Puff the Magic Detective

What up? Welcome to December y’all. As is my tradition I must play for you the greatest Christmas song of all time. Get ready to get your stockings rocked.

Here’s a fun fact about this song. Every year my mom asks me to help her wrap for Christmas at which time I bust out the first verse of this Christmas gem while looking her dead in the eyes and then turn and walk away. It’s hilarious and she falls for it every year.

So anyway, for whatever reason I decided that I would gear up for Christmas by reading Christmas themed cozy mysteries. It seemed like fun and while I’m much more inclined not to hate Christmas now that I haven’t worked retail in a few years I’m just not a holly jolly kind of gal. I mean. my favorite show is about a bunch of teen cannibals so I’m not looking to watch A Charlie Brown Christmas. Books like It’s a Wonderful Knife, Rest Ye Murdered Gentlemen,and and Fruit Baskets and Holiday Caskets appeal to both my love of terrible puns and my somewhat warped holiday spirit. Plus there are so many! Like I could read two a week and not run out of options.

Amazon.com: It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Murder: A Catering Hall  Mystery, Book 3 (Audible Audio Edition): Maria DiRico, Devon Sorvari,  Tantor Audio: Books

Which brings me to my first Christmas mystery. It’s called Baking Bad and I figured that it was a culinary mystery about murder and meth. Why not? You can imagine my surprise when I got a few pages into it and realized that this book also has dragons. Yup. Cupcake recipes, a murdered man of the cloth, and-I shit you not- a pair of dragons. Now, these aren’t your Tolkien kinda dragons. These are slightly larger than a St. Bernard, have a chameleon like ability to blend almost completely into their surroundings, can talk, and are also part of the womens group at the local church. So that was weird. And I spent, like, the first half of the book just wondering what the hell. As you do.

The thing is these dragons aren’t typically dragon like at all, they seem to prefer the company of older women and behave more like the kind of stuffy rich guys that are always walking around in khakis and a matching safari hat, or wearing a smoking jacket and a monocle. Like if Teddy Roosevelt was a pastry obsessed mythical beast who had a yen for solving crime even though he was terrible at it. The whole book is so bizarre I kept a running list of all the batshit things that happened. It’s like those Stefon skits on Saturday Night Live. It’s got everything.

It’s got fish pie, a hedge witch, a dragon with an obsessive fear of being tased, dragons attempting to hide in a crowded church, a crafting dragon who partners with a human to sell it’s goods on Etsy, dragons who sleep on propane barbecue grills, dragons breaking into the homes of murdered Vicars, dragons walking on their hind legs and providing comfy pillows and a bag of cheesy poofs to a distressed senior citizen, a former RAF officer with a mysteriously missing husband who runs her local bake sale like a mafia head and is so intimidating she can force actual freaking dragons to do her bidding, dragons hiding in bathtubs (from tasers), dragons who want to swear but are too polite to actually do it, dragons worried about being arrested (and tased) for trespassing, dragons having complicated trade disagreements with dwarves, cake porn, and a literal cat burgler.

It’s a lot and it’s all bananas. So bananas that I can’t tell if it’s even good but I sure did enjoy reading it. If only to find out what weird nonsense these elderly ladies and dragons were gonna get up to. And I can’t say if I would recommend it. Truly, your girl is flummoxed by the whole book. But, maybe check it out. Especially if Hallmark movies and Christmas caroling aren’t your thing.

Anyway, I figure I’ll spend the month filling you guys in on all of the odd delights I find as I blunder my way through the holiday season. So check back next week to see if I’ve found a mystery where a precocious kid detective teams up with Mothman to solve neighborhood crimes. Actually, I may need to write that book, Probably I do. See you next week!

Merry Mothman Christmas" Greeting Card by mothmanatee | Redbubble

Hallo-WEEK! Playlist Edition

It’s officially Hallo-WEEK, and we’re here to help you get your spooky on. Nothing says Halloween like a super dope playlist. Whether you’re going to a party, hosting a party, or just looking for some fun tunes to sing along to in the shower, you need a great Halloween playlist.

When building a playlist, you really need to consider the ebb and flow of the situation. There are, of course, some Halloween classics that MUST be included. You can never go wrong with anything from the Rocky Horror Picture Show Soundtrack. If your party is edging toward Ann Perkins style boring, The Time Warp will turn it around. Anytime you can introduce the chance that more than three people will burst into synchronized dancing, you should do it. Why not? It’s weird in a good way, and you’ll maybe feel like you’re in that movie Enchanted. Give it a shot. 

