Tuesday, 31 December 2013


So here's my ten favourite films of 2013 in descending order. Please note: I don't claim these as the best films of the year, just the ones I personally enjoyed the most. There are some films I saw in 2013 which would have made this chart but I left out as they were not technically 2013 UK releases but had already been released here prior to 1 Jan 2013. Also, at the bottom of this post you'll also find my five least favourite films of 2013. Enjoy.


The sequel to Kenneth Branagh's 2011 God of Thunder epic is a fast, fun, epic fantasy which opens up the restricted scope of the original to new worlds and new places on Earth (specifically London replacing a small New Mexico town). Game of Thrones' Alan Taylor comes aboard as director and brings a less shiny more lived in look to Asgard and its people. Principle cast returnees Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Natalie Portman as Jane, Kat Dennings as Darcy and Stellan Skarsgard as Eric are all once more top notch. But it's the not-so-secret weapon of Tom Hiddleston as Loki who once again commands the screen and makes the audience just love a bad guy. Above all else though, Thor: The Dark World does what the best of Marvel movies should do - it is tons of fun. And sometimes that's all you need. All hail MeuMeu!


The Wolverine sees James Mangold (Walk the Line, 3:10 to Yuma) directing Hugh Jackman as the badass mutant with the cool adamantium claws. And in doing so makes up for the horrible poop fest that was X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Based on a classic run of the comics by Chris Claremont, the story sees Logan travel to Japan at the behest of dying Japanese industrialist Yashida who as a young man was saved by Logan when the atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki. Yashida wants to repay his life debt to Logan by offering him the one thing he wants – mortality. However it appears there is a hidden agenda behind Logan's visit and our hirsute hero soon becomes involved with Mariko, Yashida's granddaughter, who has become a target of Yakuza gangs vying for control of her Grandfather's company. The Wolverine is a rare beast of a superhero flick in that for much of the time there are not any real super-heroics going on. It is more about character building and interaction and is not afraid to have well written, well acted scenes of just two people talking. But when the super-heroics do come then they come in style with some wonderful action sequences including a thrilling fight atop a speeding bullet train and a battle in the snow against an army of ninjas. All in all then a top notch character driven superhero thriller with Jackman hammering home yet again his total ownership of this role. Snikt!


I had a real hard time figuring out my fave Marvel movie of 2013. To be honest, it could easily be any of them (I include FOX's The Wolverine in this even though it is not part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe). They were all great and they all had something different to offer while retaining the central Marvel demand that first and foremost they be FUN! But in the end, it came down to one thing...or I should say one person. Shane Black. Yep, the man behind Lethal Weapon, The Long Kiss Goodnight and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang was given $200m and told to go away and make a superhero film. Only Marvel would be this brave. And God bless 'em for it. It is precisely these smart and often brave choices that have made their films so much quirky, endearing fun, not to mention hugely successful. So what did Shane Black do with Marvel's $200m? What he did was to pretty much discard Iron Man and instead make a Tony Stark movie. For much of this film the armor is not even in use and when it is Tony is often not in it and is instead operating it remotely. Either that or other people are getting to wear it. In IM3 Tony is cast adrift and forced to use his wits and smarts to uncover the truth behind the terrorist known as The Mandarin as well as stopping a very bad guy from creating an army of exploding super-soldiers. Black invests his film with many of his usual tropes. In parts it becomes a buddy film (Stark and the kid, Stark and Rhodey), it is set around Christmas time, there is a torture scene where the hero turns the tables on the villains. And Black is also in super playful mode as he gleefully pulls the rug out from under the audience with a controversial twist about two thirds through which puts the whole film in to a new perspective. Also he is a dab hand at witty cutting banter. As such, IM3 is very, very funny with Downey Jr yet again proving why he is Marvel's most valuable on screen player. The action sequences are all good with the two highlights being the destruction of Stark's home via missile attack and the brilliant mid-air rescue of Air Force One passengers in free fall. The ending might devolve in to a bit of a flying CGI melee but it still contains some great character beats and gags amidst the carnage. Performances are all great with Downey Jr still at the top of his game. But special mention must go to Sir Ben Kingsley as The Mandarin. He is scary and...a lot more. Oh, and Brian Tyler provides a wonderfully toe tapping score with his end theme being sublime. So yeah, in the end, Iron Man Three clinches the title of top Marvel movie of 2013 mostly by virtue of being a Shane Black flick. And thanks to Marvel (and IM3 making $1.2bn), Black will now go on to make more movies of his choosing. And for that alone we must all be truly grateful.


Francis Lawrence (Constantine, I Am Legend) replaces Gary Ross as this series' director, and in film number two brings a wider scope and deeper mythos to the building story of Katniss Everdeen and her growing role as unwilling focus for a building rebellion in the future land of Panem. The story here builds logically and smartly on the first film with nasty President Snow (a wonderfully snakelike Donald Sutherland) looking to discredit our heroine before getting her killed in a new round of winners only Hunger Games. Once again Jennifer Lawrence is superb as Katniss – steely and smart, haunted and vulnerable. And she is given strong support by the rest of the cast with special mention going to the fab Elisabeth Banks as Effie Trinkett who brings new depth to the previously shallow Escort to the District 12 Tributes. As before, the underlying themes are all about social control, the power of a complicit media, and the horrific extravagance and waste of the Capitol contrasted against the extreme poverty of everywhere else. It is perhaps this huge gap between the haves and have nots of Panem that hits home hardest making for a powerful message in this time of real world austerity for the poor and seemingly continuing greed and avarice for the wealthy. What makes this series work and raises it above all other young adult adaptations is that it has something serious and important on its mind. It is actually about something. Something important. Plus it has at its center perhaps the best leading lady and character actress of her generation in Jennifer Lawrence. I mean, how awesome must it be to be Jennifer Lawrence right now? Pretty damn awesome I reckon. Top of the world. Girl on Fire! And good for her. Bring on Mockingjay.


Tricky one this. Odd Thomas has not been officially released anywhere yet. It's been made for nearly two years but due to legal wranglings remains locked in distribution limbo with no release in sight. I saw it via other means and we'll leave it at that. That this movie hasn't been and may not be released is a crying shame. Based on the novel by Dean R Koontz, Odd Thomas tells the story of a young man, a short order cook in a small town, who has the ability to see and communicate with recently dead people. Dead people who often need Odd's help to pass on. And being a kindly soul, Odd is more than willing to oblige them, using the knowledge the dead impart to him to track down murderers, rapists and all kinds of scum. However when Odd starts seeing a major increase in the number of bodachs (invisible creatures that appear when death and disaster is near), he becomes convinced that something terrible is going to befall his town and sets out to stop it from happening. Now I've not read Koontz's books so I have no idea how faithful the movie is or isn't. What I do know though is Odd Thomas the film, as written and directed by Stephen (The Mummy) Sommers is an imaginative, witty, warm, emotional and exciting supernatural adventure helped along by a great cast led by Anton Yelchin who is superb as the highly capable and likable Odd. Yelchin is wonderfully supported by Addison Timlin as Stormy, Odd's cute and loyal girlfriend, and Willem Dafoe as local Police Chief Porter, a friendly father figure to young Odd. The core of the film though is Odd and Stormy. And they are great together. You really do buy in to their playful, loving relationship and the obvious history behind it. You care about these two kids. The supernatural story proceeds as you'd expect – always fun, always creepy, always cool – but the tale of Odd and Stormy is what counts. By movie's end I don't mind admitting that I was moved. An emotional connection had been made. The film had worked. It was lots of creepy charming fun, yes, but it connected too. And in the end, that is what really counts. Way to go, Odd one.


Okay, so I had a big silly grin on my face all the way through this. Genius Chinese filmmaker Stephen (Shaolin Soccer, Kung Fu Hustle) Chow returns with his epic prequel to the famous 16th century Chinese novel Journey to the West by Wu Cheng'en. To western audiences (especially kids who grew up in 70's/80's Britain) Journey to the West is best known as the classic Japanese TV show Monkey! The novel and TV show concerns the pilgrimage of Buddhist monk Xuanzang who traveled to India to obtain sacred texts with the aid of three protectors: a magical monkey king with fabulous powers, a pig demon, and a water demon given human form. But instead of telling this tale again, Chow has created his own prequel concerning Xuanzang and his pre-pilgrimage days as a rather hopeless Buddhist demon hunter who won't slay the demons but prefers instead to naively use the non-violent method of reading old nursery rhymes with the intention of calming the demons down and reawakening their goodness. Of course this approach does not go well for Xuanzang who soon runs in to a fellow demon hunter called Duan, a tough and beautiful woman who slays demons the old school way. Xuanzang doesn't seem to like his new competition very much. Duan though becomes hopelessly smitten by the hopeless young monk/demon hunter and their paths intertwine, eventually leading them both to come face to face with the legendary Monkey King imprisoned by the Buddha beneath a mountain. To be honest, there is not much of any real story to Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons. It is mostly a series of incidents as poor hapless Xuanzang keeps trying (and failing) to calm those demons and become a better man through finding enlightenment. The film's throughline is Xuanzang and Duan and their weird and wacky one sided courtship mixed in with lots of gloriously entertaining set pieces involving all kinds of crazy monsters and Tom and Jerry style cartoon action. This could easily have been one big rambling mess. But Stephen Chow knows what he is doing. And like the awesome Kung Fu Hustle, Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons ends up a wildly inventive, very funny, very silly blast. The fact that it is based around the same tale that brought joy to millions of 70s/80s kids like me is just an added bonus. This time out though, Chow does not star in his own movie as he usually does. A younger actor was required to play Xuanzang. And Wen Zhang is a spot on Chow substitute. Then there is the beautiful Shu Qi (best known to western audiences as Jason Statham's 'cargo' in the first Transporter) who is terrific as the feisty, fighty, slightly unhinged Duan. The movie looks great too with big detailed sets, glorious design and lots of nifty FX. But in the end it is the pure nutty fun factor that Chow can harness so well in his films that makes this one a winner. Sequel please.


