The Horror Honeys

Horror Anime ~ School's out for "School - Live!"

A Monster Honey Out of Genre Review 
by Sarah @sarahjosmiley 

Despite initial appearances, this is a horror anime. It’s even possible that by simply telling you this fact I might have said too much. However the experience of watching School-Live!, or to use it it’s Japanese title Gakkou Gurashi, “Living at School,” is such that doing so is worth it if it convinces someone who might not otherwise have seen the show to check it out.

Yuki Takeya loves her school. She even belongs to a unique club; The School Living Club, who stay at the school full-time and make use of all of its great resources. The club also consists of the responsible and big sisterly Club President Yurii Wakasa, the spunky and determined Kurumi Ebisuzawa, quiet reader Miki Naoki, and their pet dog Taromaru, all watched by the careful eye of their faculty advisor the sweet and slightly timid Megumi Sakura, AKA “Megu-nee”. So far it all sounds very cutesy school anime in the vein of K-on!, Azumanga Daioh, or Lucky Star; full of club shenanigans and fun life lessons and friendship as the girls go through their school lives until graduation, and it is that. However it is also something so much more in a very surprising way.

That is the extent of what I want to reveal without you having seen the show. To get the fullest experience, stop reading, go watch at least the first episode, and then come back for fuller thoughts. This is an anime that is at times sweet and funny and others dark and harrowing, but throughout it is an engaging and unique watch. The show won’t be completely ruined for you if you do read on, as there are plenty of elements to the show that will not be discussed, but you might miss out on a part of the experience that you would have preferred to have. Consider yourselves warned.

Appearances can be deceiving.

'Foolish Mortals' is a Glorious Celebration of the Dark Side of Disney

All photos courtesy of their individual owners

A Red Carpet Review with Musical Horror Honey Brittany

Foolish Mortals (2017)

There is something incredibly special about being in a room with other superfans, celebrating the thing you are all so passionate about. Such was the case at the world premiere of Foolish Mortals, a (non-Disney sanctioned!) documentary focusing on fans of Disney’s Haunted Mansion attraction. Even in the small room where the movie premiered, right across the street from D23, the excitement was infectious, bouncing from person to person, in anticipation of viewing the finished film.

Beware Trash Heaps Bearing Gifts: John Leonetti’s "Wish Upon"

A Supernatural Honey New Release Review with Kim

Wish Upon (2017)

Everyone knows the phrase, “Be careful what you wish for.” Indeed, there have been a number of horror films that have already dealt with that very premise. Wishmaster has managed to build an entire franchise on the notion that wishes can be warped and have dire consequences. John Leonetti’s new film, Wish Upon, is not treading any new or remarkable ground, but that doesn’t stop it from being a highly entertaining movie. Leonetti has a handful of horror credits under his belt, most recently The Conjuring follow-up, Annabelle, and with his many years spent as a cinematographer, he is no stranger to the genre.

A Journey into Art House Throwback with 'Francesca'

All photos courtesy of Jinga Films

A New Release Review with Revenge Honey Addison Peacock

Francesca (2017)

The opening credits sequence of Giallo-throwback Francesca (released abroad in 2015 and just making its US debut) is an exercise in discomfort. Dissonant sounds, harsh light, and disturbing imagery play together with an almost desperate need to unnerve its audience. A child’s voice sings in the background while a little girl gleefully prods at the carcass of a dead bird and a creepy broken doll watches the scene unfold. It is unsettling, weirdly magnetic, and almost nonsensical, and it sets up exactly what is to come throughout the rest of the film. If you are enticed by this opening sequence and want to watch the rest of the film, go right ahead. It is a film with many artistic merits and if it is the sort of film that you enjoy you should certainly watch it. However, if you chose to stop your viewing here, you would not miss very much. The entire film can be boiled down to that one moment, that one sequence: a lovely young girl in harsh sunlight, beautifully and artfully stabbing a dead bird over and over and over again.

Chucky is a lot artsier than I remembered...

'Legion' is Legendary...

A Season Review with Zombie Honey Bella Blitz

Legion (2017 - )

All photos courtesy of FX
The word ‘legion’ represents a multitude of people or things. Comic books are legion. Comic book movies are legion. Comic book TV shows are becoming legion. And the first season of the FX show Legion represents a multitude of ideas, characters, relatability, colors, emotions, and horror visuals to keep you satisfied until season two gets underway.

He doesn't look crazy to me.

Honey Wine & Horror: A New Interview with Food Designer Janice Poon

All photos courtesy of their individual owners
A Horror Honeys Interview from Classics Honey Samantha McLaren

For fans of Neil Gaiman, Bryan Fuller, or weird television in general, this Sunday’s TV schedule felt oddly empty. It was, after all, the first Sunday since the American Gods season finale.

Years in the making, the hotly anticipated adaptation of Gaiman’s Hugo, Nebula, and Bram Stoker award-winning novel did not disappoint. Oozing with hallucinogenic visuals and decadently off-kilter sound design, the series was a gory head trip into spiritual delirium, opening enough veins along the way to keep even the most demanding god satiated in blood sacrifices until the second season rolls around. Better yet, it vastly expanded the roles of some of the book’s fascinating female characters (like man-eating love goddess Bilquis and “dead wife” Laura Moon), and features one of the most achingly beautiful gay sex scenes ever shown on TV.