Rather than bore you with the classics, I’ve decided to focus on three absolute bops that are not Thriller. A word about Thriller. It’s a dope song. It really is. I mean, come on, there’s a Vincent Price monologue. But then there’s the whole Michael Jackson of it all. If you are one of those people who can separate the artist from the art the create, I applaud you. I’m just not there yet. It pains me, but I can no longer enjoy Harry Potter, and, with or without my soul, I can’t get down with Thriller. People would argue that Thriller is THE ultimate Halloween song but, guys and ghouls, do you even know Dracula’s Wedding? 

Dracula’s Wedding, Outkast featuring Kelis 

I think we can all agree that, of the traditional Halloween monsters, the vampire is the most mysterious and, honestly, the most played out. But I love it when an artist – songwriter, novelist, whatever – can take the classic and turn it on its side. So long as it makes sense and it’s dumb. Looking at you, Stephanie Meyer. Glitter. My god, woman. What’s wrong with you? Anyway, Outkast does a real fun song about Dracula getting married. And there’s literally no one cooler than Andre 3000. He’s Chick-Fil-A nuggets, McDonald’s French fries. The spicy Popeye’s and Red Lobster biscuits. Yep. He wrote a rap about how he’s as cool as very popular fast food items, and he isn’t wrong. 

Somebody’s Watching Me, Rockwell 

It is a yearly tradition for me to listen to this absolute bop on October 1, and then continue to listen to it obsessively for the rest of the month. It’s so damn fun. The Twilight Zone references. The Hitchcock references. The IRS dig. It does not get any better. And it’s super dancey. Perfect for your Halloween shindig. 

Werewolf Bar Mitzvah, 30 Rock 

I guess most people wouldn’t consider this a real song since it’s a spoof for a sitcom, but someone wrote it, someone produced it, and someone sang it. If that isn’t a song, I don’t know what it is. Less spooky, scary, more downright hilarious. The scariest thing about it is how deeply lodged in your brain it gets. The rest of the world will have long moved on to Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas is You, and you’ll be doing your holiday shopping singing, “Boys becoming men; men becoming wolves” under your breath. 

Other Halloween essentials include, but are not limited to: 

Bad Romance, Lady Gaga (Hitchcock reference and bonus points for Yiddish in a pop song) 

Disturbia, Rhianna 

Monster Mash, Bobby Pickett 

Psycho Killer, Talking Heads 

Halloween, Siouxsie and the Banshees 

What are some of your favorite Halloween tunes? Hit us up in the comments so I can add them to my list. 

See ya’ later, witches.


I Know Who You Ate Last Summer

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. I guess? It’s what I’ve been led to believe by many an overly peppy Christmas song. I would tend to disagree but I’m in the minority. Hallmark has been airing Christmas movies since Halloween for heavens sake. And that’s fine. It’s whatever.

I’m especially chill with it since I’ve discovered the antidote to the saccharine sweetness of business people who’ve lost the Christmas spirit only to return to the small town they grew up in and fall in love with the owner of a bakery that needs a Christmas miracle to stay open. That may get some people’s stockings stuffed but you know what really jingles my bells? Yellowjackets.

This show trades in all those blandly attractive business people for a plane full of teenage soccer players. It swaps out that blinged out bakery for the side of a remote mountain and instead of playful snowball fights these gals hunt and kill each other for dinner. And maybe sport.

Fa la la la la indeed. These kids are less interested in quaint Christmas traditions and more interested in piecing together fierce fashion from animal hides and bones. And they sure as heck ain’t building gingerbread houses out there. They’re slaughtering Becky from trigonometry and serving her up on a homemade charcuterie board like a bunch of feral, fur clad Martha Stewarts.

Girls Gone Wild: Showtime's 'Yellowjackets' Represents The Complete  Destruction Of Society

If that sounds like your jam. your figgy pudding if you will, then you should check out Yellowjackets. Maybe you’re wondering if you can still enjoy the show if you are neither a fan of soccer or cannibalism? You absolutely can! I hate sports and have only a middling interest in consuming human flesh and yet I am riveted. As you may have noticed the cast is stellar. You can’t fully appreciate how stellar they are until you’ve heard Christina Ricci monologue about how sexy escalators are or how she has a pet bird named Caligula. Or seen the always adorable and delightful Melanie Lynsky do the kind of harm to the rabbit community that Elmer Fudd only ever dared dream about. Or until you’ve realized that even slinging back whiskey and wielding a shotgun Juliette Lewis is still the most chill character on the show.

Yellowjackets review – gory Lord of Flies series gets lost in the  wilderness | Television | The Guardian

Yellowjackets is dark and weird and mysterious and so very gross. It’s an unflinching story about trauma and what it takes to become feral. An animal in a goth fantasy evening gown just doing what you have to do to stay alive. And it’s also about what the hell you do with that animal side when you’re rescued and the world wants you to go back to caring about MTV and Sassy magazine. Because what if it felt good to be a monster? What if no matter how hard you try you can’t make yourself stop thinking about what you did? What if pizza is good but maybe sometimes you still miss the taste of the meat? Of your friend. What if you feel like you’re going to crawl right out of your skin every minute of every day while you pretend to be normal? What if you get an anonymous postcard and then you’re maybe being hunted again and that’s scary but it also makes you feel more alive than you have since you were a teenager?

