A pair of backpackers headed for Shining Lake are waylaid by paranoid pot grower Delmar Blake, who thinks they’re cops and brings them back to his camp. The terrified couple—they own a dog-wash called “Hair of the Dog”—are begging for their lives when some … thing … attacks Delmar and strangles him. The hikers get free and run. The next day Hank and Nick show up, along with the DEA. They’ve been trying to nail Delmar for three years. They knew he was moving drugs but they had no idea he had three million dollars in marijuana plants in the woods.
And the plants are still there, but all of Delmar’s camping equipment and his food are missing. That’s just weird.
Nick takes a closer look at the crime scene and spots a teenage female blutbad. He gets a sample of her hair and some buckshot embedded in a tree.
Hank and Nick pay a visit to the backpacker couple, who live in a terrific house. (Portland is a place where working class people can still buy nice houses; check out the “houses for sale” on Portland CraigsList.)
The couple are still shaken by their ordeal—the boyfriend has a bandage on his head from where Delmar hit him with the butt of a shotgun—but tell the cops that whatever was in the woods saved their lives.
Back at headquarters, Hank and Nick show Captain Renard slides of the dead Delmar, who was clearly strangled by a very strong rope. (They don’t yet realize it was a plaited rope of hair, a la Tangled.)
Like the detectives, Capt. Renard is confused by what’s going on. If Delmar were killed by a rival drug dealer, the killer wouldn’t have left the plants. He tells the guys to keep him in the loop.
Delmar’s brothers arrive at the police station, demanding justice for their brother. Hank insists they show some ID before he’ll tell them anything and when he and Nick are satisfied they’re who they say they are, they all head for the morgue. Read the rest of this entry »
Theodor Seuss Geisel (aka Dr. Seuss) wrote How the Grinch Stole Christmas in 1957. Nine years later, it was adapted into a half-hour, animated special for television and it’s been running ever since. In 2000, Ron Howard teamed up with Jim Carrey to create a live-action version of the story, a big, colorful, noisy adaptation that ran for 104 minutes and made nearly $350 million worldwide. It was a huge success and yet… I prefer the original.
Here are five reasons why:
- Boris Karloff. Not only was he the voice of the animated Grinch, he also provided the narration. It was like having your grandfather read the story to you, a grandfather who was gifted at doing voices and whose own deep and resonant voice belied his age. (Karloff would die three years later at 81.) All due respect to Carrey, but an awful lot of the time, his Grinch sounded like Richard Nixon.
- The songs. Dr. Seuss wrote the lyrics for the songs and they were in rhyme, just like the rest of the tale. In the original animated adaptation, nothing was added to Seuss’ words because nothing needed to be added. And who can forget the signature song, “You’re a mean one, Mr. Grinch?” sung by Thurl Ravenscroft.
- Thurl Ravenscroft is not credited on Grinch, a mistake that horrified Seuss and co-producer/director Chuck Jones, who took out an ad in Variety to publicize his performance. Thurl did a lot of work for Disney but he’s probably best known for being the voice of Tony the Tiger in Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes commercials. His voice was as indelibly imprinted on the material as Karloff’s.
- The simplicity. Ron Howard created his own version of Seuss’ classic story but it was very much his version and not Seuss’ version. Everything about the original version had to do with the meaning of Christmas and the simplicity of the message that Christmas is in our hearts and not about the presents. Howard’s version has the same message but it’s overblown and overdone and not simple.
- The subtlety and sweetness. In the animated version, little Cindy Lou Who is an adorable two-year-old with wide blue eyes. In the Howard version, she’s an annoying sitcom moppet played by Taylor Momsen, who would make a splash as Jenny in Gossip Girl seven years later. It was a whole different vibe.
Animated or live action—no Christmas season is complete without a viewing of one or the other. My choice is the original.
There’s a full moon out and a big guy named HAP is smoking and drinking and working out with a Shake-Weight (shades of the late, great John Candy’s “Johnny LaRue” character) when an over-enthusiastic shake sends the weight out the window of the geodesic dome where he lives. He’s outside retrieving the weight when his home blows up behind him, destroying his Iron Butterfly album and his comic book collection.
The next morning, as firefighters finish up at the scene, Nick and Hank arrive to talk to Hap who, under stress, reveals he’s a blutbad to Nick’s GRIMMvision. Note: the writers are really sloppy about day/night transitions on this show and this episode is one of the worst offenders so far.)
At the police station, Hap makes a call to a friend, asking if he can stay with him just until he gets back on his feet.
Hap reveals that he owes money to a lot of people for ill-considered business ventures (like a strip-mall creperie) and as Nick is getting the particulars, a mysterious motorcyclist pulls up to the remains of Hap’s house and takes a framed photo away.
Monroe shows up at the precinct to retrieve Hap (and he does not look happy). He tells Nick that he and Hap went through a treatment program a long time ago. Read the rest of this entry »