Acclaimed Japanese director Mamoru (The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Summer Wars) Hosoda co-writes and directs this beautiful, simple animated film that tells the story of nineteen year old Hana who meets and falls in love with a man who she soon discovers is the last of his race: a legendary tribe who can physically transform in to wolves. The pair marry and Hana soon becomes pregnant, eventually giving birth to a daughter, Yuki, and then a year later a son, Ame. However tragedy strikes and Hana and her two small children are left alone with Hana struggling to bring up two small wolf children with hardly any money and no experience of rearing such creatures. All the while she is also trying to keep the children's existence secret from the rest of the world while also trying to give the two (literal) nippers enjoyable and fulfilling lives. Mamoru Hosoda has said that Wolf Children was conceived as his love letter to motherhood, to mothers the world over. And that it is. There is no big intricate story here. There are no bad guys. What there is, is a mother struggling against all odds to make a wonderful life for her two growing children while also giving them the strength and the space to find out who they are and to make the right choices for themselves. The film rings true throughout and visually it is truly lovely with the gorgeous and vivid watercolour style countrysides striking to behold as are the almost photo-realistic cityscapes. Perhaps the single greatest sequence in the film is of Hana playing with and chasing her two small wolf children through the snow on the mountainside where they live, all three of them filled with such unbound joy. Truly uplifting stuff. Wolf Children is a lovely film. Touching and emotional without being sentimental. Funny and charming throughout. The Girl Who Leapt Through Time and Summer Wars were both great but this is Mamoru Hosoda's best film to date. A treat.


So, you're in the middle of directing one of the biggest blockbuster movies of all time (3rd biggest to be exact) and you get two weeks off. What do you do? Take the wife and kids on a break? Go home and sleep? Well, if you are Joss Whedon you go make a film in your own house with no money starring a load of your friends. And not just any film either. Oh no. You make an adaptation of a Shakespeare play. In black and white. But surely not I hear you cry? That could never work. No where near enough time. And who the heck wants to watch a black and white Shakespeare play shot in someone's backyard anyway? Well, me as it turns out. And a lot of other people too. I won't bother with a plot summary. Go look it up if you don't know. Just know that Beatrice loves Benedick and vice versa but neither of them know it or will admit it until romantic circumstances arising between Benedick's friend and compatriot Claudio and Beatrice's cousin Hero force the issue. There are conspiracies, back-stabbings, tragedy, fury, romance, and lots of laughs. Yes, I swear. It is honestly, properly funny. Possibly the first time I have ever found a Shakespeare comedy funny. This being a Joss Whedon film he focuses on the gender issues highlighted by the story with Beatrice's heartfelt and rightly furious rant about the unfairness of it all being a highlight. Oh yeah, Amy Acker as Beatrice. She is fabulous. But then she always has been right back to her days as Fred and Iliyria on Angel. And as Benedick, Alexis Denisof is also great, full of swaggering charisma and latterly a growing fury and passion. The rest of the cast are good too including Clark Gregg as Leonato, the governor of Messina, and Fran Kranz as Claudio. However it is the duo of Nathan Fillion and Tom Lenk as bumbling cops Dogberry and Verges who almost steal the entire movie. They are hilarious. Even if you don't understand the language you will get what they are doing. Comedy gold. I've watched this several times now since it came out and it never gets dull. In fact, it is a pure joy from start to finish. I truly hope Joss shoots some more Shakespeare plays this way. It would be a crime not to let his little rep company get their Bard out more often for all of us to enjoy. Yup, Joss (and William) remains Boss!


It's big. It's not subtle. It's kinda daft. But boy, is it a blast! Guillermo del Toro brings to the screen in the way only he could the story of humans piloting giant mechas knows as Jaegers to fight off the cross dimensional invasion of giant monsters who appear through a rift at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. And that's pretty much it really. There's not any great depth to Pacific Rim (except when they are literally at the bottom of the Pacific of course). It's a giant monsters versus giant robots smash em up movie as filtered through the brain of monster loving, clockwork/gears obsessed Mexican geek demi-god del Torro. The cool and imposing Idris Elba as Stacker Penticost leads the charge for humanity in the dying days of the Humans vs Kaiju war which humans are now losing. However Penticost has one last card to play. He has a plan to end the war forever with one last major strike against the Kaiju's rift at the bottom of the sea. Raleigh Becket (Charlie Hunnam), a washed-up Jaeger pilot is called out of retirement and teamed with rookie pilot Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi) who also happens to be Penticost's adoptive daughter, to lead this last-ditch effort to defeat the Kaijus. What Pacific Rim really is, is an old fashioned WW2 against the odds mission movie. Backs against the wall, chaps. Tally ho! The look and design of the film for all its high tech robots echoes WW2 flicks from the Jaeger hangers and bases and barracks to the battered leather fleece lined jackets the pilots wear. It is this future retro feel that really makes me love the movie. That and the terrific visuals including the designs of the Jaegers and the various monstrous Kaijus. The epic battles when they happen are humongous and inventively staged slug fests using supertankers as baseball bats to batter a monster and rocket powered arms to land a more powerful punch. The performances are fine with Elba being suitably gruff and intense and Hunnam reluctantly heroic. Rinko Kakuchi as Mako is good too with a nice line in deceptive fragility. However it is the little girl Mana Ashida who plays Mako as a child who deserves most credit. The sequence of her wandering Tokyo utterly terrified as a massive Kaiju runs riot is scary good. The poor kid looks like del Toro was threatening to shoot a puppy off camera or something. Tremendous performance! In the end, Pacific Rim is just big gleeful nonsense. But I bloody loved every minute of it. Thankfully (mostly due to the great people of China) it became an international hit after only doing so so in the US. This may mean we get to see a sequel, although the movie ends the story perfectly so I wouldn't be too upset if we didn't get another does of this mecha on monster action.


In space nobody can hear you crap your pants! At the start of this end of year round up I made the point that I am not claiming these to be 'the best' films of the year, merely the films I have personally enjoyed the most. However I can honestly say that Gravity IS the best film I saw this year. Hands down. It is quite simply astonishing. Sandra Bullock is scientist Dr Ryan Stone who becomes stranded in orbit after her shuttle is destroyed by debris from a satellite mishap. Along with fellow astronaut Kowalski (George Clooney) she must find a way to get back to Earth before either the debris field comes around again or they both run out of oxygen. What follows is one of the most intense, scary, stressful, beautiful, awe inspiring pieces of cinema ever. Just the visuals alone with the groundbreaking use of CGI and other visual FX is enough to make your jaw hit the floor, but add in the buttock clenching and seemingly hopeless fight for survival and you end up with what is an unparalleled cinematic experience. Gravity is only one of three films you simply must see in 3D. The other two being Avatar and Hugo. Okay, so Gravity is basically a genre film which plays out kinda like a horror movie. But it does have depth to it. It has themes and layers. The main ones being about the preciousness of life, birth and rebirth, the vastness of the cosmos but also the vastness of the human spirit and its will to survive, to go on no matter what. Of the actors, Clooney is of course splendid but the film belongs completely to Bullock who cements her position as one of the biggest genuine movie stars on the planet as well as being a tremendous actress. Because despite the visual wonders on show if you don't buy in to Dr Ryan Stone as a character then nothing else will work. But buy in you do. Gotta say for a woman in her late 40's Sandy B is seriously bucking the Hollywood starlet meatgrinder trend. And more power to her. But the success of Gravity would not have been possible without the visionary direction of Alfonso Cuarón, the genius Mexican director of Children of Men, Y Tu Mamá También, and the sublime A Little Princess. Cuarón is simply one of the very best filmmakers working today and I can't wait to see what he does next. Make no mistake, Gravity is the real deal. A tremendous piece of film making with a great central performance from a genuine movie star. I just hope Warners re-release it every few years so we can continue to see it as it was meant to be seen: on a huge screen in 3D. Cuz I really want that experience back.

Bubbling under:

Django Unchained, Rush, American Mary, The World's End, Les Miserables

And now my bottom five films of 2013:


A dull, hackneyed grab bag from other better fantasy franchises stuffed together in to this confusing, poorly written and completely uninvolving bore of a film. Only the super cute Lily Collins makes this even close to bearable. Thankfully it flopped...and yet they are making a sequel. Huh?

4. DRACULA 3D (Dario Argento's film)

Oh how the once mighty have fallen. Dario Argento has been a true visionary in the realm of horror cinema with classics such as Deep Red, Suspiria and Tenebre. But those days are long gone. Dracula 3D is a laughably bad retelling of Stoker's classic featuring some truly terrible acting, awful FX and poor general production values. Argento manages to reduce Stoker's creepy gothic horror story to a silly bland cartoon. Only buxom vampire bride Tania played by the gorgeous Miriam Giovanelli provides any life being charismatically sexy and nicely ferocious in her role. But this is mostly some major suckage.