That’s the show in a nutshell, a chesnut shell. Ha! I’m obsessed with it and so should you be. So if you’re a little overwhelmed with all of the holiday cheer you should check it out. I can guarantee that the only lists these girls are making and checking twice contain the names of their enemies. Buzz Buzz!

Yellowjackets: Who's Who in Showtime's New Survival Drama - PRIMETIMER

I Do Not Patronize Bunny Rabbits

What up, ghouls? As you may or may not know, we both LOVE Halloween. Like, love it, and there’s just too much Halloween themed pop culture to consume, so we celebrate the entire month of October. And why not? October’s dope. I’ve decided to do a mid-month review of all the Halloween-inspired stuff I’ve consumed thus far.

Let’s get into it, shall we?

But, wait, let’s play a fun game of guess the classic I somehow only just watched for the first time. It’s a fun game. I’ll give you a one line review, and you guess the movie.

Okay, here it is:

“Look, if you come at me with a crab on your face, your ass is stayin’ outside.”


“I know next to nothing about spaceships, but this one seems very damp to me.”

Know the movie? Leave it in the comments.

Okay, let’s get to some reviews.

Book Review: Gerald’s Game, Stephen King

4 Pretzels for offering up sheer terror every time I entered a dark room

Woah, Uncle Stevie, you out did yourself with this one. GG comes out of the gate tense as hell and doesn’t let up. Jessie and Gerald, married for nearly two decades, head to their lake house in the off season for a weekend of bondage. Things go poorly when Gerald ignores all the rules and boundaries of this type of relationship, and Jessie is forced to defend herself. Gerald unexpectedly dies, and Jessie is left handcuffed to the bed. Now, Jessie, turns out, is hella smart and resourceful. But, man, does she go through it. We have repressed memories, voices in her head, a dog formerly known as Prince, a creepy ass bag of bones man, and a clever connection to one of the most interesting SK’s I’ve read, Delores Claiborne. Gerald’s Game scared the bejeezus out of me, y’all. It’s very tense, and that bone man is no one to mess with. I just assumed he was simultaneously standing in every corner of my house just waiting to offer me a pinkie and a pearl earring. I want neither from him. Netflix adapted the story. I haven’t watched it yet, but it’s on the Halloween list.

Other Reads (Reviews to come):

Chasing the Boogeyman, Richard Chizmar

Head Full of Ghosts, Peter Tremblay

Billy Summers, Stephen King

Movie Review: Becky

5 Pretzels for sheer enjoyment. Enjoyment will always get one more star than terror.

Becky (LuLu Wilson) is 13, and she is pissed. A year ago, her mother died, so it’s just she, her dad, and two dope dogs named Dora and Diego. Dad (Joel McHale) pulls a cool dad move and checks her out of school early for a weekend at their lake house. Then he pulls a completely uncool dad move and invites his girlfriend and her son. Becky is…displeased. In another part of town, four Nazis have escaped from prison. And, of course, these two foursomes meet up, and it does not go well. Becky goes full Lord of Flies on these dudes, attacking them with makeshift weapons made of arts and crafts supplies. It’s truly a marvel to watch.

I would in no way call this movie scary. In fact, the only scary thing about it is the sheer number of Nazi tattoos they managed to cram on to Kevin James’ bald head. That’s right, Paul Blart is now a Nazi. You can stream Becky on Hulu.

Here’s the trailer.

Other movies I watched:

Benny Loves You. (Think Talking Tina but less scary and way more stupid)

The Rental

Step Father


My Favorite Folklore:

You didn’t think I was going to say murder, did you? Look, I was super into that podcast for about a week and a half, and then I just could not with it. It’s the total lack of research that gets me. You aren’t sure how old the victim was? Google that shit.

We’re gonna throw it all the way back to when Sarah did her #folklorefriday blog series. I loved all of them, but we’re focusing on the mysterious and spooky. With that in mind, I have to kick it off with a local legend, The Gurdon Light. You can read her blog here. Or, better yet, flip through this magazine I wrote, edited, and published for work. Sarah was nice enough to let me use it for the newest edition.

I haven’t consumed as much spooky stuff as I would have liked. I’ve been, you know, actually enjoying this really great fall weather we’ve had. We went hiking – yes, y’all – the Sarah Holland and Ryanne Harper went hiking. Like, on purpose. We weren’t lost or anything.

