Search the Cinema Head Cheese Archives!

February 1, 2021

Static Age #14: Twin Peaks (1990 – 1991)

This Static Age’s spotlight goes to Twin Peaks (1990 – 1991), the series created by Mark Frost and David Lynch that lasted two seasons. The first season consists of 8 episodes and the second of 22, and they concern the mysterious murder of a teenage girl in Small-town, U.S.A. and the attempts of the local police to solve the case amidst a backdrop that is so weird that makes everything more complicated. There are enough moments of cinematic brilliance here, as well as a tone of wonderful dread, to justify the many people that are obsessed with this show. Also starring David Duchovny (in drag), Don Davis, Billy Zane, the great Russ Tamblyn, and David Lynch himself.


And now, let’s switch our focus towards some recent series…

The Boys - Season 2 poster art


The 2nd season of The Boys (2019 – present), created by Eric Kripke, is offering more action and gross comedy for the fans (or even haters) of superheroes. The series continue from where they had left us, with Billy Butcher (Karl Urban) missing and his team now essentially a bunch of fugitives, and with the other camp regaining power despite having lost a member of its team. The end result is edgy and the kind of television in which you see heads exploding and hands amputated; once upon a time we had to rely to the films of Lucio Fulci and David Cronenberg for such imagery but now it is part of the prime time mainstream. Thematically the series are a satire of not just the republicans and the Trump administration, but also so much more in general and hypocrisy in particular. Actually, this is so meta that the ‘terrorists’ are (kind of) the good guys and the ‘superheroes’ are (absolutely) the bad guys. Highly recommended intelligent fun (not for the whole family though).


The 1st season of American Crime Story (2016 – present) is about the famous case of the double homicide attributed to O.J. Simpson (Cuba Gooding Jr.), and it is a perfect 10-episode journey to this fascinating true crime story. Featuring excellent and show-stealing performances from John Travolta as Robert Shapiro and David Schwimmer as Robert Kardashian, these series are a modern masterpiece. Absolutely the best courtroom drama since a certain Al Pacino classic.


The Alienist - Season 1 promotional art
Set in 19th century New York, the 1st season of The Alienist (2018 – 2020) is about a series of gruesome murders of underage transvestite prostitute boys, and the grouping of alienist (or what one would call a criminal psychologist today) Dr. Laszio Kreizier (Daniel Bruhl) and crime scene illustrator John Moore (Luke Evans), who will try to crack the bizarre case. Also starring Dakota Fanning in the mandatory feminist role and Michael Ironside, the series combines top-notch set and costume design with all-out horrors, and as such it is a winner. It is amazing to think that only three or four decades ago you could get to see such dark subject matter tackled only in edge exploitation films that were difficult to find whereas now it is readily available for streaming on Netflix.


Chilling Adventures of Sabrina - Season 4

I am very glad that the 4th season of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (2018 – 2020) is also the last because by this stage the series have lost its steam. The titular witch (the always gorgeous Kiernan Shipka) will once again have to face Lovecraft’s Eldrich and teenage angst on her journey towards empowerment and self-awareness before the tired Netflix show concludes. The soundtrack is great and it includes Queen’s ‘Radio Ga Ga’, Billy Idol’s ‘Dancing with Myself’, Bonnie Tyler’s ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’, Guns N’ Roses’ ‘Sweet Child ‘O Mine’, and a little bit of ‘Down with the Sickness’ by the Disturbed; most of them may be covers from the on-screen band the Fright Club, they are still awesome.


Doctor Who - Season 7 art
The 7th season of Doctor Who (2005 – present) is offering further adventures of the titular alien (returning Matt Smith) and his friendly couple Amy Pond (Karen Gillan) and Rory Williams (Arthur Darvill). In ‘Asylum of the Daleks’, the titular trashcan-like foes return and kidnap the heroic trio, while we are also introduced to the absolutely gorgeous Oswin (Jenna Coleman). ‘Dinosaurs on a Spaceship’ is featuring – well! – dinosaurs on a spaceship, as well as robots. ‘A Town Called Mercy’ is an homage to Westworld (1973). ‘The Power of Three’ is about mysterious black cubes that invade earth and become part of humanity’s everyday life. ‘The Angels Take Manhattan’ is another creepy episode featuring its titular entities. ‘The Snowmen’ is the episode in which Clara’s part (Jenna Coleman) becomes more prominent and a perfect sidekick for the good Doctor. ‘The Rings of Akhaten’ takes us to the titular planet where a weird religious ceremony is about to unfold, which is the case here on Earth as well, I would like to add. ‘Cold War’ is set during the – you guessed it! – Cold War, and finds the Doctor and Clara on a Russian submarine where a Martian warrior monster is also abroad. In ‘Hide’, Clara and the Doctor meet a very similar couple to them, albeit one that is searching ghosts, this time in a haunted mansion. ‘Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS’ has Clara lost inside the iconic spaceship, where she is confused by the Doctor’s past. ‘The Crimson Horror’ employs visuals that look like 16mm film (and could well not be for all I know and the illusion be the work of post-production) in order to take us back in time, but the coverage shots don’t not match the era, a very common mistake among modern filmmakers. ‘The Name of the Doctor’ includes the answers to the mystery behind Clara’s own nature.


