Archivio Stampa John Kenneth Muir's Reflections on Cult Movies and Classic TV (USA)

The X-Files 20th Anniversary Blogging: ''Our Town'' (May 12, 1995)

I’ve written about this idea before in specific relation to an earlier season two entry, “The Host,” but The X-Files strikes me as one of the most potent horror series in television history because it often deals at point-blank range with the underneath “sausage-making” of our industrial, technological, late-20th century culture. In terms of “The Host,” the entire episode spawned an uncomfortable awareness of what happens when you flush the toilet. Where does the waste go? What happens to it? How is it treated? How is it disposed? And finally, what ... [Continua a leggere]

The X-Files 20th Anniversary Blogging: ''F. Emasculata'' (April 28, 1995)

If I were compiling my top ten list of X-Files episodes, the second season installment “F. Emasculata” would definitely make the cut. Not coincidentally, it would also take the number one slot for “most disgusting episode” of the long-lived sci-fi/horror series. In this episode, Mulder and Scully battle a deadly, incredibly contagious disease, and most not only stop its transmission, but make some tough choices about how much information the public has a right to know in times of an emergency. What makes this episode by Chris Carter and Howard Gordon such a visceral, ... [Continua a leggere]

The X-Files 20th Anniversary Blogging: ''Colony'' / ''End Game'' (February 10 and 17, 1995)

An action-rich and suspenseful mythology story, the second season double-header of “Colony”/”End Game” suggests the inherent and indisputable movie potential of the X-Files franchise. Even today, twenty years later, one can screen these two episodes back-to-back and get caught up in the visual and emotional arcs of the Chris Carter/Frank Spotnitz tale Interestingly, I often encounter folks who claim not to like the The X-Files Mytharc stories, and complain that such tales are too complicated, or just too difficult to follow. That argument isn’t exactly air tight ... [Continua a leggere]

The X-Files 20th Anniversary Blogging: ''Die Hand Die Verletzt'' (January 27, 1995)

This second season episode of The X-Files (1993 – 2002) is one of the sharpest, most stunning social critiques in the entire catalog. In “Die Hand die Verletzt,” Mulder and Scully deal -- in storied New England -- with the Satanist equivalent of “Cafeteria Catholics,” religious practitioners who pick and choose which edicts and dogma they want to believe in, and ignore the rest. But when you’re dealing with the Devil himself, it’s dangerous to break faith, as the episode suggests in no uncertain terms. “Die Hand die Verletzt’s” bri ... [Continua a leggere]

The X-Files 20th Anniversary Blogging: ''Irresistible'' (January 13, 1995)

Chris Carter presents one of the darkest and most disturbing The X-Files episodes of the entire series catalog with his terrifying and relentless second season entry, “Irresistible.” Leaving behind the expected “fantasy” elements of the series such as aliens and monsters-of-the-week, the series creator, aided by director David Nutter, instead provides here a glimpse of the ultimate and most fearsome mystery: human evil. As a creative and intellectual series, The X-Files is a very Gothic enterprise. By and large, it concerns a voice of rationality and a voice of romanc ... [Continua a leggere]

The X-Files 20th Anniversary Blogging: ''One Breath'' (November 11, 1994)

“One Breath” vividly diagrams the boundaries separating life from death, as well as Dana Scully’s “near death experience” at the shore-line between those states of existence. Gratifyingly, the episode provides resonant visuals to embody this strange “border land.” Indeed, many of the episode’s images -- from the opening scene involving Scully’s childhood, to her journey to a long, white tunnel of memory -- prove unforgettable. This episode from early in The X-Files’ second season also continues to chart Mulder’s emotional and ... [Continua a leggere]

The X-Files 20th Anniversary Blogging: ''3'' (November 4, 1994)

The second season episode “3” has never been particularly well-regarded by fans of The X-Files, and there are reasons that support this point-of-view. For instance, this is an episode where Mulder works alone, and Scully is nowhere to be found, thus flouting conventional formula. And, shippers may be disappointed or angry because Mulder experiences a sexual liaison with a woman in the story who is not Scully. Indeed a certain percentage of the hostility aimed at “3” apparently revolves around Mulder having intimate relations with another woman. Some fans consider thi ... [Continua a leggere]

The X-Files 20th Anniversary Blogging: ''Duane Barry'' / ''Ascension''

The X-Files first great two-part episode, “Duane Barry”/”Ascension” plays a lot like a 1990s action thriller, with a tense opening act involving a hostage negotiation, and a final act that gets down to business with picturesque locations, and impressive physical stunts. That description, however, only begins to scratch the surface of this two-part epic, a legitimate X-Files classic. This is also the story-line, for instance, that forwards significantly the series’ ongoing subplot about alien abduction (first introduced in the pilot), and ends on a cliffhanger in ... [Continua a leggere]