A British alleged horror comedy set in a small seaside town which sees teen Jamie (Ed Speleers) and his three pals looking to get laid so that they don't fall victim to a possible werewolf who is out hunting down virgins. The situation gets complicated by Jamie falling for a visiting American girl Juliana (Jessica Szohr) who may or may not harbour a dark secret. Okay, so the filmmakers were obviously going for something akin to The Inbetweeners meets Cherry Falls meets Ginger Snaps. Unfortunately they failed dismally on every level. It's crude. Sure, that's easy. But it ain't funny. And it sure ain't scary, tense or even gory. It is just a big fat nothing. A big empty hole lasting 90 mins. I felt sorry for poor Timothy Spall as a deranged werewolf hunter. How did he end up in this rubbish?


And so director John Moore and writer Skip Woods took a franchise I love (the first Die Hard is my second fave film ever), killed it, shat on it but then didn't even bother to flush it. They just left it there lying dead in cinema's toilet bowl mouldering away for us all to see before we turn away in violent disgust. Fuck them. Fuck them all. The basic premise of this the fifth Die Hard film is fine - McClane goes to Russia to help out his son who is in a spot of bother and gets dragged in to a criminal conspiracy to steal nuclear weapons. So far so solid. Problem is the resulting script is awful being filled with bad plotting, terrible dialogue and worst of all devolving John McClane – one of cinema's greatest heroes – in to a grumpy, ignorant, unlikable borderline psychopath who appears to care nothing about crushing cars with innocent civilians inside and seems to glory in getting his gun off whenever he can. That is NOT John McClane! McClane is always a reluctant hero, just a regular guy who is not eager for violence but who will step up and do the right thing if needed. But above all...he CARES!!! Add in the fact that John Moore is a director who can't shoot decent action to save his life and is incapable of bringing a sense of life or energy or drama to anything he makes and what we end up with is a complete and utter travesty of a Die Hard film. For all those people who thought Die Hard 4.0 was bad (I don't, I really like it) well, watch this and you'll think it was a stunner by comparison. Part of me hopes this is the end of McClane's adventures as I don't want to see the great man shat on anymore. But another part of me hopes that when John McTiernan is let out of prison he will get to make a sixth and final Die Hard which will restore the good name of the franchise and above all the good name and high standing of Mr John McClane. This? This is just utter, utter dispiriting shit. Shame on you, FOX.


Any other year and A Good Day to Die Hard would easily clinch the bottom spot on this chart. However this year The Wayans Brothers (chiefly Marlon) unleashed this utterly wretched turd of a film on us. It's basically a spoof of the Paranormal Activity films (a series I've given up on now after the crap fourth film) that is so spectacularly unfunny and even offensive in places that I was quite amazed while struggling through it. What is even more amazing is that it made money and a sequel is on its way. Oh god no! But hey, if you think Marlon Wayans gurning like an idiot amidst lots of shouting, stupid sex jokes, borderline homophobic jokes, as well as a sequence which sees a young child being violently beaten is remotely funny then good luck to you. I don't. Quite the opposite in fact. I found nothing at all to like about this. I hated every vile second. At least A Good Day to Die Hard had a good score from Marco Beltrami to distract me from its shitness. No such luck here. Congrats Wayans Bros. With the likes of this, White Chicks and Littleman you continue to scrape the bottom of the comedy barrel. Gross.

That's all folks. Happy cinema going for 2014.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013


SMG on Craig Ferguson (cuz she is cute and funny)

WRITER: David Fury

DIRECTOR: David Fury


To help Willow in her recovery Buffy and Dawn clear the house of any and all magic items and supplies. But while they are doing so, Buffy receives an unwelcome visit from Spike, followed by an even more unwelcome visit from a social worker who has come to check up on Dawn's home life. Unfortunately the meeting with the social worker doesn't go well. That, alone with Spike's insistent lustful presence drives the now furious-with-herself Slayer to run upstairs and hack off her long blond hair. Meanwhile, across town, the Geek Trio have built themselves an invisibility ray and while out testing it accidentally go and hit Buffy with the ray as she is leaving the hairdressers, turning her invisible. Slayer related hijinks ensue.


The freedom of being invisible, of being freed to do what you want and behave how you want without anybody knowing. Also, as far as Buff is concerned, she is free from the judging eyes of her friends and from Spike's lustful eyes and Dawn's angry eyes. But most importantly she is free from having to look in to her own eyes, free from seeing herself and who she thinks she has become.


The Geek Trio I guess, though mostly Warren who it is becoming clear is the one who truly has no problem hurting others, especially women.


A nice idea. Becoming invisible is a standard for almost every scifi/horror/fantasy series. But as always with Buffy it is used primarily as a means to explore character. In this case it is about how Buffy sees herself and how she thinks others see her...or don't see her. The show already did one episode concerning invisibility, season one's Out of Sight, Out of Mind, in which teenage Marcie became invisible for real after being ignored and sidelined by her peers for so long. That story was about alienation and teen rage. This one is about adult life pressures and guilt.

Funny. Okay, forget the metaphor and larger season arc, Gone is simply a very funny episode with more than one laugh out loud moment. Writer/director David Fury is not afraid to go very silly (and pretty raunchy) to make us smile. And it works.

Buffy larks around. Many good ones from Buff as she enjoys her new found invisible freedom. Love the 'eye' balls at the Magic Box, stealing the meter man's car (“So long coppa!”) and The Shining inspired repetitive typing at the social worker's office designed to freak the poor woman out (All work and no play makes Doris a dull girl.) Heh.

Spike doing his 'push ups'. Oh Xander, surely you can't be that dense? Walking in on Spike in bed humping away on an invisible Buffy and falling for Spike's 'I'm exercising' line. Plus you can clearly see Spike's ear moving as it is being nibbled on while he talks to Xander. Mind you, if I was Xan I wouldn't think Buff would be doing that kind of thing with Spike either. But whatever the case, the scene is very, very funny. And love how it ends with invisible Buff winning over a petulant Spike by giving him a special happy as, taken by surprise, he looks down at his (out of shot) groin and states, 'Hey, that's cheating.' Tsk tsk. Naughty Buff.

Direction. David Fury does a great job directing his script. His direction is wonderfully inventive, especially how he treats invisible Buffy and the invisible Trio as if you could still see them, following them 'in shot', zooming in for reaction shots we can't see, and shooting an invisible fight scene as if it were all entirely visible. Great stuff and most amusing.


Very silly. Okay, maybe it does get a bit too silly for its own good. And the Trio, while fun, are still just three clever twits messing about and doing nothing very compelling.

Buffy's hair. Blimey! Never before (or since) has so much attention been paid to Buffy's hair as in this episode. Everyone and their sister comments and has an opinion on it. At least Xander has the good sense to be exasperated by this, just like the audience. It is obvious that in the first act SMG is wearing a pretty heinous wig which she then hacks away at before heading to the hairdressers for her new short do. I'm guessing SMG got her hair cut meaning they had to shoe horn this in for continuity sake.


Spike's exercise routine


Buffy: So you three have, what... banded together to be pains in my ass?
Warren Meers: We're your "arch-nemesises-ses".

Buffy (to social worker): You know, I know what that looks like, but I-I swear it's not what it looks like. It's magic weed. It's not mine.

Jonathan Levinson: [Warren almost hits Jonathon with an invisibility ray] You penis!

Andrew Wells (about the invisible ray gun): I pictured something cooler. More ILM, less Ed Wood.

Xander: [as Xander walks in on Spike on top of invisible Buffy] Spike? What are you doing?
Spike: What am I-... What does it look like I'm doing, you nit? I'm exercising, aren't I?
[starts doing "push-ups"]
Xander: Exercising? Naked? In bed?
Spike: A man shouldn't use immortality as an excuse to let himself go. You gotta keep fit for killing.
Xander: Ya-huh.


Doris the social worker is played by Susan Ruttan who you may remember played Arnie Becker's secretary Roxanne in LA Law

Doris's co-worker in the Social Services Office is played by writer/director David Fury's wife Elin Hampton. Together the couple co-wrote Season 2's "Go Fish".

Gone is the first episode without Amber Benson (Tara) since season five's 'Into The Woods' and marks only the sixth episode without her since she was introduced in season four's 'Hush'.

Buffy cheerily whistles a bit of Going Through the Motions from Once More, With Feeling after making social worker Doris Kroger look crazy.


Gone but not forgotten. 3.5 (out of 5)

Thursday, 5 December 2013



WRITER: Marti Noxon

DIRECTOR: David Solomon


Returning home the next morning following their respective nights out, Buffy is ashamed of having slept with Spike and Willow is exhausted from having used so much magic. Later, still feeling drained from her over indulgence, Willow is taken by Amy to see a grubby sorcerer named Rack who deals in quick and powerful fixes of dark magic which quickly get Willow hooked. Later on that evening and Willow and Dawn head out together to go see a movie but Willow decides to make a stop at Rack's on the way to get another fix. This puts poor Dawn in to all sorts of unnecessary danger with the unforeseen consequences of Willow's latest dark magic fix being the summoning of a deadly demon who seems intent on killing the doped up witch and her teenage charge.


Drug addiction and its consequences to both the individual and to those they love.


Nasty dark magic dealer Rack, a scary demon, and also Willow and her magically addicted selfishness.


Self satisfied Spike lying amidst the rubble and waving Buffy's discarded underwear at the disgusted-with-herself slayer.

Trippy, man! The sequences of Willow high (literally) on Rack's magic are nicely shot with some cool trippy FX.

Jeff Kober is suitably sleazy and creepy as Rack.

