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The X-Files – Home (Review)

This February and March, we’re taking a trip back in time to review the fourth season of The X-Files and the first season of Millennium.

Home is a big one.

It is an episode that is frequently ranked among the best that the show ever produced. It is an episode that many viewers remember quite clearly, even if they only saw it once years earlier. It was the first episode of the show to receive a viewer discretion warning on initial broadcast and was famously never repeated on the Fox Network. “It had one airing and then it was banned,” writer Glen Morgan quipped. “Jim and I don’t get rerun money for that.” It is also one of the rare episodes of The X-Files that is not explicitly paranormal in its subject matter, instead wandering into the macabre and the taboo.

Here there be monsters...

Here there be monsters…

Home also marks the return of writers Glen Morgan and James Wong to the series, following the cancellation of Space: Above and Beyond. With the debut of Millennium looming, the production team on The X-Files was under pressure. Fox had convinced Morgan and Wong to return to Ten Thirteen in return for producing a pilot for The Notorious Seven, one the duo’s long-gestating ideas. Morgan and Wong would produce four episodes of the fourth season of The X-Files and three episodes of the first season of Millennium.

Home is the first of their four scripts for the fourth season of The X-Files, and it sets the mood quite well. Returning from Space: Above and Beyond, the two seemed to be bristling with an electric energy and a palpable frustration. While not all four scripts are unqualified masterpieces, they each serve to push The X-Files further than it has gone before. Perhaps the most surprising thing about Home is that it is the most conventional of these four explosive scripts.

The mother of all problems...

The mother of all problems…

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Non-Review Review: Return of the Living Dead

Return of the Living Dead is a fairly strange beast. Something of a black comedy spin-off from George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead, the film is a ridiculously campy exploration of trashy low-rent horror… and yet somehow has been picked up and embraced by popular culture. After all, this is the movie that introduced the idea that zombies weren’t just satiated by consuming large quantities of meat (most often from humans) – this was the film which introduced the idea of zombies stumbling forward, repeatedly droning “braaaaains!” It’s a concept which has been so throughly incorporated into pop culture’s definition of zombie (although it’s rarely the case, we still expect it and recognise it), so it seems strange that it came from a spoof.

No bones about it...

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Non-Review Review: The Evil Dead

This is a post as part of “Raimi-fest”, the event being organised by the always wonderful Bryce over at Things That Don’t Suck.

Sam Raimi’s original Evil Dead is actually a pretty decent addition to the zero-budget teens-go-up-to-the-woods-today-and-are-sure-of-a-big-surprise subgenre. It’s a trashy horror which demonstrates a deeper affinity for the genre than a lot of other “video nasty” slasher films are prone to. However, while the film displays clear hints of the director’s developing skill, it still feels just a little bit too much like another random exploitation “schlock and shock” film.

Axe any questions you might have...

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Non-Review Review: Piranha 3D

You know, I wanted to like Piranha 3D. I really did. I like a certain level of schlock and self-awareness which a film like this really just promises. Hell, I’ll normally even acknowledge that a one-note film can strike that one note particularly well. Unfortunately, Piranha 3D is just… well, let’s just say I’d probably enjoy skinny-dipping with the eponymous monsters more than watching them.

Fish out of water...

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