American Horror Story: Cult, Episode 1

This season is off to a good start.  Even though the show has politics in it, it’s not about the politics, it’s about the horror.  Political events serve as a backdrop to the horror of a bloodthirsty cult menacing a small town in Michigan and, in particular, a woman, Ally, who lives there with her lesbian lover and their child.  The show’s depiction of a cult evokes the Manson family’s slaughter of Sharon Tate and her friends in a Benedict Canyon mansion at 10050 Cielo Drive, which her husband Roman Polanski was renting from music talent manager Rudolph Altobelli, on a hot August night during the Summer of Love in 1969.

Absurdly and ludicrously, everybody goes crazy in Michigan after Trump beats Hillary in the presidential election, none more so than Ally, the Hillary supporter, and Kai, the Trump supporter.  Ally lives in constant terror and slips in and out of psychosis. Meanwhile, Kai goes bonkers, paints his face with Cheetos, and assembles a cult of murderers, which is when the killer clowns appear and massacre a family, and the horror begins.

Westworld Comes to TV

Westworld on HBO is an interesting series with potential, although I find it confusing. Where are the humans that patronize the theme park?  It seems like everyone in the theme park is a robot.

In the Michael Crichton movie of the same name, the heroes are the humans that visit the park and are subsequently terrorized by the robots that go berserk, namely, Yul Bryner’s black-outfitted gunslinger character.

The only humans in the television series are the ones that service the robots.  Apparently, we are supposed to root for the robots as they slowly become conscious and decide they don’t like their programed fates.

Still, if humans don’t patronize the theme park and interact with the robots, what’s the point of building it?  Where’s the fun in it?

The patrons of the theme park should make an appearance.  If they’re already there, I can’t tell them from the robots.  How are we supposed to know who’s a robot and who’s a human patron?  The only humans we’ve seen are the repairmen and the scientists that created the robots.  Then again, maybe they’re robots, too.  In which case, who created them?

 

Damien on TV

I’ve been watching the TV series Damien.  It’s based on the classic horror movie The Omen, which starred Gregory Peck as an ambassador and the father of the Antichrist Damien.  In that movie Peck finds out that Damien isn’t really his son, who was killed by Satanists and replaced by the evil Damien, son of Satan, to grow up in Peck’s household.

As a TV series, Damien isn’t bad.  It has its share of horrific scenes.  But Damien, for some inexplicable reason, is a nice guy.  In a recent episode he saved a child from being run over by a speeding locomotive.  It seems out of character for the Antichrist to be saving children.  But that’s the premise of the TV series.  Damien is the reluctant Antichrist.  He doesn’t want to grow up to be evil, even if Barbara Hershey, his protector, encourages him to assume his true role in life–as Satan’s son.  She serves as his psychologist.  She understands his true identity, even if he, as yet, doesn’t.

I don’t know how long Damien can continue to be nice.  After all, this is the kid on his tricycle who crashed into his mother and knocked her over a balustrade down to the first floor in their mansion, where she broke her back and leg and ended up in traction in the hospital.  Now how could such an evil brat grow up to be a nice guy who saves children from being run over by trains?

It remains to be seen whether Damien will become more evil as the show progresses. Certainly, anybody who annoys him or attacks him meets with a horrible death.  His attackers tend to be members of a religious order that use special knives to try to kill him.  These relic knives were introduced in the original movie directed by Richard Donner.  Peck tried to kill Damien with one not long after he watched David Warner lose his head.  Like anybody else, Damien has the moral right to defend himself from being murdered, and, since he’s acting in self-defense, he could still be considered a good guy.

I like the creepy atmosphere that this show has, enhanced by the Satanic choir singing in the background accompanied by frenetic organ music, which worked to the same effect in the movie.  Created by Glen Mazzara, this show has potential, and I will continue watching it to see if Damien will become more evil.  Don’t forget, this guy is the Antichrist.