The X-Files 20th Anniversary Blogging: ''The Host'' (September 23, 1994)

When I reviewed “The Erlenmeyer Flask” a few weeks ago, I discussed the notion of the alien corpse or “wellspring” as a kind of Pandora’s Box. Use of the alien corpse’s DNA in scientific experimentation would mean -- in the universe of The X-Files --a brave new world, one with infinite variations, and infinite capacity for good and evil applications. Chris Carter’s episode “The Host” also involves, at least implicitly, a Pandora’s Box of another brand. In “The Host,” Mulder and Scully investigate a strange mutant spawned ... [Continua a leggere]

20th Anniversary X-Files Blogging: ''Little Green Men'' (September 16, 1994)

The X-Files goes big and deep with its second season premiere, “Little Green Men,” which aired on Fox television September 16, 1994. The story, by James Wong and Glen Morgan, concerns an existential crisis for Mulder. Without the X-Files as an overriding purpose, he has difficulty holding on to and maintaining his belief system. Mulder’s crisis of faith is played out in “Little Green Men” on a much bigger scale than many season one episodes of The X-Files, suggesting a budgetary boost, perhaps. Whereas many X-Files episodes of the first season were contained in ... [Continua a leggere]

20th Anniversary X-Files Blogging: ''The Erlenmeyer Flask'' (May 13, 1994)

The X-Files’ first season finale, “The Erlenmeyer Flask” is both a logical development of the series pilot, which established extra-terrestrial incursions on Earth, and a vanguard for the overall Myth-Arc, which describes over several seasons an attempt by humans to create human-alien hybrids before alien colonization of Earth commences in 2012. Written by Chris Carter and directed by R.W. Goodwin, “The Erlenmeyer Flask” -- like many of the greatest episodes of The X-Files – also takes as its inspiration a real-life story or mystery, and then turns that mys ... [Continua a leggere]

The X-Files 20th Anniversary Blogging: ''Darkness Falls'' (April 15, 1994)

In a segment similar in structure to “Ice,” The X-Files episode “Darkness Falls” finds Mulder and Scully in an isolated location (this time an impenetrable forest a full day’s hike from civilization…) battling a microscopic life-form from prehistory with the capacity to destroy mankind if it spreads to the world at large. The factor that meaningfully differentiates “Darkness Falls” from “Ice,” however, is the episode’s context or background. In “Ice” the F.B.I. agents had to contend with an infectious parasite insi ... [Continua a leggere]

20th Anniversary X-Files Blogging: ''Gender Bender''

“Gender Bender,” which first aired on Fox TV on January 21 of 1994, remains one of the weirder and perhaps more controversial first season episodes of The X-Files. That controversy arises -- as it often does in life -- over one particular subject: sex. In particular, this installment directed by Rob Bowman muses upon the qualities that comprise human sexual attraction and arousal. In the final analysis, does it all simply come down to chemical attraction? Can our responses, in effect, be programmed by chemical changes? This is not merely a matter for intellectual debate, eithe ... [Continua a leggere]

The X-Files 20th Anniversary Blogging: "Beyond the Sea" (January 7, 1994)

In “Beyond the Sea,” which originally aired on Fox TV on January 7, 1994, Scully’s father (Don Davis) unexpectedly passes way during the holidays following a sudden, massive coronary. Scully (Gillian Anderson) experiences a premonitory vision of her late father immediately before her mother (Sheila Larken) notifies her by phone of his death. At work the next day, Scully and Mulder (David Duchovy) attempt to locate and rescue two kidnapped teenagers in Raleigh, North Carolina by meeting with a notorious death row inmate, Luther Lee Boggs (Brad Dourif). Boggs claims psychic p ... [Continua a leggere]

The X-Files 20th Anniversary Blogging: "Eve" (December 10, 1993)

“Eve” is our X-Files episode of the week as we continue to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the classic Chris Carter TV series.  This eleventh episode of the fledgling series was penned by Kenneth Biller and Chris Brancato, and directed by Fred Gerber. “Eve” commences as Scully (Gillian Anderson) and Mulder (David Duchovny) fly to Greenwich, Connecticut to investigate the death of a suburban man who was drained of blood.  Mulder suspects alien abduction is behind the murder, citing examples of cattle-mutilations with a similar modus operandi. At first, the o ... [Continua a leggere]



Statistiche Archivio