All posts by Landon Evanson


Before laying eyes on a single frame of THE SHAPE OF WATER (2017), I read about Guillermo del Toro watching Gill Man (the recently departed Ricou Browning) swimming beneath Julie Adams in THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON (1954) as a child and the thought he could never shake– “I hope they end up together.” No rhyme or reason, just his immediate and involuntary reaction to what was happening on the screen. And as we all know, GDT’s long-held sentiment resonated with audiences as well, evolving into an Oscar for Best Picture.

All of that to say that I recently experienced a similar moment. The difference being that it was nearly 33 years after the fact and the only association I’ll have with an Academy Award is openly questioning why Toni Collette didn’t receive one for HEREDITARY (2018), but that’s another story.

No, after returning home from an exhausting week of work, we decided to have a bit of an anthology party. Things kicked off with TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE (1983) because Scatman Crothers and John Lithgow always hit the spot, with another terrifying television turned silver screen selection as chaser that had somehow eluded me all these years — TALES FROM THE DARKSIDE: THE MOVIE (1990).

How I’d missed it all these years I don’t know, because my family used to watch the show on (if I recall correctly) Sunday nights back in the day. Regardless, Debbie Harry and the kid who preferred noogies from PLANES, TRAINS, AND AUTOMOBILES (1987) guided us to “Lover’s Vow” and I was immediately transfixed.

Without fail, James Remar understands the assignment and no matter how much praise she receives, Rae Dawn Chong will always be underrated to me. In other words, we were off to a good start.

The not-so-brief gist of the segment: an artist (Remar) struggling for inspiration meets his agent at a bar to buy time and get his hands on some cash but said agent (Robert Klein) dumps him saying he can’t live off of “ten percent of nothing.” Distraught, Remar gets hammered alongside a couple of buddies, but when they stumble into the alley to call it a night, one of those buddies is eviscerated by a gargoyle come to life that had been perched above said alley moments before. A stunned Remar gets slammed against a brick wall but spared so long as he can promise to never tell anyone about what he just saw. Of course, he agrees but on the way home, Rae Dawn Chong cascades around a corner. Freaked out about the prospect of the beast returning, Remar grabs her and ducks into a darkened doorway saying someone’s out there, and it isn’t safe. Remar assured Chong he wasn’t going to hurt her, and she says she thought she heard someone too and follows Remar to his place to be safe. SPOILER ALERT (but it’s clear as you watch it): Chong has nothing to worry about because she is the gargoyle in human form testing Remar to see if he’ll keep his promise.

Long story short? (Too late, I know) They actually fall in love, Chong puts Remar in touch with one of the most influential art dealers in the city, reveals that she’s pregnant, and ten years on they have two little ones.

Shorts either split the uprights or sail wide right, there is no in-between, but “Lover’s Vow” is the stuff of Morten Andersen. In a matter of minutes, we see a couple who are not only hot for one another, but have fun together, challenge one another to be the best version of themselves, and protect each other from the fuckery of the world. We believe that Remar is no longer bereft of inspiration and content with his work, that Chong has finally found peace and that life was all bananas and toothbrushes.

Until the night Remar felt compelled to express how much their life together meant to him. He couldn’t find the word to thank Chong for ten years of perfection and reached the conclusion that the only way to truly thank her was to tell her the truth about the night they met.

Remar grabbed a sketch of the gargoyle he’d done after the night that changed everything. When he began with “no one has ever seen this” and I tell you that I literally said “no. No, no, no. Shhh. Stop. You have it all. STOP TALKING!” out loud to the television — know that it’s not an exaggeration.

While I know it was a noble thing for Remar’s character to do–borne out of love and respect–the part of me that needed a happy ending after a shit week at the office and rejoiced in this no-longer-starving artist living the dream (married to Rae Dawn Chong, are you kidding me?!) was desperate for that mistake to not be made.

Alas, the chastising began. “You idiot! You promised!” Chong returned to her natural form as Remar declared his love for her. She responded, “I loved you too, but it’s too late now” and did what needed to be done. A decade on, one of them kept their word.

The segment ended with Chong back upon her perch, their children clutched tightly against her, overlooking the alley where it all began. A constant reminder of happiness discovered and destroyed.