Willow enchanting one of Tara's dresses, filling it out with an invisible body to snuggle up to is touching and a wonderful visual effect.

Alyson Hannigan does doped up and self destructive pretty well.

Buffy's quiet talk with a distraught Willow and seeing herself in Willow's shoes thanks to her own 'addiction' to Spike is a great scene with SMG nailing every beat.


The drug addiction metaphor is so in your face that it soon becomes kind of annoying. Don't do drugs kids, mmkay?

Neither Dawn nor Willow are wearing seat belts when the car they are in crashes in to the pillar at speed. No apparent airbags either. Dawnie would have gone through the wind sheild and Willow been crushed against the steering wheel. Both would almost certainly be goners. Yet both girls walk away with a few cuts, bruises and one slight fracture.


Magical Tara dress.


Xander: Anya has a theory. She thinks Martha Stewart froze that guy.
Anya: Don't be ridiculous. Martha Stewart isn't a demon. She's a witch.
Xander: Please, she... really?
Anya: Of course. Nobody could do that much decoupage without calling on the powers of darkness

Buffy: When...when did the building fall down?

Buffy: The only thing that's different is that I'm disgusted with myself. That's the power of your charms. Last night was the most perverse, degrading experience of my life.
Spike (grins): Yeah. Me, too.

Dawn: I'll leave a note for Buffy on the refrigerator. That's the first place she goes after patrolling. She's such a pig after she kills things.

Dawn: It was like a meat party in my mouth! Okay, now I'm just a kid and even I know that came out wrong.


Actor Jeff Kober who plays Rack is probably best known in the UK for his series of Bacardi adverts, in which he was Ray from Reef Radio. He also played insane vampire Zackary Kralik in the season 2 Buffy episode Helpless.

The music playing when Willow is floating on Rack's ceiling is Laika's Black Cat Bone.

This episode is dedicated in memoriam to J.D. Peralta, who was Marti Noxon's assistant. She died of cancer on November 12, 2002, at the age of 31.


Amidst the wreckage we find 3 (out of 5)



WRITER: Drew Z. Greenberg

DIRECTOR: Turi Meyer


After her break up with Tara, a morose Willow successfully de-rats Amy and the two powerful witches begin hanging out together and having fun with their magic, which pulls Willow ever deeper into her growing addiction and eventually puts Dawn in danger too. Meanwhile, Spike discover that the chip in his head, which is supposed to prevent him from hurting humans, doesn't kick in after he gets in to some angry fisticuffs with Buffy. After a quick trip to the nerd trio for a consult, the platinum vamp comes to the conclusion that his chip is working fine and that it is actually post-resurrection Buffy who is now somehow 'wrong'.


Making bad choices. Giving in to temptation. Going to dark destructive places.

In Smashed, Willow succumbs fully to her magic addiction and with the now de-ratted Amy she finds the perfect enabler as well as partner in crime. Amy is the anti-Tara. She has no sense of responsibility, no self control. Magic to her is all about her own pleasure and fun. She doesn't see the self destructive side of it, or if she does she chooses to ignore it. And Willow follows her down that path with only the smallest of nudges needed. Meanwhile Buffy is also being tempted and pulled down a dark self destructive path of her own by non other than Spike. She knows he is not good for her and that being 'with' him will only lead to bad things. And yet...


Hmm, there is no real villain here. No big monster. The enemy is within both Buffy and Willow: their own weakness in the face of temptation. Spike gets an honourable mention though for threatening the Fett.


Character, character, character! This is an internal episode. This time the monsters are within. Smashed is all about what Willow and Buffy are feeling, how they are dealing (or not dealing) with the current state of their lives. We watch them think, feel, make choices, and ultimately take dangerous paths.

Amy the ex-Rat. Yup, Amy the witch who turned herself in to a rat to escape a roasting in the season 3 episode Gingerbread is finally de-ratted by Willow. Elizabeth Anne Allen returns as Amy and she is great.

Freeze Ray. The Trio's diamond powered freeze ray is a mucho fun precursor to Doctor Horrible's same invention.

Tara. Amber Benson is always wonderful as Tara and never more so than here as she spends time with Dawn and promises her that although she and Willow are not together anymore she will still always be there for the teenager.

Buffy at the museum jumping up and down to try and see over the gathered crowd's heads as the frozen guard is wheeled away. Buff looks so tiny and cute here as she tries to see what's going on. She may be super powered but she's still ickle.

Magic pool. Amy and Willow play a game of pool at the Bronze sans cues. Very cool.

Spike and Buffy bring the house down. Yep, THAT scene is in this ep. Finally, vampire and slayer get it on. And the results are destructive and unforgettable.


Willow and Amy's hijinks at the Bronze are kinda lame.

Somehow I don't think the British Museum would lend Sunnydale Museum a huge priceless diamond, especially seeing how there is no security except for one aged security guard called Rusty.


And the house comes down as Buff and Spike get freaky


Willow: I know. Xander engaged. I couldn't believe it either.
Amy: It's so weird. So, what's she like?
Willow: Thousand year old, capitalist ex-demon with rabbit phobia.
Amy: Well, that's so his type.

Buffy: Hey, how've you been?
Amy: Rat. You?
Buffy: Dead.
Amy: Oh.

Spike: I'm in love with you.
Buffy: You're in love with pain!

Warren: Right. But you don't want to hurt the Fett... because, man, you're not comin' back from that! You know, you don't just do that and walk away.


The Spike and Buffy getting it on scene was originally a lot longer and more graphic but the network, UPN, told Joss and co. it needed to be cut back. Also CGI smoke was added to help obscure certain shots.

Due to the rather intense nature of the Buffy/Spike sex scene this episode became the focus of a FCC investigation for indecency after a complaint from a watchdog group. Fortunately, the FCC deemed the episode as not being indecent at all.

When Willow and Amy visit the Bronze, the band Virgil are performing the track Vermillion Borders. Later, when Willow grows bored of the music, she transforms them into another group, Halo Friendlies.


A smashing 3.5 out of 5

Saturday, 19 October 2013


In anticipation of Halloween in a few days time here's a list of ten of my favourite moments/scenes from horror cinema. They are not in any order plus they are not all of them scary. But they are some of the moments/scenes that have left a lasting impression on me. There are lots of others that could have been included (and probably should have been) but these ones will do for now. Let me know what you think. Enjoy.

Poltergeist – "Now lets go get your daughter!"
This never fails to give me chills. Pure Spielberg. Zelda Rubinstein is great as Tangina and Jobeth Williams gives one of the best 'mom' performances ever. Plus she's cute.

An American Werewolf in London – On the Moors
It could have been any number of moments from this film but for pure tension, atmosphere and scare value it is hard to top this one.

Ringu – Sadako
Simply one of the most downright creepy, chilling sequences ever.

The Grudge – Bedtime
I wanted to put the original Ju-on clip in but couldn't find it. Still, this is pretty much identical and simply terriyfing on a conceptual level. Bed should always be safe and secure. Brrr

Night of the Living Dead – "They're coming to get you Barbara!"
Romero's opening to his seminal 1968 horror. Weird, unsettling and brilliant!

The Eye – Elevator
Pure tension and creeptastic atmosphere from the Pang Brother's classic chiller. Love it.

Halloween – 1st Person Stabber
Carpenter's masterclass on use of Steadicam and in creating grim atmosphere which will underlie the rest of the film. Genius.

The Exorcist – "The sow is mine!"
I was going to include another clip (the one with the crucifix – you know the one I mean) but couldn't bring myself to do it. Yes, I bottled out. But this one will do fine.

Let the Right One In – "You have to invite me in."
I adore this film. This scene is more emotional than scary being about growing trust and love while still managing to be icky and uncomfortable. The young actors sell it marvelously.

Curse/Night of the Demon (1957) – Forest Chase
A short atmospheric clip from Jacques Tourneur's 1957 British horror classic. A great movie.

Friday, 20 September 2013

My Favourite Movie Teaser Trailers

For a bit of fun (and cuz I had nothing better to do) I decided to have a look around YouTube for some of my favourite ever movie teaser trailers. I managed to find a few, though I've probably missed a few others I've loved over the years. But the ones which have left an indelible mark on my brain are here. I wish the trailers could be shown as nameless seeing as how many are mysterious and let you work out the movie they are trailing as they unfold. But sadly that's not possible when using the Tube of You. Never mind. Also there's a little bit of personal narrative below each one. So if you agree or disagree or can think of any other movie teasers that you love then please let me know in the comments section. Enjoy.

The Exorcist

Damn! If I'd seen this in a theatre in the early 70's I think I'd have filled my pants with smelly stuff. This is one freaky and utterly brilliant teaser for one utterly brilliant film.

The Living Daylights

I remember seeing this for the first time on the big screen of the local Odeon Cinema and being immediately enthralled. I'd grown up with Roger Moore as Bond. I'd seen some Connery on TV but Moore was my 007. To have a new Bond was a huge deal and this trailer promised something more serious and, yes, more dangerous. Great teaser for a great Bond film.

The Lost World

A simple yet wonderfully effective teaser which sells the idea that the sequel is gonna be darker and nastier than the first. It may not be the better film (although personally I prefer it) but it is darker in tone and this trailer, being played on a big screen, with loud DTS sound was one heck of a thrill.


The daddy of all teaser trailers does exactly what any great teaser should: it sets up the idea for the movie, letting you know what is coming but giving away nothing of the actual story. Plus it is a striking piece if film making in its own right. Basically a short self contained prequel to the film itself. Stunning.