So, however you choose to celebrate Halloween, whether it’s spooky movies, shoving several Reese’s pumpkins in your face, or getting outside, you do you, boo.

Slasher 101

If ever there was a town just waiting to be in a slasher movie it Proofrock Idaho. It’s got an eerie history already. An abandoned summer camp where four kids died bloody and mysterious. An urban legend about a lake witch, oh and that lake is built upon the remnants of a whole other town. Drowned in the name of progress with the buildings still waiting down there under that deep, cold water. It’s the perfect setting for some horror. Not just the mundane stuff either but the kind of bloodbath that would make John Carpenter weep at it’s dreadful beauty.

Stay Focused! | Csenge Advisory Group

Jade knows this. Has known it since she dug her first slasher movie out of the bargain bin at a gas station when she was 11. She’s been studying ever since. A thing that she understands, how could she not? Is that slashers aren’t born. They’re made. What are these monsters but misfits tormented and abandoned and wronged so egregiously that they have no choice but to don the mask, pick up whatever sharp object is laying around and get to work? The universe demands it.

And so Jade has been doing her murder homework, just waiting for the glorious day that the slasher will come and wipe this shithole town clean. If only they show up before she graduates and vacates to greener pastures. The thought keeps her going. A girl’s got to believe in something. So Jade believes in Michael Myers, in Leatherface, in Billy Loomis.

Best Jason Voorhees Jason Lives GIFs | Gfycat

When the bodies start to fall she can hardly believe her luck. Who is this dark angel come to baptize the town in blood and viscera? Is her slasher dream coming to life? The sheriff doesn’t think so. Nobody believes her. They’re all yakking about freak accidents and figments of her imagination, And maybe Jade’s crazy-hell, she knows she’s crazy. Jade is what the town made her after all. But. She’s also right. Isn’t she? She is! She knows it when she meets the girl of her dreams. The Final Girl.

Halloween Laurie Strode Shoot Gun Jamie Lee Curtis | Terror from Beyond the  Dave

See, another rule of slashers is that while the misfit deserves revenge they do tend to get out of hand. Some sort of monster hubris kicks in and after they off the dixkholes who drowned them, burned them, left them for dead, they start killing for the smallest little things. So high on their own rage that some rando gets an icepick to the skull just for jaywalking. And the universe can’t leave that kind of energy unchecked. Enter the Final Girl. As pure as the slasher is broken. She’s the only one with the juice to end the cycle.

220 Freddy Krueger Gifs - Gif Abyss

And let’s face it, Jade is no Final Girl. She’s no slasher either. Oh, she’s been failed by every person she should have been able to trust. Everyone who should have kept her safe. But she doesn’t have the stomach for disemboweling. She’s not special enough to be at either side of the cycle. Instead Jade is the deserted bunk at Camp Blood. The old newspaper filling in the gaps in the story, the woods the slasher roams through.

And oh! What a story it is. Until. Well, until it’s more than just a story. until the innocent people start getting turned to pulp in the path of all that revenge. And then maybe. Just maybe. Jade realizes that she might be part of the story after all.

Sounds good right? It absolutely is! And it’s such a perfect read for October. Do yourself a favor and check out My Heart is a Chainsaw by Stephen Graham Jones. Sydney Prescott would want you to.

Sydney Prescott GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

Wait…Have I Been Micro Dosed?

Probably. It’s the only explanation.

Pedro Pascal Fan — Another week, another episode of Manny Jacinto...

When I found out Hulu was adapting Liane Moriarty’s Nine Perfect Strangers, I was ecstatic. I immediately text all five of my friends to let them know. I am what you would call a Liane Moriarty Fan. Fan with a capital F. Fan as in I was going to get her portrait tattooed on my bicep, but my arms are kinda small, and I’m afraid some of the details would be lost. So, you can imagine my disappointment when I actually watched the show. Maybe it’s good if you hadn’t read the book? There’s sure nothing wrong with the cast: Nicole Kidman, Melissa McCarthy, Manny Jacinto, Michael Shannon – I’m a huge fan of Michael Shannon. He was gonna go on the other bicep but, alas, small arms. So, yeah, the cast is phenomenal; too bad their talents are wasted.

So, Nine Perfect Strangers is supposed to be about a group of nine people – most of them strangers to one another – going to a health retreat. We have a grieving family, a struggling romance writer, a former professional athlete. We have contraband liquor and chocolate. We have Masha. The woman behind it all. Book Masha was an overweight workaholic who had a massive heart attack, was saved, and became a health nut. Throughout the book, we learn more about her, making her complete spiral near the end all the more meaningful/enjoyable. Look, I wanted nothing more than to see Nicole Kidman in a three-sizes-too-big business suit from the ’80s sitting behind a desk chain smoking and shoving Doritos and salsa into her mouth with a passed out Manny Jacinto just visible in the background. Is that too much to ask, Hulu? Is it? I guess so because that is far from what we got. But, you know, use your imagination and just think about how amazing it could have been.