If you’re reading this, I don’t need to explain that horror fans are a different breed, we invite unhappy endings. But every so often the mood is right, a water god feels a connection, or a gargoyle comes to life, and some part of us wants the universe to take the night off and let them dance.


I’m having a blast writing these each week, but it occurred to me that the Quintessential Quintuplets title–rather than the ode to Quint I’d intended–may be, perhaps, a wee wordy. So, we’ll try it this way for a bit.

This week, let’s discuss characters who pop up, grab your attention, then disappear before you even realize they’re gone.

Those characters who stay with you. Who even today, have you yearning for more. Brief though it was, what led to the moment we met them?

For me, the five who follow are those characters.


Big John Elliott is a fantastic character all his own, but some combination of director J.J. Perry and writers Tyler Tice and Shay Hatten have the kind of love for Creighton Duke (wait for it), that led to an Easter egg (read wondrous wardrobe) that even a damn bunny would be proud of. is chef’s kiss. That said, Elliott is calm and cool, not unlike Snoop himself, a ride-or-die friend, and when it comes time to vanquish vampires, dude goes full Blaine and leaves no crumbs. It’s simple: horror can never offer enough 90-minute, popcorn fare where we can just enjoy our asses off. So, give us a glimpse behind the curtain to see what led Big John to the events of DAY SHIFT. Oh, and don’t go thinkin’ Snoop can’t carry a film his damn self because BONES (2001) exists. And it slaps.


There are myriad reasons for more Creighton Duke, that he clearly inspired Big John is just a bonus. First of all, it’s Steven Williams. Having a top tier talent exist within the Friday franchise simply makes me giddy. Few pull off intimidating intensity quite like Mr. Williams, and frankly, we need it. It’s been 14 years since we got a Friday film that wasn’t of the fan variety (no disrespect to Vincente DiSanti), so why can’t this franchise pull a Disney+ and dart off in directions that extend beyond Bryan Fuller’s intentions? We’re not allowed to forget that at one point Duke dropped “remember me?” on our asses in JASON GOES TO HELL. I want–nay–need to know what that meant, and quite certain I’m not alone. This character is mysterious, vulgar, and ultimately a badass who breaks digits in exchange for information. More Creighton Duke, please and thank you. And the best part? No need to find a younger actor for the role because Steven Williams doesn’t fucking age.


Look, Scatman Crothers was a once-in-a-lifetime talent, but Carl Lumbly filled those enormous shoes quite admirably in DOCTOR SLEEP (2019), so what’s the hold up? What began as concerned looks whilst Danny (Danny Lloyd) ate ice cream bled into a stern warning about Room 2-3-7 because there can be no doubt Dick Hallorann was intimately wired into the spectral strength the Overlook possessed. “I think a lot of things have happened at this particular hotel over the years, and not all of ’em was good” Mr. Hallorann has a story to tell. And more likely stories, plural. Lest we forget that as a child, the Hallorann had entire conversations with his grandmother without either opening their mouths. Warner Bros., you owe a debt — pay it.


Rare is the television show that has fans clamoring for more nearly a decade after airing its final episode, but HANNIBAL (2013) is rarer than most. Take that how you will. We only got two episodes of Tobias around the midpoint of Season 1, but those delectable morsels were all we needed to fully comprehend we were hungry. Demore Barnes devoured the screen with each appearance, culminating in a dinner with Dr. Lecter (Mades Mikkelsen) where he revealed that he, too, dabbled in their dark art and had observed Hannibal do what he did — and did well — after following him one night. Of course, we all know that the cannibal counselor had already selected a protege and Tobias was living on borrowed time, but Budge was one of the most fascinating characters on a show brimming with fascinating characters. Should we get a fourth season, perhaps a flashback episode could be arranged providing the backstory we Fannibals are aching for.


For starters, is “we need more Ken Foree” a hard sell? You and I both know good and hell well that it is not. We can talk about taco deluxe supremes, Swank subscriptions, or the fact that Big Joe actually says A-hole all damn day, but let’s get to the naughty, naughty. Our man politely asked Michael Myers to let him pass his beast in peace, but on just the second knock, that all melted away. Dude started talkin’ shit and pulled a knife. We knew that Grizzly was a truck driver, but brandishing a blade because someone interrupted your bowel movement? Big Joe Grizzly has seen some shit! And I want to know what that shit is.