Pure atmosphere that sells the film without giving away any actual footage, story or characters, relying instead on mood through sound and imagery. Creepy in the extreme.

An American Werewolf in London

A brilliant teaser for my favourite horror movie ever. This sells the idea without using any footage from the film itself, relying instead on creative visuals, atmosphere, tension and a simple but great pay off. Brrrr

Escape from LA

This is more a proper trailer than a teaser but I do love it even if I don't much love the film itself. The tone of the trailer is great being playful and cynical and the intro bit is a great piece of misdirection.

Bram Stoker's Dracula

A great mood piece concentrating on the legend behind the camera and the legendary story he is telling through creative CGI, wonderfully ominous music and a good use of flash imagery from the film. Plus that killer end reveal of Mr Oldman. Beware indeed.

The Addams Family

Brilliant! I'd almost forgotten about this one. Simple and very, very amusing. Captures the spirit of the movie perfectly. Love it.


Bond again. Okay, most of this trailer is simply fast cut shots from the film (albeit done very well with great rhythm) but it is the opening few seconds which work so brilliantly and manage to reintroduce this classic character to a (then) 90's audience.

Day of the Dead

Romero zombies. What more do you need? Actually I can live without the build up at the start of this trailer as I remember seeing another trailer somewhere which was nothing but the scene with Sarah in the empty room walking towards the calendar on the far wall before.... But I couldn't find that. The truncated version is in here though. One of the best scares in cinema history.

Star Trek

This is a great teaser and spine tingly good for any long time fan. It's basically the T2 teaser only with a starship. And it works brilliantly.

Superman Returns

I love this trailer. But then I love this film even if I am in a minority. The combination of that classic Brando voice over, that score, and Bryan Singer's careful imagery never fails to puts a lump in my throat.

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

This is a strange trailer for Last Crusade as it's a behind the scenes 'making of' one which concentrates on the filmmakers themselves rather than the actual story and character. Odd but it works. You don't often see trailers like this which makes it memorable in its own right.

Thursday, 29 August 2013


Welcome to the nancy tribe

WRITER: Rebecca Rand Kirshner

DIRECTOR: David Grossman


And the fallout from the events in OMWF begin to take shape. Giles tells an angry and petulant Buffy that he is going back to England permanently as he knows he is now standing in the way of her personal growth. Tara and Willow take a break from their relationship with Willow promising Tara that she'll give up magic for a week to prove that she doesn't have a major problem. And Spike pursues an in denial Buffy determined for them to talk about their big kiss...only to be interrupted by the arrival of a demonic loan shark demanding kittens he says Spike owes him. Later that night, the entire gang (including a hiding out Spike) gather at the Magic Box where Giles is about to tell them he's leaving permanently for England. But before he can break the news a spell Willow has secretly cast backfires and the gang suddenly lose all memory of who they really are. Meanwhile, outside the store, Mr Loan Shark and his goons have arrived looking for final payment from Spike.


Are we simply the sum of our memories and experiences or is there something else at work? Tabula rasa is Latin for 'blank slate' and in 1607 philosopher Francis Bacon put forward the idea that we are all born in to the world as a blank slate, knowing nothing and that personality is imprinted upon us through memory and experience. However Charles Darwin went on to put forward the idea that our emotions and actions are at least in part based upon instincts which are hereditary. These two competing ideas are tested in this episode with Joss and co. seeming to come down on the side of Darwin. Although Buffy and the gang have no idea who they are, they soon adopt roles based upon instinctual reactions (once they've gotten over the initial fear and confusion of not knowing who they are). For instance, Buffy and Dawn pretty quickly figure out they are sisters and Buffy takes on a leadership role as well as her muscle memory seeming to kick in what with her unthinking ability to fight and slay. But as well as the nature/nurture thing this episode is also about pushing the characters in to new and not so fun places. If OMWF exposed the lies and the secrets they'd all been concealing, then Tabula Rasa forces them to confront those lies and secrets head on and then do something about them. The most obvious examples being with Giles leaving Buffy, Tara leaving Willow, and Spike and Buffy finally (at least in part) resolving the emotional and physical dance they've been doing with each other.


Loan Shark and his vamp goons. And Willow too I guess.


A perfect example of Buffyness: By which I mean that while it's not the best episode of the series ever, Tabula Rasa manages to encompass all of the things that are great about Buffy the show. For a start, the episode is about something with a central idea and theme. It is also character driven and pushes the characters forward (or possibly backward), delivering serious personal drama and serious emotional pain while also managing to be being gloriously silly in places and very, very funny thanks to a clever script and pitch perfect performances from the cast.

Randy Giles: James Marsters as Spike is on top form. After having his memory wiped Spike thinks he is Giles' son named Randy (due to them both being English and the label inside his tweed jacket that says 'property of Randy' – part of a disguise he's wearing to elude the loan shark). Spike aka Randy then acts all disgusted with his name and immediately assumes he and 'dad' have major father/son issues.

Giles and Anya sitting in a tree: Giles and Anya believing they are an engaged couple who run the Magic Box and that Anya is 'Randy's' new young step-mother-to-be. Much bickering ensues leading Giles to discover his one way plane ticket to London, thinking he was about to flee the engagement.

Bunnies: Desperately trying random spells to help the situation Anya accidentally conjours up a plague of bunnies which sends her atop a table in yelping horror.

Skeleton sword fight: in a wonderful homage to Jason and the Argonauts Giles sword fights a skeleton after another attempted spell of Anya's goes badly wrong.

Randy the Vampire: Spike aka Randy, in the midst of a fight alongside Buffy (calling herself Joan), suddenly goes all vamp faced much to both his and Buffy's surprise. This leads Spike to tell Buffy he is probably a good vampire, one with a soul, searching for redemption. To which Buffy snorts and says that is just so lame.

Xander's comedy faint.

Willow and Tara: Alyson Hannigan and Amber Benson are both superb in their scenes together dealing with Willow's abuse of magic and their growing estrangement. But it is Amber as Tara who is the driving force and who makes the big decisions. She is terrific and really does bring on the lump in the throat moments.

The final few minutes: the sad conclusion to the episode is played out with no dialogue while Michelle Branch sings her emotional acoustic ballad 'Goodbye to You' live at the Bronze.


The loan shark being an actual man with a shark's head is just a bit too silly for its own good. Plus they really want kittens that bad? What is it with kittens?

Buffy and Spike engage in a big, violent and noisy brawl with several of Loan Shark's vamp goons in the middle of a suburban street full of houses with their lights on and cars in the yard. And yet nobody comes out to see what all the ruckus is or at least calls the cops? Weird.


Goodbye to You: an emotional dialogue free denouement.


Xander: I just feel weird feeling bad that my friend's not dead. It's too mind-boggling. So I've decided to simplify the whole thing. Me like Buffy. Buffy's alive, so, me glad.

Giles: Spike?
Anya: Holy moly!
Spike (dressed in Tweed and bow tie): You need to give me asylum.
Xander: I'll say.

Giles: We'll get our memory back and it'll all be right as rain.
Spike: Oh, listen to Mary Poppins. He's got his crust all stiff and upper with that nancy-boy accent. You Englishmen are always so... Bloody hell! Sodding, blimey, shagging, knickers, bollocks. Oh, god. I'm English.
Giles: Welcome to the nancy-tribe.

Spike: Oh, great -- a tarty step-mother who's half old Daddy's age.
Anya: Tarty?
Giles: Old?

Giles: Anyway, what did I call you?
Spike: (looks at jacket label) "Made with care for Randy." Randy Giles? Why not just call me "Horny Giles" or "Desperate-for-a-shag Giles"? I knew there was a reason I hated you.

Spike: Dad can drive. He's bound to have some classic mid-life crisis transport. Something red, shiny, shaped like a penis.

Buffy: Hey, stay away from Randy! (stakes Vamp)

Buffy: Ready, Randy?
Spike: Ready, Joan.

Buffy: I kill your kind.
Spike: And I bite yours. So how come I don't want to bite you? And why am I fighting other vampires? I must be a noble vampire. A good guy, on a mission of redemption. I help the helpless. I'm a vampire with a soul.
Buffy: A vampire with a soul? Oh my god, how lame is that?

Giles (surrounded by white fluffy bunnies): Clearly, that is not a helpful book, darling. Come down and we'll go about fixing this in a sensible fashion.
Anya (standing on a table): Sensible? You think it's sensible for me to go down into that pit of cotton-top hell, and let them hippety-hop all over my vulnerable flesh?

Xander: (laughs) Sorry, I just got back the memory of seeing "King Ralph".


The tweed suit Spike wears for most of the episode is similar to the one he wore in Xander's dream in 4.22 Restless. In the dream Giles said he looked upon Spike as a son.

The tweed jacket and bow tie combo of Spike's bears a resemblance to Matt Smith's first costume as The Doctor in Doctor Who. Plus James Marsters played Captain John in the DWH spin-off show Torchwood while Tony Head appeared as an alien baddie in the David Tennant DWH episode School Reunion.

Michelle Branch's song Goodbye to You which she sings in the Bronze at the end of the episode was a pretty big hit taken from her platinum selling album The Spirit Room.

Giles does indeed have a red and shiny sports car. We first saw it in Real Me.

Buffy quotes Macbeth when she says 'What we did is done'.

Buffy names herself Joan. After Joan of Arc maybe? Seems she has something of an instinctive martyr complex having died twice already.