Instead we get folks who find out Masha is dosing them with small amounts of hallucinogenics far too early (episode three, I think. I mean, they didn’t even have time to not build a human pyramid or think they were being burned alive. How are you supposed to grow as a person if you aren’t pushed to your limits by a woman who is borderline insane?) and they have the way wrong reaction. They’re super in to it. Michael Shannon murders a goat for no reason, there are ghosts walking around, there’s a potato sack race. It’s just a whole lot of stuff happening instead of the hilarious/touching stuff that should be happening. The adaptation feels directionless, and it sucks because Moriarty GAVE them the direction they needed to go in.

I have a hard time with adaptations when they take a perfectly good plot and wonderful, complex characters and totally screw it up. This may be one of the worst adaptations I’ve ever seen – and I’ve watched the sixth Harry Potter movie. It’s abysmal, but even it might be better than Nine Perfect Strangers. If I had to say anything nice it would be this: the setting is beautiful. I would not be mad about it if I had to live there. Melissa McCarthy’s Francis was the appropriate amount of diva. She was everything I imagine full time romance writers to be. Oh, we’re going swimming? Let me slip into my floral wetsuit and just finish it off with some bangles and a red lip. No big deal. She was pretty perfect.

AND THAT’S WHY IT’S SUCH A BUMMER. The cast really could not have been better. The setting looked exactly how it was supposed to look; they just butchered the plot and did a major disservice to the characters.

I would say that, if you’re interested in Nine Perfect Strangers, read the book instead. If you’re interested in watching something on Hulu, you absolutely can’t go wrong with Reservation Dogs – more on that later – or Only Murders in the Building. Like, we’re gonna have to thumb wrestle or something to see who gets to review that one. It’s so good.

And then watch this one.

Okay, one diss and two recommendations. That’s all I’ve got.


New Name. Same Shenanigans.

Readers, we have recently made the decision to drop the pen names. Why? Because it’s really hard to maintain both your normal personality as well as a fake one you invented simply because you were pranking a friend. Well, holdup; that’s not the whole truth. A little background.

When we first decided to write books, neither of us were super confident we could actually pull it off. So, we decided to come up with fake names and personalities to write under so that, if we failed, we could just kill the pens rather than uproot our entire lives, fleeing from sheer embarrassment. Here’s the thing about us, we are both anxiety-riddled and dramatic as hell. Hence the security blanket of a pen name. Though, in my case, it was more of a security wig than a blanket. Anyway, coordinating photo shoots to ensure we have Instagram pics is also a real drag. It’s time-consuming, and that time would be better spent actually writing.

On to the second reason. After publishing and receiving actual feedback – and most of it really good – our former insecure selves died just a little. We both had a case of late onset narcissism that has served us well. Because, here’s the thing that really sucks about writing books. You HAVE to promote yourself. It’s the worst, and most difficult, part for two people who would just rather not.

So, this combo of laziness and somewhat boosted self esteem led us to the decision to “kill” Smoky Lynx and Charlaine LeRoux. *Here’s hoping they don’t come back from the dead George Stark-style and try to kill us.* We’ve outgrown the need for wigs and fake mustaches. Are we still keeping the wigs and fake mustaches? You bet your ass we are!

Oh, bonus reason: last fall, while writing a cookbook for our book club (I told y’all we’re extra as hell), we discovered our ACTUAL last names sound great together. So, here we are, Holland + Harper.

What can you expect going forward? Basically the same shit. Holland loves folklore just as much as LeRoux did. Harper reads a shit ton of books and reviews them just like Lynx did. We both love horror movies – particularly ’90s horror, murder mysteries, and Adventure Time. We realized, as Lynx & LeRoux grew more and more real, that they were just slightly exaggerated versions of ourselves. So, content will be the same, there will just be fewer false eyelashes.

Oh, and there will be more books added to the store. I co-wrote a book with husband that I never promoted here because it’s not a Lynx & LeRoux title.

One last thing about L&L. We love them. Like, a lot. Like maybe we both have L&L wall calendars and tote bags – I told you late onset narcissism is real! They’ll still be around. We plan to use them as characters in at least one future book. You guys, we have so many book ideas. Can someone just pay our salaries and also take all my accounting classes for one year so we have time to write? Puh-lease?

So, thanks for joining us on this wonderful and often weird ride. We hope you’ll stick around for the real us.

Ryanne Harper

I Wanna Go on the Gravitron Before it Gets All Pukey

Same, Mallory, same.

