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Stranger Things 2 Ep. 8 – “The Mind Flayer”

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Welcome back to Dread Central’s daily recap/reviews of the second season of Netflix and The Duffer Brothers’ “Stranger Things”. You can find our recap/review of the previous episode right HERE. Now let’s get to it!

After the heartbreakingly bad episode that was yesterday’s “The Lost Sister” we can only hope that today’s episode “The Mind Flayer” (which I don’t have to tell you is a super metal title) puts this season back on course.

Fingers crossed.

This new episode begins right where “The Spy” left off. Hopper watches in horror as the Demon Dogs reach up from the hell below the energy plant of the hill and invade the building with the eating of human asses on their minds.

Very quickly the Demon Dogs eat their way through the building killing each and every guard and/or scientist they can find. Up in the ER, Mike deduces that Will sold all of them out and Joyce decides to put her child to sleep (literally sleep, not like death) so he can’t rat them out anymore.

The team then lock themselves in the plant’s control room just as the power to the entire structure goes down and the shit has officially hit the Upside Down fan.

Cue credits.

We come back to find badass Billy getting ready for a date 80’s-style and getting yelled at by his tough-as-nails father. This is supposed to make us feel something resembling empathy for the Red Power Ranger, but it got none from this guy. Someone needs to throw the kid up against the wall – and rip out that single dangling earring. His dad doesn’t do that but instead sends Billy out to find his little sister Max. Collison course set.

Meanwhile, at the energy plant, the gang is stuck in the control room with Dr. Owens who tells them that in order to restore power to the plant and open the massive doors to safety, they’ll have to reset the breakers. Hopper – being the slightly over-weight Indiana Jones he is – offers his services. But wait, the place is controlled by supercomputers and Hopper doesn’t know thing one about computers, so it’s up to trusty old Bob the Brain to save them.

While Samwise heads down to the breaker room, toting a gun like Bruce Willis the math teacher, the rest of our lovable leads (Nancy, Jonathan, Dustin, Steve, Max, and Lucas) all meet up serendipitously out front of the energy planet. The catch is they can’t get in because the power is out and the plant is now an impenetrable fortress.

Inside, Bob gets the computers up and running and the rest of our trapped heroes (Hopper, Dr. Owens, Joyce, Mike and unconscious Will) get to run out the front doors. But there’s a catch here as well. As Mikey from The Goonies tries to get out of the place, the Demons Dogs set upon him and Dr. Owens has to stay behind to help navigate Mikeywise to safety by way of the computer monitors.

This isn’t going to go well.

Mikeywise successful navigates the Demon Dogs just to get to the safety of the building’s lobby – and stop. Dead. In his tracks. To do what? Smile at Joyce’s ass. His girlfriend that he is half a lobby way from hugging and kissing and running away with. But no. He stops. And smiles. And guess what? He gets his face and flabby ass eaten right the f*ck off by the Demadogs. Great. But this is the way it goes. Every movie and/or TV series needs a good death in its final episodes. If we have to sacrifice Bob to make sure we don’t lose someone like Max or (gasp) Steve, then sorry Bobwise, we loved you but you gotta gory-go. We tip our hats to your bravery.

Moving on.

The gang all reunited (expect Eleven) hold up at Joyce’s house and await the coming storm. Hooper and Joyce share a tender moment and Mike and the boys deduce that if they can kill off the Shadow Monster they can kill off everything related to the Upside Down (including Will?).

Dustin then teaches everyone about “The Mind Flayer”. A character from D&D that is so powerful and old that not even it knows how old it is and/or where it first emerged from. The Mind Flayer takes over another world by taking over people’s mind like the Germans — I mean the Nazis. But after all that exposition, it turns out the only way to defeat The Mind Flayer is you need a team of Zombies – because zombies don’t have minds to flay. But this is the real world and there are no zombies (this season) so the gang is shit out of luck.

But what about Will? They use Will to spy back on The Mind Flayer by turning the Byer’s family shed out back into a room for interrogation. While all of this is getting set up Steve and Nancy make peace, as do Dustin and Lucas. Speaking of making peace Mike and Max do as well. Kinda.

So now all the pieces are set up and the game is ready to roll towards its inevitable climax. Bring it on.

From here on out the rest of the episode more or less plays out like a possession movie with Will tied up Exorcist-style to a post in the shed and being talked down by friends and family. Will eventual learns how to communicate with the others through the haze of possession (by morse code knocking on his chair) and Will tells everyone that to end the supernatural shenanigans once and for all they will need to “Close the Gate.”

The episode ends with a Demadog getting mind-thrown into the Byers house by… something. And we realize about 15 full seconds before the series that Eleven is back and surely bleeding slightly from one nostril. The locks on the Byers door then unlock themselves and punk-rock X-men Eleven steps in… slightly bleeding from one nostril.

Roll credits.

I enjoyed this episode quite a bit. Sure it was a bit of a step down from “The Spy” but at least it was a major step up from “The Lost Sister.” And this episode fully kicked the plot and pacing into high gear. That said, I realize now that I don’t watch this series for its plot and pacing, and instead prefer quiet scenes between its characters.

Fingers-crossed next season doesn’t have a supernatural threat (yeah, right) and we get to spend another 10 hours with the gang without silly things like Demadogs, Demogorgons, Mind Flayers and plot getting in the way.

But still, this was a tight, fast-paced episode. It featured great character moments and a (relatively) big death scene to boot. Bonus points awarded for featuring no reference to the horrific previous episode and featuring only a single shot of Eleven. Good times.

Now bring on the season finale!

