latest case for musician turned grizzled private detective, Jack Marlin, is helping new arrival Viv Vacious, a punk pop star who overdosed, stay safe as she races against time to find her mother who committed suicide twenty years earlier.
This one has cult classic written all over it. It's weird and offbeat in all the right ways. You can tell it was done on a low budget buy don't really care because they put a lot of love into what they were doing.

Rating: 7/10

Ghost Game (2024)
Participating in an internet challenge that requires breaking into homes and living undetected alongside the residents, a thrill-seeking couple target an infamous haunted house and endure a series of chilling incidents as they witness a family descending into madness.
Easily one of my top flicks of the Fest. The concept is a little out there but at the same time, is something I could totally see being a thing in the current online content culture. The concept of the "game" is to make people think their home is haunted. But what happens when the haunters start experiencing things they can't explain?

Rating: 8/10

Carnage for Christmas (2024)
When true-crime podcaster and sleuth Lola visits her hometown at Christmas for the first time since running away and transitioning, the vengeful ghost of a historical murderer and urban legend seemingly arises to kill again. Lola must solve the case before her community is slaughtered. She's up against not only a psychotic killer, but also a town haunted by secrets.

19 year old Director/Writer Alice Maio Mackay is back with her fifth film and who doesn't enjoy a good holiday slasher? As usual, we're served up a little bit of camp with some gore and the story/struggle of an LGBTQ+ main character. In interviews, Mackay has said this was very much an homage to the 70s Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew series and that really shines through. Mackay has such a voice in her film-making, I hope she hits is big someday not only to see what she can do with a bigger budget but also so more people will see her work.

Rating: 7/10

The People's Joker (2022)
A law-breaking comedian who is grappling with her gender identity forms a new anti-comedy troupe with a friend and finds herself battling a fascistic caped crusader.
It may not be "horror" but this was far and away my favorite thing I saw at Horror Fest. I have no idea how Vera Drew managed to make this crazy thing and not get it stomped on by Warner Brothers. Even a casual DC fan like me got a lot of the references. The movie is a fever dream of live action, animation and occasional cheezy CGI with an astounding amount of heart at its center. If you can find some way to watch this, do it!

Rating: 8/10

This Month
New: 10   Rewatch:1
Year to Date
New: 49    Rewatch: 2


  1. I'm not a horror guy, but I swear everything you listed this month sounded really interesting - especially the festival films!

    1. That's why I love going to the festival. There's so much stuff you get to see that you may otherwise miss.