Hello, friends. It’s been…a minute. But I’m back with a Cruel Summer breakdown. No, not the song. Although, I am a fan of both the Bananarama and the T Swift songs as well as the Ace of Base cover. All dope. But, no, I’m talkin’ about the Freeform series you can catch on Hulu.

You guys! This show. It’ll have you asking, “What the hell is up with [insert any of the following]?” Mallory. That g-d snow globe. Jeanette’s brother. Kate’s sister. Kate’s mom – is she fuller’n shit than a Christmas goose or not? I heard this idiom just a few days ago and 1. I love it and 2. It sounds exactly like something Kate’s mom would say. I both love her and hate her. Jeanette’s mom. The clothes. (Did we really dress like that in the ’90s? Yes, we certainly did and, by the looks of it, we’re doing it again.) But before I get into the story, I wanna talk about the Gravitron.

For those of you who don’t know, the Gravitron is basically a giant centrifuge that people who couldn’t care less about safety strap children into and proceed to spin the hell out of them. Much like its small, medical counterpart, it separates things. Like, in this case, it separates the deep fried pterodactyl leg and funnel cake they just washed down with a too big soda from the person’s stomach. It’s a puke fest waiting to happen. And, for some reason, we can’t get enough of it.

Gravitron GIFs - Get the best gif on GIFER

I don’t go to the fair. I won’t, and I shan’t. You see, I have a fair curse. Every time I have ever gone, something bad has happened. The “something” ranges from losing my shoe and having to walk through a horse enclosure to get it because the methed out carnie who had clearly spent the afternoon at the Branding Iron – the Branding Iron is a bar directly across from our fairgrounds, and they know exactly who their target market is. Every year, they display a massive banner that says “Welcome Carnies”, and the carnie folk come a runnin’. – Anyway, this guy refused to help me, so I had to wade through horse shit in the dark to retrieve my shoe. I’ve also gotten my thumb lodged very deeply in my forehead, I’ve been thrown up on multiple times – once on the Gravitron – and the last time I went, there was a drive by shooting. So, I don’t attend the fair, but I LOVE the idea of one. That’s why our quadology is so fair/carnival-centric. It’s a great setting. And a great book series. Get it here. Anyway, the show.

Cruel Summer is set in 1993, 1994, and 1995. The way these time jumps were shot is MAGNIFICENT. I can’t stress enough how cool it is. So, it’s 1993, it’s summer time (duh), and nerdy Jeanette is at the mall kickin’ it with her two besties. She gets brave and makes verbal contact with the coolest girl in school, Kate Wallis, who is also, unbelievably, hella nice. And then Kate goes missing.

Over the course of 1994, Jeanette becomes cooler. She does a full Mona Vanderwaal, going from nerd (sidebar: there is nothing wrong with being a nerd. She had a great family, great friends – her hair was terrible, but that thing works itself out in the end.) to the new it girl. And then Kate is found.

What happens next? A whole bunch of shit. Law suits, bad Geraldo Rivera-style interviews, busted noses, busted marriages, that g-d snow globe. Truth. Lies. Something in between. A lot of shit, including the cutest roller skating party of all time.

Seriously. If someone wants to throw me this exact birthday party, I am so down. I love how every skating rink ever has that insane carpet, and they really commit to the crazy by also putting it on the walls. Like, why? I played roller derby for 8 years. I have seen many a skating rink, and they all have that bonkers carpet. I love it.

Anyway, I do not want to give too much more away because you should just watch the damn show already, but I do want to applaud Freeform on their handling of their Mr. Fitz-ish character. To me, the Ezra/Aria relationship is one of the few things Pretty Little Liars got wrong in the end. Cruel Summer comes with a barrage of trigger warnings and hotline information before you get to the good stuff, and I appreciate their efforts.

To me, Cruel Summer is the perfect show to get you ready for back-to-school. So, get to it!

Okay, byyyyyyeeeeeeeee.

Smoky Lynx

Let Me Get My Coat

Ok, so obviously this blog is stewing with spoilers so don’t read if you for some reason haven’t watch 1666 yet. Or do, who am I to tell you how to live. Just be warned.

When I sat down to watch 1666 I was so hype and then my hype did diminish just a tad. The first half of 1666 is a very good example of a genre of horror that I’m just not about. You know the type-everyone needs a shower, animals die in cruel and foreboding ways, and there’s always some kind of busybody goat or something running about asking provocative questions. Just not my thing. It does very much remind me of The Crucible and is an excellent example of how the patriarchy and mass hysteria bloom and destroy the innocent. And, you guys, I must offer my sincerest apologies for any shit I talked about Sarah Fier in my previous blogs. I should have known better. How could anyone named Sarah be all that bad?

