Monday, November 6, 2017

DC House of Horror #1, Part Two (AKA A Review of Netflix's The Mist)

It looks like Batman is fucking Flash while Flash fucks Green Lantern while Green Lantern, covered in semen, jerks off a candle.

Netflix seems to have purchased everything Stephen King ever did and they're churning it out en masse for people with little regard to quality. Maybe I'm beginning this review too harshly since I've only watched Gerald's Game (which wasn't terrible and actually a bit interesting since I always thought of it as the one King story that could never become a movie because the main character spends the entire time dehydrating in bed) and The Mist (which was terrible and I'll get into the whyness of it in a second). I think the last Stephen King book I read was the final chapter of the Gunslinger Saga. Up until then, I believe I'd read every book of his published aside from Danse Macabre (which I just recently finally read). It's possible I didn't read a bunch of his novels that weren't related to the Gunslinger Saga near the end of that series' run. What I'm trying to say is that there was a definite time in my life when I was a fan if not a complete fangender. It may be the book I've reread the most even though it never makes my list of top books. I love it to death but I think using the analogy of a sewer gang bang to transition the main characters from childhood into adulthood so they could escape the grasp of It might have soured the enough to keep it from ever being a top ten favorite. I'm glad they excluded that bit from the movie. I'm pretty sure it wasn't in the TV mini-series as well but I can't remember it enough to be sure. I do remember that prior to the series airing on television, I had all the little TV Guide advertisements for it posted on my wall. But this isn't about my relationship with Stephen King. This is about DC House of Horror #1. Just kidding! It's mostly going to be my thoughts on Netflix's The Mess! I mean The Mist!

The Mist is a mediocre experience at best and an awful waste of time at worst. Not only is it poorly written; the writers make some of the worst, tone-deaf character choices in the current social climate. While I'm entirely for a world where we can watch a television show and the bisexual guy can be the demented rapist while the popular quarterback is the misunderstood martyr, we're not quite in a climate of equality where that's just another possible twist to the plot. Even if the bisexual kid didn't turn out to be the monster (I'd have put a spoiler warning here but you'll know the kid is the monster halfway through the first episode. Unless it was the second episode. Anyway, it's not as big a surprise as, I think, the writers wanted it to be), it says something about the way we see in stereotypical ways that the story expects us to believe the high school quarterback is a total date raper. Oh, and for good measure, the homophobic football player? Self-hating gay.

So the character choices are poor from a purely casual viewing standpoint. But when you notice Harvey Weinstein's name listed as an executive producer in the credits, the entire show takes on an even darker and more disturbing tone than I think anybody involved in the project realized. Let me explain.

The show is purportedly about a young girl of sixteen who gets drugged at a party and raped. Immediate suspicion falls on the high school quarterback who has shown interest in her and who is the only person onscreen shown giving her alcohol. What you realize by the end of the series is that the show wasn't about this girl at all. The main arc (which, I suppose, can be argued since the show does tend to have quite a few arcs, being that it's a large cast) winds up being about the high school quarterback, a male who was accused of rape and judged by the entire town even though he winds up being innocent. And what happens to this town that has rushed to judgment? A fog of confusion descends upon them, befuddling their ability to see the truth and act rationally. Everybody who blames the righteous guy who was accused of rape gets their comeuppance in the end. Mostly they're just made to look like assholes but some of them die horribly! Ha ha! In your face, society that doesn't understand how big shot executive producers and high school quarterbacks are almost assuredly innocent of any accusations of rape!

Not only is the high school quarterback innocent, we see that nearly everybody else in town is a terrible person. The mist exposes the hypocrisies inherent in all the people who would judge a person accused of rape before the DNA proves that it was the bisexual freak that nobody likes who did the raping. Obviously! Nobody likes that guy! Even the guy who fucks him doesn't like him!

I believe the show tries to avoid the whole fake rape accusation motif by never actually having the teenage girl accuse anybody specifically. She just knows she was raped after she wakes up from being drugged. But the whole town suddenly knows, somehow, that she fingered the high school quarterback (not like that, you sick perverts!) and they all turn on her. But, as far as I can remember, nobody ever blames him. The town just assumes he's the guy she's going to blame because, well, he's the high school quarterback! Who's more rapey than that?! I believe the bisexual kid is the one to say he witnessed it but he never really gets to tell the cops because the mist begins eating them all before he can give an actual statement. But even if the writers can stick a finger in our faces and say, "No! No! We did not write a show where nobody believes the victim! We wrote a show with a big twist and an evil villain who framed the quarterback so well that the town couldn't believe any other story other than the raped girl was a big fat liar!" Then the writer would look confused by their own plot synopsis and, hopefully, retire to manage a convenience store.