Check back with us tomorrow for our recap/review of “Stranger Things 2” Ep. 9 – “The Gate”

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Exclusive: Wolfmen of Mars Debut New Group Brass Hearse and Here’s a New Song

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A couple of months ago, we told you about Brass Hearse, a new group that features the members of Boston rock/synth group Wolfmen of Mars. Essentially the same style but now with vocals, Brass Hearse will immediately stand out to fans of John Carpenter but those who listen closer will pick up on elements of The Cure and even some Type O Negative. If you’ve been looking for some goth-y electronic rock with splashes of industrial thrown in hither and yon, I have a feeling you’re going to dig the hell out of Brass Hearse!

Previously, Wolfmen of Mars’ Luke told us, “It’s Wolfmen of Mars with vocals, but very much its own thing. A bit darker, a little bit more new wave. It’s a hard album to describe. Ron Rochondo from Ice Dragon wrote all the vocals and they fit the music perfectly. I can’t wait to share the tunes with you!

Well, today is the day that we get to share a taste of the new tunes with all of you! Below is the premiere of the track “Rain Grey, Dark Sky”, which swirls and pumps in a controlled frenzy, the verse containing itself only to open wide during the chorus, the sonorous vocals suddenly crying out like a ghastly specter.

Brass Hearse’s debut album will be available on vinyl and as a digital download on December 1 from Burning Witches Records. Meanwhile, you can download “Ran Grey, Dark Sky” via Bandcamp.

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Exclusive: Sean Patrick Flanery-Led Lasso Ropes in Multiple Offers After AFM Appearance

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Lasso, a horror film starring Sean Patrick Flanery (The Boondock Saints, Saw 3D), was in attendance at this year’s American Film Market in Santa Monica and it seems to have made quite the impression! The film is currently in the middle of several distribution offers, some of which include theatrical distribution plans. No choice has been made by the Lasso team as they’re still hearing more and more offers but it’s certainly intriguing and exciting to see a horror film get so much attention!

Director Evan Cecil tells Dread Central, ““I am crazy flattered and honored at all the attention and interest Lasso received during the American Film Market and is still receiving from our industry peers. A lot of effort was put into making something different and interesting but most of all entertaining and fun to watch. Of course, we are hoping for a theatrical deal because that would be beyond cool, but also because the big screen is still the best way to watch a horror film. I love the thought of horror fans getting to enjoy Lasso all huge!

We can also reveal that we’ve been told that the film has 20 unique kills during its current 97-minute runtime, which means an average of one kill for approximately every four minutes! If you’re into horror for the body count, sounds like Lasso is going to be right up your alley!

Cecil directs and also produces alongside Todd J Myers and Elaine Gibson. Flanery stars with Lindsey Morgan (“The 100”), Karen Grassle, Andrew Jacobs, Travis Andre Ross, Heather Mignon, and Skyler Cooper.

Synopsis:
Kit (Lindsey Morgan) and Simon (Andrew Jacobs) are two young leaders of an Active Senior Tour group who go out on an adventure to a small-town Rodeo festival located deep in the woods. It’s a great experience for the group…until they try to leave. Simon and Kit must save themselves, and whatever seniors they can, from becoming victims of a deadly Rodeo Ritual. Along the way they join up with another unexpected group of victims, including a one-armed cowboy, Ennis (Sean Patrick Flanery), Rosheen, the Rodeo queen, and Trish, a powerhouse female bull rider. Together the group must fight to survive the night from relentless bloodthirsty cowboys on the hunt for human livestock.

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The Walking Dead Ratings Drop to Six-Year Low

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Well, this isn’t good.

Turns out that AMC’s hit zombie series “The Walking Dead” has hit a ratings low with the release of it’s newest episode “The Big Scary U”. A rating drop the likes of which the series hasn’t seen since the dog days of season 2.

Personally, season 2 was when I ditched the series and never looked back. I’ve heard a lot over the years that the series improved greatly moving on from the disastrousrious second season, but I’m all good.

I have shows like “Stranger Things” (review), “Mindhunter”(review), and “AHS: Cult” (review) to keep me company.

For full breakdown on the recent rating drop with a bunch of stats involving demographics and whatnot, you can check out Deadline‘s article on the matter.

Everyone else I guess can just keep moving on with their lives.

Do you still watch “The Walking Dead”? Should I give the series another shot? Make sure to hit us up and let us know in the comments below or on social media!

The Walking Dead Season 8 is currently airing on AMC.

Season 8 synopsis:

Last season, Rick Grimes and his group of survivors were confronted with their deadliest challenge yet. With the comfort of Alexandria, they let their guard down, only to be reminded how brutal the world they live in can be.

Feeling powerless under Negan’s rules and demands, Rick advocated the group play along. But seeing that Negan couldn’t be reasoned with, Rick began rallying together other communities affected by the Saviors. And with the support of the Hilltop and Kingdom, they finally have enough fire power to contest the Saviors.

This season, Rick brings “All Out War” to Negan and his forces. The Saviors are larger, better-equipped, and ruthless — but Rick and the unified communities are fighting for the promise of a brighter future. The battle lines are drawn as they launch into a kinetic, action-packed offensive.

Up until now, survival has been the focus of Rick and our group, but it’s not enough. They have to fight to take back their freedom so that they can live. So that they can rebuild. As with any battle, there will be losses. Casualties. But with Rick leading the Alexandrian forces, Maggie leading the Hilltop, and King Ezekiel leading the Kingdom — Negan and the Saviors’ grip on this world may finally be coming to an end.

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