Who Plays Sarah Fier In Netflix's Fear Street Movies?
My bad, girl.

Sarah Fier is a legend. Such a brilliant badass who managed to lay a curse on her persecutors and finally got those bastards. Good for her. It was also lovely to see the actors from the first two movies back and alive. It also supports my whole reincarnation belief. That these souls have been trapped in a toxic cycle. Each playing their parts until finally they make the progress to break that cycle and move on to new things. My favorites here were knowing that even Kate’s ancestors were clever shitstirrers and also that Cindy Berman’s past self was having all the sex and drug fueled fun that Cindy never let herself enjoy. Get it, Abigail Berman! I also really appreciated all of the call backs to the first two movies that we get in 1666. They made me happy.

Fear Street Part Three: 1666 review: Is final installment worth the watch?
Wouldst thou like to live deliciously?

So, you can imagine my excitement when the movie went back to 1994 and we picked up with our original crew. Here’s a thing about me. For a horror movie to really work I want heartfelt speeches before the final battle, some laughs (“You smell like an androgynous baby’) and a clever Scooby Doo type scheme to stop the bad guys. Part 2 delivered all of those things. It also brought Martin back into the story and I think that character is so great. Like, so great.

It’s nice to see these kids laughing for once

I also loved that they were like, “Sheriff Goode is fully an evil (douche) wizard and he absolutely knows that we know so a whole army of killers in going to descend at any moment. Totally need to get ready to fight. Totally. But first, let’s break into a Gadzooks and spray paint this whole ass mall with insulting blacklight graffiti. You know, for ambiance”. Because I would do the same thing. Good job y’all.

Review: Netflix's Fear Street trilogy is six hours of decent horror cosplay
Ok, NOW we can fight evil

And that Scooby Doo plan is epic and fun. The last 45 minutes of the movie are so tense and thrilling. The supersoakers filled with neon blood. The way that our first round of killers slither into the space walking right past the terrified good guys. Trapping them with the security gates, spraying the killers with the blood so that they go after each other. That was so fun you guys. And I love that Ziggy got to Carrie that piece of shit Nick Goode.

Fear Street' trilogy: Netflix's villains all have killer inspiration
And I would have gotten away with it too, if it hadn’t been for you meddling kids!

While we’re at it let’s talk about the pure evil that is the Goode family. So selfish, all of them. They’re sacrificing all of these lives, putting a whole community through constant oppression, and for what? McMansions, so that Nick can be the lame ass town sheriff and live in a creepily ornate and immaculate house? Like, you’re willing to sell your souls for that? Fuck outta here with that mess. And then when this asshole does show up to the mall to kill some more innocent people has is 100% weak sauce.

Like, I genuinely think that he believes that he cares for Ziggy. Somehow he allows himself to believe that but as soon as stuff goes sideways he’s absolutely willing to sacrifice her. Dick. AND THEN he’s such a chicken shit that the second he get’s a little knife wound he runs straight away and summons a supernatural 8 year old with an admittedly terrifying mask and a baseball bat and a teenage choir girl gone evil to do the dirty work for him. What a freaking wuss. For real, fuck that guy.

Review: Teen horror goes 17th century in 'Fear Street Part Three: 1666'
You’re gonna get your ass kicked Goode!

I did love the final sequence when Deena is chasing his wounded ass through those creepy rock tunnels that ole granpappy chickenshit built. They way that it’s the reverse of the 1666 sequence. Goode is the prey now and is fully gonna get ended by a pissed off 17 year old lesbian. Never fight a teen in a mall Nick Goode. They are at their peak powers there. Like Sydney Prescott on a set of stairs they will kick your ass every time. I also loved that when Goode touched that horrible pulsing goo Sarah came back and chanted that very powerful and eerie curse at him while he was surrounded with visions of the people who died by his family’s hand. Good(e) stuff.

And the queer kids lived this time! Which is lovely. I also appreciated the bulletproof vest made of Fear Street books that Deena made herself. It felt very like a shout out to Wynonna Earp which I appreciated. So the good (not Goode) guys won and the curse was lifted. It was lovely to see the immediate shift after the curse was broken. Seeing Deena and Sam tracking mud and blood all over Goode’s immaculate carpet and emerging from his fancy ass house just in time to see a Sunnysider get hit by a garbage truck. It sounds terrible but I did laugh at that. I also laughed at the post it by Deena and Josh’s front door that said, “I’ll be home for dinner. DON’T COOK. Love Dad”. And Martin trying to hustle his early MP3 player at the school. Josh finally meeting his goth crush in real life. And Deena and Sam having burgers and making a headstone for Sarah Fier as Gigantic plays over the end of the movie. And I got a little teary when Ziggy knocked on Nurse Lane’s door to give her back her journal. It was so sweet when those two hugged.

download and watch online fear-street-part-three-1666 movie
Oh, shit. Was that a Mercedes?

