Friday, 27 October 2017

American Horror Story — Series 4: Freak Show — Episode 2: Massacres and Matinees

27th October, 2017.

Right … 

It’s … what … twenty past 8 on a Friday night, and frankly?

I … am … … considerably … … … 


To the point of wondering whether starting writing a post is a good idea.

After all, I’ve been up since four, this morning, so I could write the day’s Teaser, AND get into work.

Possibly not.


I happen to have a copy of the seminal Dr Feelgood album, Down By the Jetty on in the background.

And somehow … ?

Wilko Johnson’s hammer headed, slice and dice guitar, over the top of the Big Figure’s drums, and John Sparks bass, combined with the late Lee Brilleaux’s singing?

Is pure Thames delta blues: and seems to be helping.

Or, at least, seems to be helping me concentrate on what I wanted to tell you.

Yes: I’ve been up since four.

Yes, I’m as tired as a goose on heroin.

But, yes … I’ve seen another of Freak Show, series 4.

That’s right … 

Freak Show … 


Episode 2Massacres and Matinees — tells us what we already know: that there’s a killer on the loose in the town of Jupiter.

That’s there’s a curfew being imposed by the town’s police.

And that Madam Elsa (Jessica Lange) has hired Dell Toleda (Michael Chiklis) and his wife, Desiree.

And, given Dell’s temper?

Learns that she may well come to regret the decision.

In the back of all this?

Dandy (Finn Wittrock) and his mother, Gloria (Frances Conroy) have being trying to find a cure for Dandy’s boredom.

Gloria … ?

Hire’s Twisty the Clown.

The result?

Will be gruesome.


Now … 

Good … ?

Yes, actually.

Something I know I’ve long enjoyed?   Is what I’ve come to Call Spot the Reference.

In other words, seeing if I can spot where I think a writer’s got an idea.

Part of the late Sir Terry Pratchett’s appeal — for me — was seeing I could figured out what he’s used as a source of inspiration.

The Discworld’s major city?   I always believed Ankh-Morpork was a mix of medieval London — I’d worked that out, before they published the map — and Lakhmar, the setting for many of Fritz Leiber’s Swords novel.

I think I’m seeing the same  in American Horror Story.

Murder used very few such ideas.

But Asylum?   Asylum Bloody Face was a variation on Leatherface, Zachary Quinto’s Dr Thredson, a take on Hannibal Lector, Lizzie Brochere as a Franco-Americaine version of Lizzie Borden …

I could go on.

And they’re doing it again: Michael Chiklis is almost the archetypal thug, Jessica Lange IS Marlene Dietrich … 

And Twisty the Clown?

Whilst Twisty is a version of John Wayne Gacy’s killer clown?

In terms of outfit, he’s more of a take on the Joker … 

Mixed with the late, great, Joey Grimaldi.

For me, so far, Freak Show is doing what the late Sir Terry did.

Throwing together some obvious ingredients.

And putting together a hellishly superb story.

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