That's the worst part about the show. But there are many other terrible plot points. The mist itself is bullshit. The characters spend a good chunk of time inside the mist without any ill effect. And when they do, it turns out the mist is just a metaphor for the internalized guilt of whatever the character is feeling guilty about, or maybe it works on there fears too. Or something. It's hard to tell. I don't think the mist, as a character, was written any better than any of the other characters. It simply becomes a way to scare the shit out of the townspeople so that the viewers can see that the true monster is ourselves. So Senator Clay Aiken strangles the mother of a child that was killed for wanting to hear a stupid story about a stupid owl and the sheriff locks people in a church and burns it down and the crazy bird lady sends people on a misguided quest to become atheists and the pastor tries to force everybody to believe in God and the doctor wants to experiment on people and the brother wants to talk about how often he fucked his brother's wife before they were married and the bisexual kid's father wants to punish his kid until he's heterosexual and the mother of the raped girl is jealous of her daughter's love for her father who isn't actually her father anyway because her father is the cop which makes the high school quarterback her half-brother. Jesus Christ! I can't believe I watched this whole show!

At least I think I watched the whole thing. It ends with everybody still in the mist and realizing that the local government military organization is dumping people into the mist to feed it. Because the military is always behind any shit that goes wrong and wipes out the world. Who else has the money and power to cause this kind of destruction? Just once, I wish it would turn out to be the Girl Scouts.

The Mist was once made into an interactive fiction game which was terrible but still better than this. The worst part about the game was that many of the puzzles that needed to be solved were just giant bugs coming out of the mist that needed to be dealt with. I remember playing the game until I was stymied at every turn by a creature I couldn't get past. I thought, "If I only had a weapon, maybe I could get by some of these creatures!" So I went into the administration office and simply typed "TAKE GUN." And bingo! I had a gun! I'm not sure if the gun was ever clued in anywhere or you just had to inquire about a gun on your own. I've never revisited the game because after that, it was a simple matter of shooting everything to escape. I think I even shot the crazy lady running about the grocery store gaining a large mob of followers. I don't think that ended well but it was satisfying.

In conclusion, The Mist was terrible and I watched it all.

And so on to the comic book!

The second story is called "Man's World." It's about Wonder Woman and it's also plotted by Keith Giffen but written by somebody else. The writer is Mary Sangiovanni whom I don't recognize. The artist is Bilquis Evely whom I do recognize but know nothing about. The story is probably about what would happen if Wonder Woman came to our world to kick ass and chew testicles. Is that horror or would that simply be justice?

Here, a woman smells her fingers for some mysterious and sexy reason.

I'm sorry for that previous caption! The only reason I said it was probably sexy was because she is a woman and I'm objectifying her. I smell my fingers for decidedly non-sexy reasons all the time!

If anybody is interested in my life away from my blog, you can visit me intellectually debating the guys at the weird science comic book review blog on their review of Deadman #1. I'd forgotten that they were supposed to be my nemeses! But I remembered! Oh how I remembered!

The woman smelling her fingers has been possessed by Wonder Woman because she took part in a Milton Bradly sponsored seance.

See?! You probably thought I was being facetious about the chewing testicles part! It's a known fact!

It's too bad I just scanned two images so closely together because the next page contains a nipple and a bare butt! The nipple is in shadow but you can still see the shape of it! I don't know why I'm using an exclamation point for that revelation. Back in the pre-Internet days, it would have been a glorious find for a young kid. But now, it's as tame as if the panel depicted a basket of kittens.

The girl possessed by Wonder Woman kills all of her friends and everybody she meets before getting home and killing her abusive father. She also says a bunch of stuff in Greek. I bet she's saying things like, "I'm here to kick ass and chew testicles! Mmm! So good!"

Nope. I was wrong. The first thing Wonder Woman says after possessing the girl is "Where am I, witches?" Then she kills the witches. Later after her killing the girl's dad, she says, "The world of man is Hell. It is going to be a glorious war."

Man's World Rating: Are these stories horrific? I guess so. Imagine if Superman were a confused toddler scared out of his wits when he arrived on Earth? He probably would kill everybody by accident in his fits of terror. And Wonder Woman suddenly coming to man's world without any context except what she's been told about why the Amazons can't leave the island? She'd be ready for some serious clean up! And she only killed the women at the beginning because they were obviously witches. Some women, you just can't trust. So you get what we had here in this story. I don't like it any more than you women.

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