Of course that’s not the final scene. I knew that they shouldn’t have left that dang spellbook just laying around in the underground murder caves. Can’t say I’m mad about it though. I love that they could potentially do a Marvel style universe of spin-offs and prequels in this Fear Street universe. What movie would you like to see? I’m thinking I want a Ruby Lane movie because out of all of those murderers Ruby is the scariest. Something about the way you can hear her singing that spooky ass song combined with a straight razor is terrifying. Anyway, good game Fear Street. I’ll be rewatching the whole trilogy come October and I hope you’ll do the same.

Fear Street' trilogy: Netflix's villains all have killer inspiration
Billy and Stu? I don’t know them.

Keep That Thing Away From Major Tom

Alright kids, first things first. This blog is just spattered with spoilers so if you haven’t watched the movie yet read at your own risk.

Picking Up My New Spoiler! BIG WING! - YouTube

I’m so truly impressed with what these movies are managing to do. If you told me some movies based on Fear Street were gonna revamp horror entirely I would have been as shocked as the people who have seen this ridiculous car in real life. Which is to say that I loved 1978 ( go figure).

So, I’m not going to go into the plot too much. Deena and her little brother haul her possessed girlfriend over to C. Berman’s-the only survivor of the Camp Nightwing massacre- house. Which is just entirely rude. But after much pleading the mysterious C. Berman tells the kids the story of the worst night of her life in the hopes that those fools can find something useful in it.

And, here’s the thing that people don’t like to dwell on after the movie’s over, to be a final girl you must survive absolute horror. Then you must carry that horror with you for the rest of your life. Every final girl is deeply and profoundly traumatized. Maybe they survived but that’s all they can do. Their dreams are restless, bloody things haunted by the faces of their dead friends. By their killer. Even the brightest day is filled with hidden shadows and unseen horror. It’s not a pretty place to be. So, when you’re that girl. The final girl that’s now a haunted woman, and two random strangers break into your kitchen in the middle of the night you’re a damn saint if you don’t murder them yourself. It’s even more gracious if you’re willing to open those barely healed wounds and tell those twerps every detail of your trauma but that’s what Ziggy Berman does.

Ziggy tells you about the massacre. About the night she stopped living and started surviving. She tells you about how her hope died as she desperately tried to reach her sister’s hand across a few feet of blood soaked grass.

Fear Street Part 2: 1978 Ending & C. Berman Twist Explained - 24htinnhanh
I’m not crying. You are.

You know what the movie’s about. A bloodthirsty killer roaming among the innocent at a summer camp. People-a lot of people die- and it’s scary and heartpounding and very entertaining to watch. The thing that makes 1978 my favorite though is that this is the heart of the trilogy. It’s a summer camp massacre movie but it’s also an exploration and tribute to the bond between siblings and best friends. It’s about the fact that even though these Shadyside kids are literally cursed. Are broke and discriminated against. That they have no future-at least not one that doesn’t involve holding down two jobs- and probably a broken marriage. Debt, addiction, you name it. Either the curse kills them directly or indirectly and maybe the ones who die quick are the lucky ones. Still though, they fight.

FEAR STREET 1978 "You are going to be hanged, witch!" (2021) Fear Street 2  – FilmsActu
Get ’em Ziggy.

They fight to live, to fall in love, to find a way out of that town. To break the curse. And through all of that they remain good people which is brightly contrasted with the outright sociopathy of the Sunnyside kids. You can never trust a Sunnysider. They may fool you for a minute but they’ll sell you out to save their asses every time.


1978 takes the time to let you know the characters. It even takes the time to let you know the killers. It tells you how poor Ruby Lane was such a sweet kid before the witch possessed her. How much her mother loved her. It makes sure that you realize even the killers are unwitting victims of the curse. And that’s quite a feat to pull off.

Of course, it’s also filled with great acting and the music in this one is even better that the last. With the Velvet Underground crooning Sweet Jane during the love scene this time and bookending the movie with Nirvana and David Bowie’s versions of The Man Who Sold the World. It looks great too trading in the neon splashed vibe of 1994 for 70’s era oversaturated sunlight. Of course it moves the frame story along too and although I’m excited for 1666 no moment of this trilogy will top the last shot we see of Ziggy Berman.

Because, folks, Ziggy Berman is pissed. She has hope again for the first time in so long. Maybe her sister didn’t die in vain after all. Maybe they can actually break this fucking curse once and for all. The witch better watch her ass because Ziggy Berman is ready to fight. She may have to sacrifice herself but she’s ready to finish what her big sister started.

Why C. Berman From Fear Street 1994 Looks So Familiar - Flipboard