Constantine S01E01 Review: Non Est Asylum

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title cardIn the quarter-century since The DC/Vertigo horror comic Hellblazer began its run, the television landscape has changed to include many shows that follow a similar “occult detective” format: Supernatural, Sleepy Hollow, and the (sadly short-lived) Dresden Files, to name just a few. But fans of John Constantine have waited a long time for a series featuring our favorite anti-hero. Time will tell if NBC can finally pull it off, but the pilot episode seems at least promising.
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Monster of the Week: Kasha

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kaibutsu_ehon_4

Kaibutsu Ehon (Illustrated Book of Monsters), illustrated by Nabeta Gyokuei, 1881.

Kasha (火車) are a Japanese yōkai that bring the bodies of miscreants to hell as punishment for a life of evil deeds. Kasha are feline demons who are human-sized or larger and walk upright. When Kasha seek to make themselves known, they may be surrounded by flames and their arrival may be signified by the presence of thunder and strong winds. Thus, a Kasha’s appearance will often coincide with stormy weather. When Kasha wish to remain hidden, they can disguise themselves as ordinary cats and live among humans. Kasha prefer the night, just as their mortal feline cousins do.

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Supernatural S10E04 Recap: Paper Moon

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car in woods

Home is where the Impala is

“Paper Moon” is a good old-fashioned Monster of the Week Supernatural episode. The boys’ development as hunters and brothers is shown during the opening montage. The reference reminds us why we love Supernatural so much: hunting provides excitement and suspense, while the characters’ relationships provide meaning and investment for the viewer. We get a chance to revisit Sam and Dean’s previous dealings with werewolves—mostly involving Sam or Dean killing them, but also showing how their relations with lycanthropes became increasingly complex over the course of their hunting career. Werewolves have been a staple of Supernatural’s terrestrial monster repertoire from the beginning.

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Doctor Who S08E10 Photo Recap: In the Forest of the Night

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A little girl in a school uniform and red coat is running through the forest. She runs and runs, waving her arms around her head sometimes. She comes upon the TARDIS and knocks on the door. It appears that the chameleon circuit of the TARDIS does not work on this little girl.

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The Changeling

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changeling2A mother had her child taken from the cradle by elves. In its place they laid a changeling with a thick head and staring eyes who would do nothing but eat and drink. In distress she went to a neighbor and asked for advice. The neighbor told her to carry the changeling into the kitchen, set it on the hearth, make a fire, and boil water in two eggshells. That should make the changeling laugh, and if he laughs it will be all over with him. The woman did everything just as her neighbor said. When she placed the eggshells filled with water over the fire, the blockhead said:

Nun bin ich so alt    Now I am as old
Wie der Westerwald,    As the Wester Wood,
Und hab nicht gesehen,    But have never seen anyone
Daß jemand in Schalen kocht.    Cooking in shells! Continue reading

The Walking Dead S05E03 Recap: Four Walls and a Roof

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Gareth with walkers behind him - birds of a feather

Gareth relating to the walkers behind him

There are several unresolved questions that Season Five of the Walking Dead has yet to answer: What happened to Beth? Will Bob survive, and does he even want to? How will the conflict between the cannibalistic Termites and Rick’s group be resolved? What is Gabriel’s terrible secret and will it affect the group? Will Rick take the group to Washington? If they get to Washington, what will they find, and can Eugene really end the virus?

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Monster of the Week: Night Marchers

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Taken near Punchbowl, 2013, by jai Mansson on Flickr. (CC2.0)

Taken near Nuuanu–Punchbowl, Honolulu, 2013, by jai Mansson on Flickr, CC2.0

Night Marchers (huaka’i pō) are spirits of ancient Hawaiian warriors. Though there are those who describe experiences with huaka’i pō, they are infrequently witnessed from close proximity because most who come into contact with them are cursed. Most experiences with Night Marchers involve hearing drums or chants in the distance or seeing their torches far off across a valley, because those familiar with their mana will seek refuge if huaka’i pō are near.

They proceed from the mountain down to the ocean, following ancient paths that take the marchers from their burial sites to previous battlegrounds and other sacred places. Night Marchers may carry the archaic weaponry and wear the regalia of their corporeal time. Huaka’i pō may have the ability to affect their physical environment, because though they are known to float a few inches above the ground, they sometimes leave behind footprints. Continue reading

Supernatural S10E03 Recap: Soul Survivor

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Supernatural Season Ten Episode Three: Soul Survivor

Supernatural Season Ten episode Three: Soul Survivor

The “THEN” montage at the start of the “Soul Survivior” indicates that the show may be an angel-heavy episode. Let’s hope this means the grace storyline gets resolved. After the exciting end to the last episode,“Reichenbach,” we wouldn’t have been surprised if “Soul Survivor” started with Sam laying dead on the road somewhere. Disappointed, sure, but not surprised.

We get right to business—the family business, opening with Sam preparing to cure Demon Dean. Dean is locked up in the Men of Letters bunker. It’s kind of impressive that Dean got him down there by himself. Those handcuffs are pretty amazing, but then again they did keep the King of Hell captive for a while.

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