On the surface, Lord of Illusions has very little to do with the Hellraiser franchise. One is about a shrewd detective in way over his head among supernatural nonsense, while the other is all about Hell. But what if I were to tell you that they take place in the same universe? Because that's absolutely the case, straight from Mr. Clive Barker himself. So this film actually does fit into this year's October themed event, The Hellbound Halloween! But I'm getting ahead of myself.
Welcome back to the Hellbound Halloween and the first film in sort of interlude. See, the last two films in the Hellraiser franchise are their own kind of bad, so I need to take a short break before wrapping this all up with them. But that gave me an opportunity to check out some of Mr. Clive Barker's other films that are tangentially related to the Hellraiser series, starting with 1990's Nightbreed.
So you might notice that I have not ascended to godhood. While I did correctly guess that What If...?'s eighth episode would be titled "What If Ultron Won?" I was wrong about the title of the final episode. It's actually titled "What If the Watcher Broke His Oath?" which is definitely a better title, so I'll take that loss. Everything in the first season has been leading up to this moment, as well as something in the second season! Let's wrap this up!
I've seen all ten Hellraiser movies before, but most of them were a long time ago. I remembered the first two adhering to Mr. Clive Barker's vision and being pretty good, the last two were absolute dog shit, and the ones in the middle were hit or miss. So I went into Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth not expecting much. They're brining back Pinhead after his noble sacrifice in Hellbound: Hellraiser II? Already starting on a bad foot. But turns out this was better than I remember, in part because it has something intersting to say about abusive relationships.
I fuckin' called it! Hell yeah! Sure, we all pretty much knew what this episode would be about, but I got the title exactly right! Granted, the number of titles it could've had was limited. But still! "What If Ultron Won?" is the name of this episode, and I got it exactly right last time. Now, if next week's finale is titled “What If It Took a Multiverse to Save the Multiverse?” then I shall transcend the mortal plane and become a god.
I want you all to know that I tried. Around the middle of September (after watching Malignant) I took a break from horror movies. The plan was to go without until October, when I'm going to start the same thing I did last year where it's nothing but horror movies every weekday, with a franchise running throughout the month (last year was October of the Corn). But I'm a horror junkie, man! It's my favorite genre! So I'm starting the spooky spirit early with Willy's Wonderland, a horror comedy starring Mr. Nic Cage. It's dumb!
A lot of What If...? comic stories are total downers. A bunch of real bummer buzzkills, bro! But why can't everything just be chill for once? Sometimes it's just nice to have an alternate reality that doesn't harsh my vibe. I'm running out of incredibly dated slang, but the gist is that "What If Thor Was an Only Child?" is essentially a frat bro comedy about Earth's biggest party ever, and the party poopers who are ready to nuke the site from orbit.
I honestly didn't plan on this being a mini-event week. I started with 1966's Django, then found out about 2017's biography Django about musician Django Reinhardt, who the western gunslinger is named after. Then I went down a rabbit hole of all the unofficial sequels that had "Django" in the title and noticed Sukiyaki Western Django, an English language Japanese western by... Mr. Takashi Miike? The same Mr. Takashi Miike responsible for Ichi the Killer, Audition, Visitor Q, and The Happiness of the Katakuris? Well shit, I guess I have to watch it! And so here we are. No more "Django" movies next week, I promise.
Did you know that there is going to be TV show based on the character Django? Ms. Noomi Rapace is the only name I recognize in it, but stars Matthias Schoenaerts, who was... uh... DJ Cosmonaut X in Elektra, as well as being in many other movies I haven't seen. But upon the announcement a cry went up in a small section internet: "How can you have a Django TV show if the character is white?" And I can totally see where they're coming from; Django Unchained is most likely how most people today know the character. But Django--specifically the white Django--predates Unchained by almost 50 years. It's very much a Nick Fury situation. Anyway, saddle up, buckos! We're diving into some old spaghetti westerns! Yippee-ki-yay, motherfucker!
Hey look! It's me not falling behind on stuff! That's right, we're back with the final three episodes in the Student Council Saga for Shōjo Kakumei Utena, AKA Revolutionary Girl Utena. It's been a wild ride of Utena fighting to protect Anthy from the school's student council, who want Anthy for just about every wrong reason imaginable. The time has come for student council president Touga Kiryuu to make enact his plan against our hero, and oh what a plan it is.