Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Alex Iby on Unsplash

It’s just mean spirited.

“Oooh, I have a funny vegan story.”

No, dear non-vegan. No, you do not.

This phrase is more likely to elicit an eye-roll than laughter from the vegan you’re about to offend. I don’t believe I’ve ever heard this phrase and laughed at the story that followed — and I’ve heard this phrase quite a bit in my four vegan years.

There are only two types of “funny vegan stories” that come from non-vegans.

One: the “hilarious” set a half-eaten animal product (such as a fast food burger) next to them in bed while they’re sleeping gag. This prank is generally pulled after a night of drinking, making the vegan believe they may have eaten it after a few too many. …


Image for post
Image for post
Sketch by author

In the late ’80s/early ’90s, the mullet reigned supreme. A hairstyle that embraced both work and pleasure, its appeal spread far and wide. It seemed to be the pinnacle of hair fashion — until it suddenly wasn’t. Somewhere along the lines, someone deemed the hairstyle “lame” and “trashy.” This new opinion spread like wildfire, until the mullet was banished to small, rural areas known as “redneck country.” However, in its glory days, the mullet was modeled by the finest talents in entertainment. From action heroes to rock gods, comedians to rebel teenagers, the mullet was a hairstyle fit for both kings and peasants. …


Image for post
Image for post
Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

It’s week something, day whatever of distance learning. Your alarm goes off at 7:15 AM. You had every intention of working out before that 8 AM meeting, but that was last night at midnight when you had a considerably larger amount of energy and umph. You roll back over and fall back asleep.

7:30 AM: The second alarm that you set just in case goes off. It would be nice to shower and make yourself look presentable for the staff Zoom conference you have in a half an hour, but is that really a priority? The only people that ever look presentable is your administrators and that freak co-worker that woke up three hours ago to go for a run. …


Image for post
Image for post
Copyright: Universal Studios

Under the circumstances, the success of ‘Trolls World Tour’ is being misjudged by both its studio and theater chains.

If you had told me at this time last year that the biggest story coming from the film industry would revolve around Trolls World Tour, I would have laughed you out of the room. Yet, here we are.

The sequel to Universal’s Trolls was set to hit theaters on April 10. That of course, didn’t happen as theaters began to shut down in masses by the end of March. Now, the next wide theatrical release is Christopher Nolan’s Tenet, which is still optimistically holding onto its July 17 release date. Universal, hoping to make some money during a time when studios are desperate for profit, decided to release Trolls World Tour on paid-video-on-demand (PVOD) on the day it was supposed to be released in theaters. …


Image for post
Image for post
Image via The Movie Database

85 years ago, James Whale’s campy, gothic masterpiece changed horror cinema forever.

I’ll never forget the first time I watched James Whale’s The Bride of Frankenstein. I rented it from the public library when I was ten, rushed home, and put it on. I was only about ten minutes into the film — the scene in which the Monster appears in the well beneath the fallen windmill and strangles poor Hans — when my mother and three-year-old sister came home. I was immediately told, “Turn that off while your sister is around.” And thus ended my first viewing. I, of course, revisited The Bride of Frankenstein later that night after everyone had went to bed, and found myself enamored with it. …


Image for post
Image for post
Image via The Movie Database

Have you ever had a movie hit you at just the right time and in just the right way, becoming an instant favorite as the credits roll? A movie so delightful and charming that you feel the need to tell everyone about it immediately? For a lot of people I know, that movie was something like Paddington 2 or Frozen. In my case, that film is Extra Ordinary.

Lest the “comparison” to two children’s films confuse you, Extra Ordinary is not a children’s film. It’s an Irish film which centers around around a woman who can communicate with the dead colliding with a washed up musician attempting to regain fame and fortune through Satanic means. …


Image for post
Image for post
Image via The Movie Database

The critically acclaimed sitcom already has a cult following. With its Netflix debut, could it become a pop culture mainstay like ‘The Office’?

Streaming has become the new syndication it seems, with television shows finding a second life through streaming sites. Sitcoms like The Office and Parks and Recreation are arguably more popular now than they were while airing, largely due to their accessibility on Netflix. And as much as I enjoy both of those shows, I can never bring them into conversation without also mentioning Community.

Community is centered around a group of seven misfits of different backgrounds that form a study group at the fictional Greendale College. Heartfelt, humorous, and clever, Community garnered a cult following during its run which grew slightly on Hulu, the show’s previous streaming home. Last week, however, the Dan Harmon-created sitcom was moved to Netflix worldwide. …


Image for post
Image for post
Still from ‘Shaun of the Dead’ — via IMDb

You won’t find ‘Contagion’ anywhere on this list.

Like everyone, when the world started closing down and forcing everyone into the homebody lifestyle that I’ve always embraced, I made a list of quarantine movies. Unlike everyone else, my quarantine list doesn’t have anything depressing or traumatizing. Seriously, why is Contagion the hot movie to be watching right now? It traumatized me enough over a decade ago in theaters, and I have no intention of reliving that trauma. So here are six apocalyptic quarantine movies that I recommend for a good time.

Shaun of the Dead

If you’re looking for an end of the world comedy, you can do no better than Shaun of the Dead. Edgar Wright’s breakout feature film has earned its status as a cult classic ten times over. Blending together ingredients from George A. Romero’s zombie films and romantic comedies, Wright and co-writer/star Simon Pegg crafted a relatable and hilarious journey through the apocalypse. It’s endlessly quotable, and Pegg’s insistence that his survival party “go to the Winchester, have a nice cold pint, and wait for all this to blow over” has become a meme in our current predicament. Unfortunately, all of our bars are closed, so maybe just crack open a cold one and wait this one out on your couch. …


Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

As an introvert and a homebody, I found myself more prepared than most for this whole social distancing thing. I don’t go out much to begin with, save about a trip a week to the movie theater and my Thursday night improv practices. All of that has gone away rather quickly, though, and even though I’m faring much better than my extroverted friends, this has still been an adjustment. Here are five things that have happened in my first week of self-quarantine.

I cried.

Yeah, it’s kind of a dream come true to sit at home all day in sweatpants with the comfort of my cats and my vast movie collection. I’ve been catching up on films and television, revisiting some favorites, and just enjoying some down time. …


Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Kyle Glenn on Unsplash

An honest account of the downsides to being a slasher icon.

Shit. Here I am, running for my life in the middle of the night through the dark woods. You know, being a backwoods killer at a rundown summer camp seemed like a much better gig than it really is.

Before you go judging me for picking such an amoral profession, I’d like a chance to defend myself. I mean, how many job opportunities does a guy with no college degree, a severely disfigured face and crippling mommy issues have? None, that’s how many. …

About

Sam Lenz

A film critic with a taste for genre fare, living in Sioux Falls, SD. If you love movies, we’ll get along just fine.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store