Food designer Janice Poon
And really, we expected nothing less with co-showrunner Bryan Fuller steering the ship toward the Promised Land. As an added treat for those who’ve followed Fuller’s work, American Gods’ cast and crew were a who’s who of the man’s regular collaborators, including Pushing Daisies’ Kristin Chenoweth and Hannibal’s Gillian Anderson, Jonathan Tucker, and Demore Barnes.

But one of the creatives whose return we were most excited about works behind the camera, creating the elaborate feasts that helped make Hannibal so visually delicious. We are, of course, talking about incomparable food stylist, illustrator, and writer, Janice Poon. For Gods, she fed the multitude of deities far more than fish and loaves, with dishes ranging from humble Russian cabbage rolls for Czernobog and the Zorya sisters to wash down with vodka, to cheeky stigmata cookies that would make the many Jesuses weep. The finale even offered up adorable roasted rabbits leaping over a colorful Easter banquet, displaying the morbid humor and charm in unexpected places that make Poon and Fuller’s collaboration such a blessing.

Despite her extensive dabblings in (fictional) cannibalism at Hannibal Lecter’s dinner table, Poon is remarkably kind, thoughtful, and approachable. I caught up with her after her recent appearance at Split Screens Festival’s Hannibal panel in New York, which also featured actor Raul Esparza (Frederick Chilton), several creatives within the Fannibal community, and creator Bryan Fuller himself via Skype (resplendent in a flower crown and fan-created t-shirt of Lecter and protagonist Will Graham sharing an intimate moment). It didn’t take three glasses of honey wine to seal the deal; Poon graciously agreed to share a few sacred words with The Horror Honeys about hungry Gods and even hungrier Fannibals.

Stop Rewarding Mediocre White Dudes - A Head Honey Rant

All photos courtesy of their individual distributors and owners
A State of Hollywood Rant with Head Honey Linnie

Once upon a time, a man (yes, man... let's not operate under any delusions going forward) had to work his ass off to get a big-budget feature gig in Hollywood. Cinematic Master William Wyler, despite being related to Universal Studio's head Carl Laemmle, had to toil away on shorts and westerns before establishing himself as a respected director. John Ford, while himself part of a 'Hollywood dynasty,' made dozens of silent short films, and even filmed while serving in the Navy during World War II, until he was trusted with the caliber of Westerns that would make him an icon. A man used to have to work in Hollywood to be respected.

John Ford: When men were men, and women... were probably getting the coffee
Now, all a man needs is one low-budget indie, a charming smile, and a producer (almost always also in possession of a penis) to say, "Hey! That dude deserves a break! He's worked hard enough!"

Dead Boys: A Hollywood Fringe Festival Review

A Hollywood Fringe Festival Review with Horror TV Honey Kat Wells

Photos courtesy of Matthew Scott Montgomery
For the last four years, actor and writer Matthew Scott Montgomery has been surprising L.A. theatergoers with his specific brand of Kevin Williamson-esque whip-smart drama with a sprinkling of gut-wrenching terror thrown in for good measure. His Spook Night event has sold out every October that it’s been in production, and despite occasional forays outside of the spooky (the holiday-themed Merry Christmas, Bitch and Fuck Valentine’s Day were personal favorites of mine), Montgomery always works his way back to darker themes. In Dead Boys, his offering to the Hollywood Fringe Festival this June, the personal horrors his characters grapple with are rivaled by literal monsters at the door in a play that is an eye-of-the-storm meditation on forgiveness, race, sexuality, and religion.

You Can’t Look Away from 'NORMAL'

Photos courtesy of The Vagrancy
Photos by Wes Marsala
A Hollywood Fringe Festival Review with Musical Horror Honey Brittany Mosley

NORMAL (2017)

Walking into the theatre for the Hollywood Fringe Festival’s production and West Coast Premiere of NORMAL, carnival music is quietly playing and a man stands upstage facing away from the audience. A mannequin lies against the wall. A creepy porcelain doll sits on a shelf. The lighting is almost flickering. Before the show even begins, the audience shifts uncomfortably, wondering what they’ve just gotten themselves into.

It only gets more disturbing from there.

Shakespearean Interpretation Shines in 'Ritual'

Photos courtesy of the Hollywood Fringe Festival

A Hollywood Fringe Festival Review with Musical Horror Honey Brittany Mosley

Ritual (2017)

Ritual, currently playing at the Hollywood Fringe Festival, is billed as a “movement-based exploration of rituals [including] death and dying, transference of power, communication, and marriage.” Utilizing excerpts from Shakespearean works, both well-known and not, the Full Circle Players perform sonnets and scenes to convey the powerful emotions surrounding society’s rituals. Some of these scenes were more successful than others, however, as a whole, Ritual has a hard time conveying all of the messages it hopes to share.