A hilarious and heartache-y 4 (out of 5)

Sunday, 7 July 2013


Something to Sing About

WRITER: Joss Whedon

DIRECTOR: Joss Whedon


Something weird is going on in Sunnydale…surely this town’s motto. For some unknown reason everyone keeps breaking in to song, usually at times of high emotion, the Scooby gang included. Buffy sings about her feeling disconnected to the world, to life in general, while the rest of the gang sing about their individual fears, frustrations and inner most desires. We soon discover that a sharp suited all singing all dancing demon called Sweet is responsible, enjoying the scene as more and more Sunnydale denizens combust from their over emotional exuberance. And best of all he thinks he’s found his newest Queen of the underworld when he grabs Dawn, thinking she’s the one who summoned him, though Dawnie insists she isn’t. But when Sweet discovers Dawn is in fact the Slayers sister, he orders his minions to go find Buffy and bring her to him as he really, really wants to see the Slayer burn.


Like HUSH this is all about communication (or lack of) plus keeping secrets that shouldn’t be kept and the destructiveness that can result.


Sweet and his minions. But mostly the secrets the Scoobies have been keeping from one another and what the fallout will be now that they have all been aired.


You really have to ask? This is pure TV genius on every conceivable level with Joss on top form. But okay...

Songs: Not only is OMWF a full blown musical where every song is brilliantly written, different and memorable, it is also a huge turning point in the season where characters discover hard truths about each other that turn their lives upside down. The songs also play a major narrative function and help move the season's story along. But being a Joss musical, OMWF also becomes a meta musical in that the characters are aware that they are suddenly living in a musical and it freaks most of them out. Especially the ones who really can't or don't like singing, in real life too (just ask Alyson Hannigan and Michelle Trachtenberg).

Sweet. The musical demon who brings the fun in is a marvellous creation with his red devil face and sharp colourful suits and silky manner. He is played to the charismatic hilt by multiple Tony Award winning actor/singer/dancer Hinton Battle.

The look: Joss shot the show in traditional musical widescreen format, unlike the rest of the series. He also designed the lighting and general look of the show to reflect an old fashioned cinematic musical.

The score: Previous Buffy composer Christophe Beck returned to score this episode and help Joss arrange the songs. He does a grand job.

Choreography: All of the imaginative dancing and movement was choreographed by award winning writer/director/actor/producer/choreographer Adam Shankman who is a close personal friend of Sarah Michelle Gellar and who got the job on her recommendation. Shankman has gone on to direct the motion pictures The Wedding Planner, Hairspray and Rock of Ages amongst others.

The cast and their voices: They all give great performances and give the max to make this work. And work it does. Of course not all are great singers but they all do their own vocals for the show, no singing doubles being used. In fact, part of the reason why Joss chose to do a musical episode was after hearing several of his cast singing and realising there were some great voices amongst them, most notably Tony Head and James Marsters, both of whom were already professional singers and musicians. Perhaps the cast member with the single loveliest voice though is Amber Benson. She’s terrific.

SMG: A special mention to our leading lady who carries a huge burden on her tiny shoulders, especially as she would be the first to admit she is no singer. But she does a fab job and can certainly carry a tune. Plus her performance is as strong and affecting as ever. Her wit and emotional range shines through. One of my favourite moments in the episode is at the Bronze during the start of her song ‘Life’s a Show’ when she sings:
“It’s all right if some things come out wrong. We’ll sing a happy song.” And then, in tight close, up she throws a challenging look right at us, the audience, and sings, “And you can sing along.” It’s a rather chilling little moment, as if Buffy is accusing us, the audience, of being voyeurs to her pain, which I kinda guess we are.

Visual FX: The use of visual FX in this episode is great. From simple things like CGI daggers and stakes to more obvious and eye catching images such as Sweet's suit suddenly changing colour. All great work.

Joss: If you didn't need more convincing that this man is a creative genius, this episode proves it. He spent six months writing the episode and at the end of season five he handed a full script and a CD and book of 16 fully written and arranged songs to producer Gareth Davies, who in his own words found this “Mind boggling!” Especially as the guy has no actual musical training. Joss wrote all the songs with his wife, sat at a piano, singing them (badly apparently) and banging them out the hard way. And the result is a Broadway quality musical. Astonishing.


No suckage here at all. Move along.


The whole thing. But I love Spike's “So, you're not staying then?” at the end of his song.


Xander: Respect the cruller, and tame the doughnut!

Buffy: I'm not exactly quaking in my stylish, yet affordable boots, but there's definitely something unnatural going on here. And that doesn't usually lead to hugs and puppies.

Sweet: That's entertainment.

Willow: The sun is shining, there are songs going on, those guys are checking you out...
Tara: What? What are they looking at?
Willow: The hotness of you, doofus!
Tara: Those boys really thought I was hot?
Willow: Entirely!
Tara: Oh, my god. I'm cured! I want the boys!

Xander: You see the way they were with each other? The get-a-roominess of them? I bet they're... (notices Dawn) singing. They're probably singing right now.

Xander: It's a nightmare. It's a plague. It's like a nightmare about a plague.

Anya: Clearly our number is a retro-pastiche that's never going to be a break-away pop hit.

Spike: You've just come to pump me for information?
Buffy: What else would I want to pump you for? I really just said that, didn't I?

Spike: So, you're not staying then?

Buffy: Yeah, I'm pretty spry for a corpse.

Giles: If I want your opinion, Spike, I'll... I'll never want your opinion.

Xander: Does this mean that I have to... be your Queen?

Sweet: Big smiles, everyone. You beat the bad guy.

Spike: You should go back inside. Finish the big group sing, get your kumba-yayas out.
Buffy: I don't want to.
Spike: The day you suss out what you do want, there'll probably be a parade. Seventy-six bloody trombones.


Xander's “Respect the cruller, and tame the doughnut!” line is a reference to P.T. Anderson's movie Magnolia which Joss loved and made a big splash around the time this episode was being made.

Cameos: The lady trying to get out of her parking ticket is none other than writer and exec producer Marti Noxon. Apparently she's not wearing underwear! Gulp! Oh, and the Mustard guy is writer/producer David Fury. Both Marti and David carried on their musical/acting careers by appearing in Joss' Doctor Horrible's Sing Along Blog.

Yes: Joss is a big fan of prog rock band Yes. The band's album 'Close To The Edge' features a track called 'And You and I', which refers to a 'Mutant Enemy' in its lyrics - hence the name of Joss' production company.

Grr Argh! The little Mutant Enemy guy at the end of the episode (i.e. Joss) sings his Grr Argh!

Soundtrack and DVD: A full soundtrack and book of this episode was released to buy. Both became bestsellers. Also a separate DVD of just this episode, featuring commentary and extras (and a karaoke version) was released on Region 2 only.

Longer: OMWF in its original broadcast version runs a total of 50 mins, 8 mins longer than a regular hour long US TV episode. UPN only broadcast this full version the once. Subsequent showing were edited, running at the usual 42 mins. The version available on DVD is the full unedited version.

Awards: In the US, the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) neglected to include the episode on the 2002 ballots for Emmy nominations. NATAS attempted to remedy this by mailing a postcard informing its voters that it should be included, but the episode did not win. In 2009 TV Guide ranked OMWF #14 on its list of "TV's Top 100 Episodes of All Time".

Buffy plays and sing-alongs: After the series ended, fans continued their appreciation with cinema showings of OMWF where attendees were encouraged to dress like the show's characters, sing along to the musical numbers, and otherwise interact in the style of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. The sing-alongs became so popular that they soon spread across the US and around the world as far as Asia, Israel and Europe. But In October 2007, after a dispute with the Screen Actors Guild over unpaid residuals, 20th Century Fox pulled the licensing for all public screenings, effectively ending the official Buffy sing-alongs. You can find some of them on YouTube but the big organised shows have all now ceased. Fans won't be put off though. As well as sing-alongs many amateur (often for charity) theatrical productions have been and continue to be put on around the world. Fan love just keeps this show and this episode alive and slaying/singing.


A pitch perfect 5 (out of 5)


Anya doing the dance of capitalist superiority

WRITER: Steven S. DeKnight

DIRECTOR: David Solomon


It's Halloween in Sunnydale, the one night of the year when most vamps and demons take the night off. Pulling a fast one on their parents/guardian Dawn and her friend Janice secretly hook up with a couple of older boys at the park who turn out to not be what they seem. Meanwhile Xander and Anya announce their engagement and Buffy takes off with Spike to go on patrol (despite no big nasties coming out to play on Halloween). With Buff not around it falls to Giles and the rest of the Scoobies to go and look for Dawn when it becomes clear the teen has lied to them all and is probably off somewhere in town getting in to all kinds of trouble.


Flirting with danger, with irresponsibility, and being seduced in to doing things you know deep down are not a good idea. Darkness and temptation are so alluring, be it hooking up with exciting strangers, or being tempted to use great power without due concern for others welfare of feelings.


Justin and Zack. Plus, at first, the old man. And then there's Willow...


Teen rebellion: Okay, its not much of a rebellion by Dawn, just the usual kind of thing we all did as kids e.g. being places we weren't supposed to be after telling a few lies to our parents etc. No? Really? (looks guilty) Um, just me then.

Cautionary tale: This is in part one of those cautionary tales for young girls. You know, beware boys cuz they are only after one thing... And no, not your blood (I hope), the OTHER thing. It should also be noted that it isn't just Dawn being tempted towards a very not right kinda hook up. We can tell that Buffy is edging ever closer to Spike in that way. And while I love Spike as a character, he doesn't provide for the healthiest of relationships. Just wait until 6.19 Seeing Red if you don't believe me.