Also, please allow me to speak a word or two about some recent mainstream films…


Wonder Woman 1984 (2020)
Director Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) is set in – you guessed it – the 1980s and focused on Donald Trump-like businessman and con artist Maxwell Lord (Pedro Pascal) who takes the powers of an ancient wishing stone. By granting wishes left, right, and center, not to mention his own greedy capitalist ones for professional success, he of course creates chaos and misery. The titular superhero (played again by the talentless Gal Gadot) steps in to save the day, but the super-villain now has an ally in the form of The Cheetah (Kristen Wiig), another predictable outcast that turned her anger into evilness (you can tell what will happen next from miles away, every page of the script is so by-the-numbers and uninspired). If you’re looking for unethical neoliberal propaganda that is preaching that the world is a beautiful place and you should not wish for change because you may lose what you already have, then this movie should be perfectly spoon-fed to you; but if you have even a little bit of humanity left in you, you should absolutely denounce this corrupt piece of shit. Either way, at two and a half hours this excrement is desperately boring. As a choice, 1984 should not surprise you, as this is a case study on how to perform Orwell in real life (conservatives know that 1984 is supposed to be fiction, right?).


Train to Busan Presents: Peninsula

Train to Busan Presents...
(2020) is the sequel to the 2016 ‘zombies on a train’ epic, and is about a bunch of people that have nothing to lose and accept an offer from some seedy gangsters to go on a mission in the zombie-infected city of Peninsula, grab a few million dollars and come back rich. As difficult as the original plan was, everything goes to hell and the situation becomes much worse. Written by Sang-ho Yeon (who also directed) and Ryu Yong-jae, this may not be this year’s most original horror, it is however a very well-calculated work that keeps you excited throughout its 2-hour running time, and as such it should not be missed.


And finally, this past couple of months my bookshelf had a preference towards fiction (a rare occurrence, as I’m mostly into film books or true crime, etc.) and I tackled the following…


Stephen King’s The Bachman Books (2012, Hodder), a 978 pages tome that collects The Long Walk (1979), Roadwork (1981), and The Running Man (1982), three books that the horror legend penned under his Richard Bachman pseudonym, bored me to tears and failed to captivate me.


Stephen King’s 1325 pages epic The Stand (1978, 2011, Hodder) is about an epidemic and therefore the most appropriate thriller I could read during the current Covid-19 worldwide crisis. Believed by most of his fans to be King’s best novel, it comes complete with references to American International programmers and Charles Band quickies.


Stephen King’s ‘chilling classic’ The Dead Zone (1979, 2011, Hodder) is about a man’s charisma and curse that enables him to see people’s past and future upon touching them. At 595 pages long it is considerably shorter from the author’s previous opus, albeit still of epic proportions. However, I think the movie was better.


‘The first collection of short stories by Stephen King’, Night Shift (1976, 1977, 1978, 2019, Κλειδάριθμος) is by far the author’s most engaging book as the short story format fits his terrors like a globe. An eerie compilation of 20 masterworks, this book reignited my interest for the author.


In the non-fiction front, I had the pleasure of reading Jimmy McDonough’s massive and stunning The Ghastly One: The 42nd Street Netherworld of Director Andy Milligan (2019, FAB Press), which took me on a breathtaking journey of 1960s and 1970s underground that included everything, from drugs to group sex and from suicides to prostitution, all in the beautiful backdrop of filthy theater and cinema. When it comes to New York, I say Andy Warhol my ass – Andy Milligan was the real deal; a true misanthrope and a great artist. This edition came with a bonus book called Andy Milligan’s Scripts, which I am sure you guessed what it contains.

Get books, comics, graphic novels and more at Use the code CHC at checkout for 15% off your purchase!

Follow Cinema Head Cheese:
Facebook: /cinemaheadcheese
Twitter: @CinHeadCheese
Instagram: abnormalpodcast 
Pinterest: /abnormalpodcast/cinema-head-cheese/
RSS Feed:

You can support Cinema Head Cheese and Abnormal Entertainment on our Support Us page.

No comments:

Post a Comment