These are but a handful of my personal selections, there are endless genre characters we simply didn’t get enough of, so give us yours in the comments.

Thanks for reading and see you next week!







“Contrary to popular belief, I don’t just play dreadful old villains.” — Tim Curry

Whether you dig comedies or musicals or horror, if you’re of a certain age and love cinema, then you feel a personal connection to Tim Curry. With more than 240 credits on screens large and small, Curry performances are as endearing as they are indelible. Few actors can boast of characters as beloved today as they were in, say, 1975. But Curry is among those chosen few. And he’s not limited to one. In fact, one could make the argument that any of the five performances that made this week’s cut were worthy of the top spot.


Richard Pryor, Carol Burnett, Steve Martin, Rita Moreno, Charles Grodin — Tim muthafuckin’ Curry. It takes a special performer to stand out in cast full of Muppets. And be scary while doing it. At no point are you like “yeah, this is a movie for kids” with Curry’s take. He was a snarling, ferocious boat captain who just happens to be interacting with Muppets like they were merely cats on his crew. Of course, no pirate picture is complete without a hearty, hair-on-the-back-of-you-neck-standing-up laugh. And you know as well as I that no one — and I mean no one — has ever possessed a more sinister laugh.

4 — WADSWORTH / CLUE (1985)

So begins something of a theme, kids: what happens when you sprinkle some Curry into one of the finest ensemble casts ever assembled? Delciousness. Our boy was charming, dastardly, and laugh-out-loud funny. Though it hasn’t aged well (and I despise the laugh’s target), Curry’s wide-eyed-turn-the-page reaction to that thing Michael McKean said? Chef’s kiss. “BUT LOOK WHAT HAPPENED TO THE COOK!” But seriously, I say “did none of you deduce?” to this day. Also, have we ever bore witness to more talent on a single screen than when Curry and Madeline Kahn shared a scene together?

3 — DARKNESS / LEGEND (1985)

What happens when Ridley Scott decides to direct a fantasy picture with Rob Bottin’s particular brand of makeup effects magic and you drop a dash of Curry for flavor? The muthafuckin’ Darkness, that’s what. When you put the smarm and charm of Curry under those horns — with the hooves and the eyes…I mean, damn. You get a LOOK. And to channel Kevin Peter Hall, you get a can’-t-take-my-eyes-off-of-him performance along with it. Speaking of look, why Mia Sara didn’t take one glance at endless snacks and a killer closet whilst co-habitating with a sexy beast and simply declare “home, sweet home” will remain a mystery forever.

2 — PENNYWISE / IT (1990)

That brief moment in time when ABC would parade a Stephen King miniseries over the airwaves every few years was beyond glorious, but only one of them knocked us on our collective ass — IT. Our man described the balloon-toting bastard Pennywise as “irredeemable,” which was true on paper, but Curry found a way to fill the screen with equal parts fascination and fright. Think of it this way: Curry’s performance gave an entire generation coulrophobia, and we still adore that character like no other before or since — sorry, Bill Skarsgard.


There are two things I’ll never forget about the first time I saw Rocky Horror:

First, watching Curry throw his head back with absolute abandon during “I Can Make You a Man” and then STR-UT-TING toward the camera with what can only be called confidence personified. Curry was locked in and ALL-in. And second, about the time Frank was kissing hands and dropping echante with a quick, knowing glance toward at the camera, was the precise moment I finally understood why everyone on the planet wanted to fuck Tim Curry. Myself included.

Oh, and I aspire to the level of petty that serves Meat Loaf at the dinner party.

A standout performance despite a for-all-time ensemble cast. One of the finest fantasy villains to grace the silver screen. Taking what may be Stephen King’s most terrifying creation and making it more terrifying. And owning every single moment of the most marvelous musical.

Tim Curry once said “I’m not a conventional leading man at all and have no wish to be.”

I feel confident speaking for everyone when I say thank fuck for that!