Multiple levels: Not just a cautionary tale for teens, this works as one for adults too, regarding the use and abuse of power. How it begins. How it can start to seduce you. Yes, Willow, I'm looking at you.

Anya the Angel: Adorable doesn't cover it seeing Anya in 70's roller disco mode with her Farrah hair, zipping around the Magic Box, loving every minute of it. And wait 'til you see her do her dance of capitalist superiority. Sigh. Such a lovely ex-vengeance demon.

Pirate Xander: Very funny with his “GARRR – ing”

Shiver me timbers: Um, apparently some kind of 'game' that Anya and Xander will play later while staying in costume. The mind boggles.

Cute little witch: I'm with Willow. Just how darn cute is that little girl dressed as a witch. Awww...

Giles in the spooky cemetery: Heh. Giles acknowledging to himself that wandering alone on Halloween through a misty cemetery is SO not gonna end well.

Giles kicking vampire ass: Go G-Man! He gets some serious slaying action going.

Willow and Tara: Willow's treatment of Tara in this episode is really not nice. How she speaks to her when Tara voices concerns is actually quite shocking and mirrors her threat to Giles in Flooded. Things are slowly turning bad for the couple. And while that is good for story and drama its bad for two characters we love so much. Hence this will appear in the Why it Sucks bit as well.


Willow and Tara: See above.

Dawn centric: Okay, I'm not a Dawn hater like so many Buffy fans seem to be. Yes, she can be annoying, but then she is still a kid, although as apparent in this season growing up fast. But do I really care about her fooling around with boys and getting her first kiss? No, not really. The A story here is, simply, not very interesting, spending too much time with bland supporting characters like Zack and Justin. Snore. The interesting stuff is Willow and Tara and Spike and Buffy. Sorry Dawnie.

Door slam death: Buffy kills a vamp by presumably slamming its head in a car door but in the long shot you can clearly see its the vamps waist in the door.

Stunt doubles: In the big fight scene at the end you can clearly see the face of SMG's stunt double in several shots.


Anya on wheels. Beyond adorable.


Xander (lying exhausted on the floor): Store go boom. Garrr.

Dawn: You do this every night?
Anya: Every time I close out the cash register. The dance of capitalist superiority.

Buffy: Did you know about this?
Giles: No. Unless I blocked it from my memory, much as I will Xander's vigorous use of his tongue.
(Giles takes off his glasses and starts cleaning them)
Buffy (shocked): Is that why you're always cleaning your glasses? So you don't have to see what we're doing?
Giles: Tell no one.

Buffy: Over my dead body. The kind that doesn't come back.

Giles: Anya's a wonderful former vengeance demon. I'm sure you'll spend many years of non-hell dimensional bliss.

Dawn (after her first kiss): Shiver me timbers!

Giles: Mist. Cemetery. Halloween. Should end well.

Buffy: How's your face?
Giles: Oh, still ruggedly handsome. Grandpa, indeed. (puts ice pack on swelling) Ow.


Amber Tamblyn who plays Janice is the daughter of actor Russ Tamblyn. Amber would go on to be the lead in The Grudge 2 playing Aubrey, the younger sister of the main character Karen in The Grudge, played by... Sarah Michelle Gellar. Amber has also been the star of the TV show Joan of Arcadia and starred in other movies such as 127 Hours and Django Unchained.

Xander is handing out 'Firefly' sweets to customers at the Magic Box. A subtle plug for Joss Whedon's then upcoming space western of the same name?


Not quite all the way. 2.5 (out of 5)



WRITER: David Fury & Jane Espenson

DIRECTOR: Nick Marck


Buffy returns home after her meeting with Angel just as the geek Trio of Warren, Jonathan and Andrew launch in to a series of goofy and rather annoying scenarios to secretly test the slayer. Scenarios that include a mummy hand infested time loop, speeded up time, and a conjured demon attack. Thinking someone is messing with her, Buff teams up with Spike to crash the local demon haunts in search of info. This leads to vast quantities of booze being consumed, a few hands of kitten poker and a run-in with a nerdy Star Wars van and a decidedly odd red faced demon.


The continuing search to find where you fit in, what direction your life should be going in. Making some kind of sense out of the senseless.


The Trio and their various tests.


Funny: After what has been a fairly heavy start to the sixth season, Life Serial is just a big bunch of full-on silliness. Much of the comedy is not subtle, be it the innuendo around grabbing Jonathan's magic bone, the Trio's geek fight over who was the best Bond, the reveal of the Death Star and the Star Wars horn, Buffy's Evil Dead/Three Stooges style battle with a living mummy hand, drunk Buffy, kitten poker etc. Yep, not subtle. At all. But funny? You bet.

Who was the best Bond? Warren and Jonathan's vigorous debate over whether Connery, Brosnan or Moore are the best James Bond is hilarious, especially when Andrew, sat between them, says that he preferred Timothy Dalton, thus earning a hard smack around the head from Warren. This is followed up by a discussion on how terrible Moonraker is and then Andrew's later scream of rage that: “Dalton should get an Oscar and beat Sean Connery over the *head* with it!” Heh.

Kitten poker: Pure bloody genius. 'nuff said.

Buffy the boozer: Oh she is not a good boozer. So funny how she does a silly gag with every shot she does. And then later suffers the mother of all hangovers complete with handy bucket. Ugh. We've all been there.

Giles' dark look as a happy Buffy leaves the bedroom, saying she's so happy he'll always be there to help her out with her problems.


Tricks: the tricks/tests the Trio put Buffy through are not exactly scary or too terrible, more annoying. Luckily the mummy hand sequence is very funny thanks to some snappy direction and SMG's game performance.

Silly: The entire episode is very, very silly. While that is not a bad thing per se, it's just that this one tips over in to the absurd rather than keeping itself grounded in some sort of reality, which all the best eps of Buffy are able to do.


Kitten poker. Who's gonna advance me a tiny tabby?


Willow: You're not dumb, just rusty!
Buffy: Maybe I should ease back in with some non-taxing classes, like Introduction to Pies, or maybe Advanced Walking.

Xander: I think it's worth checking out. And I don't mean later. You need to see Giles right away. I'd start by IDing those demons.
Buffy: You're firing me, aren't you?
Xander: Big time.

Andrew: Why is the Slayer here anyway? She's a student, she's a construction worker, and now she's some kind of selling-stuff person?
Warren: It's like she's completely without focus... Should we check the other channels for free cable porn?

Jonathan: Stop touching my magic bone!
(Warren & Andrew giggle)
Jonathan: Shut up!

Andrew: I just hope she solves it faster than Data did on the ep of TNG where the Enterprise kept blowing up.
Warren: Or Mulder in the X-Files one, where the bank kept exploding?
Andrew: Scully wants me so bad!

Warren: This mummy hand has ceased to be!
Andrew: It is an _ex_-mummy hand!

Buffy: You play for *kittens*?!?
Spike: Who's gonna advance me a tiny tabby... get me started? Come on, someone's got to stake me.
Buffy: I'll do it! (he glares) You thought I was just gonna let that lie there?

Andrew: We're really super-villians now! Like Dr. No.
Warren: Back when Bond was Connery and movies were decent.
Jonathan: Who remembers Connery? I mean, Roger Moore was smooth!
Warren: You're insane. You're short and you're insane.
Andrew: I like Timothy Dalton. (warren smacks him) Hey!

Buffy: Scamper! Be free, kittens!

Warren: Connery is the only actor of the bunch!
Andrew: Timothy Dalton should get an Oscar and beat Sean Connery over the *head* with it!!!


Star Wars: There are lots of pop culture gags and references in this episode. Perhaps the most obvious (other than Bond) are the numerous Star Wars ones. This is not by accident. George Lucas' daughter was a massive Buffy fan and during the filming of season six both her and her dad visited the set to meet the stars and production team. George was so impressed with what he saw he actually invited Joss and the gang to come out to Australia and do some shooting while he was there making Episode 2: Attack of the Clones at the new FOX studio. It was seriously considered for a while but in the end time and money prevented it from happening.

Gidget & Britney: Buffy is referred to as both Gidget and Britney by the construction guys. Gidget was a trouble-prone teenager in a popular 1960's American TV show played by a young Sally Field. Britney is, I think, fairly obvious to all.

Clem: Spike's pal Clem, the good natured loose skinned demon, makes his first appearance in this episode.

In jokes: If you could read the labels on all the jars on the Magic Box set, you’d see in-jokes like Boreanaz Beads, Charisma Charms and Tony's Heads.

The Mummy's Hand: Actress and puppeteer Alice Dinnean Vernon, who also worked on Sesame Street, provided the mischievous mummy hand.


The Force is (fairly) strong with this one. 3 (out of 5)

Saturday, 6 July 2013



WRITER: Douglas Petrie & Jane Espenson

DIRECTOR: Douglas Petrie


While trying to fix a leaky pipe Buffy accidentally floods her basement. Xander’s plumber bud who comes to fix the leak gives Buff the bad news: an expensive full copper re-pipe is needed. This news forces the Buffster to confront her dire financial situation. A loan application at the bank goes badly when the loan is denied and a demon then attacks and robs said bank. Turns out the demon was working for the geek Trio of Warren, Jonathan and Andrew, the new wannabe Big Bads of Sunnydale. In return for his services, the demon, called M'Fashnik, really wants to kill the slayer. So the ever helpful Warren points M'Fashnik in the direction of Buffy's home…


No metaphors needed. It is all out there in plain view. Life in the real world. Maintaining a house. Paying bills. Managing money. All the deathly dull stuff of real life. Poor Buff. She can slay demons ‘til the cows come home…and then slay the cows too. But running a household, paying day to day bills? That's what gives her the real wiggins.


See above. Life, money, bills. Oh and some demon guy. And the Trio as well I guess.


Real life: Buffy is facing the same reality we all face as adults – paying our way in the world. And it is scarier than any icky demon or fangy vamp. The scene with Buffy trying to get “her loan” is funny but also kinda tragic. We know she won't qualify. No income. A house with hardly any equity. It is a hard lesson for her to learn. Being a kick ass vampire slayer won’t pay the bills and keep a roof over your head…unless you take Anya’s advice of course and start charging per slay. Heh.

Stupid skirt! Buffy trying to fight M'Fashnik at the bank but being scuppered by her long, tight skirt is funny. Plus it’s very nice when she borrows a letter opener to slit said skirt open down the side exposing a nice length of bare slayer leg. Hey! (looks sheepish) She's cute. I’m a man.

Giles and Buffy: Giles’ reaction to seeing Buffy back from the dead is lovely. Tony Head and SMG play the moment to perfection. Never does it get over sentimental. It is just genuinely warm and full of reserved joy.

Giles vs. Willow: another portent of things to come. Filmed in a darkened kitchen, the scene moves quickly from easygoing fun to tense, uncomfortable anger, ending with a dark threat from Willow. What’s more, this will all pay of spectacularly come the end of the season. Both Tony Head and Alyson Hannigan are excellent.

“NO. MORE. FULL. COPPER. RE-PIPE!”: Buffy’s final furious beating to death of M'Fashnik after he breaks one of her brand new (and expensive) copper pipes is brutal but very funny, especially as she times each blow to the repeatedly yelled, “NO. MORE. FULL. COPPER. RE-PIPE!”


M'Fashnik: He is nothing but a plot device. He exists for no other reason than as something for Buffy to pummel and to introduce us to the Trio as this season’s Big Bad…or are they? His motivation seems to be he just wants to kill the Slayer, being furious with her for no apparent reason.

The Trio: Never the best wannabe Big Bads for Buff to face. Individually I like Andrew and Jonathan (Tom Lenk and Danny Strong are both wonderful performers) though Warren works best as the true villain of the three. But not here. It takes until late in the season for him to move from being a goofy geek genius to becoming a truly vile, murdering misogynist monster. Here though, together, they are all just silly and totally non-threatening.

Mope: Blimey! I know Marti Noxon and Joss said they would make Buffy earn her resurrection and not just set the reset switch so everything is back to normal but the Buffy depressed/mope factor does come on strong. Luckily it is often broken up with moments of lightness where we get a glimpse of the old Buffster e.g. the bank fight.

Buffy is broke. And yet Willow and Tara seem to be living there rent free and not contributing to the household budget. However they seem to have money to continue their studies and keeping in witchy things and stylish clothes. Freeloaders!




Buffy (finds the leaky pipe): So, we meet at last, Mr. Drippy!

Willow: Buffy, I know you're still getting back on your feet after...
Buffy: Lying flat on my back?

Buffy: But, I haven't spent any money. I was all dead and frugal.

Buffy: It's not like it's the end of the world. ...Which is too bad, because *that* I'm really good at.

Anya: It's not *so* crazy.
Dawn: Yes it is! You can't charge innocent people for saving their lives!
Anya: Spider-Man does!
Dawn: He does not.
Anya: Does too!
Dawn: Does no... Xander?
Xander: Action is his reward.

Loan Officer: The problem is you have no income. No job.
(demon comes crashing through the window)
Buffy: No job? I wish!

Buffy (to demon): Hey! Are you in the wrong line? That's for deposits, that's for withdrawals, and this one is for getting kicked in the face. (tries to kick, can't raise her leg) Stupid skirt!

Xander: Score one for Captain Logic!
Anya: No, no. Captain Logic is not steering this tugboat. I smell Captain Fear at the wheel.

Giles (seeing Buffy alive again for 1st time): You're...
Buffy: ...a miracle.
Giles (smiles): Yes. ...But then I always thought so.

Jonathan: How'd you make him do that?
Andrew: What, are you some kind of ...Jedi?
Warren: The Force can sometimes have great power over a weak mind.

Giles: Well I know I'm back in America now, I've been knocked unconscious.
Buffy: Mmmm... Poor lumpy Giles!

Buffy: Who's calling me? Everybody I know lives here.



It is established in this episode that Giles keeps a home in Bath (a small city in the south west of England for those who don't know.) Tony Head actually does live in the Bath area, not that far away from me as it happens. I've seen him around town and shopping in the local supermarket, which was kinda surreal. Anyway, this geographical trivia will come in to play at the start of season seven.

We know two of the three geeks (Warren and Jonathan) but not Andrew. We have met his brother, Tucker, though. He was the one who sent hell hounds to the Sunnydale High Prom in season three's The Prom.

After the Spider-Man argument between Anya, Dawn and Xander it is fun to note that Jeph Loeb, Executive Producer of the abandoned Buffy: Animated series, has written several Spider-Man comics.


A not so soggy 3.5 (out of 5)

Wednesday, 3 July 2013



WRITER: Jane Espenson

DIRECTOR: David Solomon


Dawn brings the confused, newly returned Buffy back home and cleans her up, explaining to her how things now are at the house with Giles back in England and Dawn and Tara living there with them. Soon the rest of the Scoobies return to the Summers home and are overjoyed to see Buffy back and in one piece (at least physically). But a furious Spike, left out of the whole resurrection loop, warns them that their will be mystical consequences for what Willow has done. He is right. A ghostly demon has come in to being thanks to the dark and powerful forces used to bring Buffy back. Said demon is haunting and also possessing the gang, freaking them all out. They soon learn that the creature is seeking to stay alive in this new world it has suddenly found itself in. And that the only way for it to do so is by killing the newly returned from the grave slayer…


As always in this show, everything has consequences. There is no fresh start, no reset button to push. Everything affects everything else, just as it does in real life. And no one gets away clean. There is always a price to be paid. At first, we think that price has been paid in this episode. But as the season goes on we quickly discover that the ramifications of everything that has happened will only grow and grow until reaching horrifically tragic and apocalyptic proportions.


The home-made demon who wants to keep on living


Creepy: Buffy does a straight forward demonic possession horror story. And while the story itself may be very simple and easily resolved, the execution is at least reasonably creepy.

Evil Dead: There is a definite Sam Raimi Evil Dead vibe to the demonic possessions, especially the Anya one. The way it is shot and the way she walks towards us, giggling evilly, white eyed, cutting her face with a big knife… Brrr.

Revelations: Buffy’s end confession to Spike about the truth of her afterlife was a genuine shock at the time of first airing and remains a powerful moment in the series’ history. SMG plays the scene wonderfully. She gives the impression of a person beyond traumatised, beyond miserable or angry, as if she exists in a permanent state of nothingness; a hollow shell of a human being.


The story itself is fairly run of the mill and is mostly a coda to the big two part opener. That’s fine and all but it just doesn’t really work as an episode in its own right.

For a Jane Espenson script the laughs are fairly few and far between. In fact it is almost continually mawkish and grim.

Once corporeal the demon is dealt with pretty darn quickly.

Early on in the episode Willow says she’s spoken to Giles in London. As he only left earlier that same day there’s no way he could have made it all the way to England in that amount of time.


Possessed Anya, white eyed, giggling insanely while cutting her face with a big knife. Yikes!


Spike: You scared me half to death. Or more to death.

Anya: Yeah, I mean, jet lag from hell has got to be, you know, jet lag from hell.

Anya: I found one of those 24-hour places for coffee. Remember that bookstore? Well, they became one of those books and coffee places, and now they're just coffee. It's like evolution, only without the "getting better" part.

Spike: I do remember what I said. The promise. To protect her. If I'd have done that, even if I didn't make it, you wouldn't have had to jump. But I want you to know I did save you. Not when it counted, of course, but after that. Every night after that. I'd see it all again, and do something different. Faster, or more clever, you know? Dozens of times, lots of different ways. Every night, I save you.

Xander: We made a demon? Bad us.

Anya: She's right. You're like a snail. A snail who's driving a car very slowly.

Spike: I was going to go inside, but I overheard you and the super-friends exchanging a special moment, and I came over a bit queasy. Say, aren't you leaving a hole in the middle of some soggy group hug?

Buffy: I was happy. Wherever I was, I was happy. At peace. I knew that everyone I cared about was all right. I knew it. Time didn't mean anything. Nothing had form, but I was still me, you know? And I was warm, and I was loved. And I was finished. Complete. I don't understand theology and dimensions... or any of it, really. But I think I was in heaven. And now I'm not. I was torn out of there, pulled out by my friends. Everything here is hard, and bright, and violent. Everything I feel, everything I touch... this is hell. Just getting through the next moment and the one after that. Knowing what I've lost... They can never know. Never.


This is the first time we get a really good look at Buffy's back garden.

Willow must be getting plenty of cash from somewhere as a (then) brand spanking new iBook can be seen on Buffy's dining table.

The demon’s wraith-like non-corporeal form might look familiar to movie fans. It was created by one of the same FX guys who worked on the ghosts that come out of the Ark at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Linda Hoyle, who played the role of the demon in this episode, also had a part in season three. She did the voice-over for Emma Caulfield as Anyanka in the season three episode "The Wish".


A home-made demon scares up 3 (out of 5)