Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Holliston-Season 1 (2012)

         When it comes to television shows, I have been out of the loop for quite awhile.  It's funny because I was a television addict when I was growing up. Whether it was sitcoms, cartoons, action, dramas, or horror, I was usually hooked. But then as I got older, my love of television shows began to vanish. Either I could find nothing that captured my interest or I would get hooked then would either lose interest over time or just could not keep up with the show for whatever reason. As for sitcoms, I was a huge sitcom fan growing up with lots of laughs. I watched sitcoms of the '80s and '90s such as Saved By The Bell, Boy Meets World, Full House, Family Matters, Step By Step, you name it. I also loved the more classic shows such as I Love Lucy, Bewitched, The Munsters, The Addam's Family, Happy Days, and The Brady Bunch.  The Wonder Years and Boy Meets World tend to be my all time favorites because they helped me a great deal growing up. I could really relate to somebody like Kevin Arnold or Cory Matthews. As the 2000s came along, the sitcom changed form and became more dry and unfunny.  I do get some major laughs out of older seasons of Two And A Half Men and definitely find myself laughing while watching Mike & Molly. One genre I've always been a fan of though is horror. While I love scary or disturbing horror, I also dig more comical raunchy horror that is more twisted in very amusing ways.  While The Munsters and The Addam's Family were the first sitcoms to include elements of horror in a very black comedy sort of way for television, Adam Green has taken the horror sitcom to a whole new dimension with his awesome sitcom Holliston!

              Before I get into what the show is all about and how I feel about it, I must talk about how Adam Green has evolved as a filmmaker as well as to introduce him to those who may not know who he is or what he has done for independent horror.  Ever heard of a little gory slasher flick titled Hatchet? Well, that was Green's first big break into the industry of horror filmmaking. But, what some horror fans don't know is that Hatchet was Adam Green's second feature, not his debut. Green grew up in Holliston, Massachusetts and worked for a cable company with his great friend and DP on all of his movies, Will Barratt. Wanting to get the Hell out of Holliston and make it big, Green and Barratt borrowed the cable company's equipment while they were off work and filmed Green's first feature film, Coffee & Donuts, which was loosely based on Green's life. They were able to get their foot in the door a little bit. Green had aimed to turn Coffee & Donuts into a sitcom, but the networks didn't want to make it the way Green had imagined so Green bought the rights back. Green decided to then make his other dream project with Hatchet, which he had started thinking up at as young as 8 years old. They filmed a very brief teaser for Hatchet and the teaser trailer became huge and helped Green get connections and the financing to make it. Hatchet became a huge success around 2006 and found it's way to DVD in late 2007 where it became even more popular among the slasher fan community and made Victor Crowley a much welcomed addition to the slasher family.  Becoming really great friends with actor Joel David Moore on Hatchet, Green teamed up with him to co-direct and produce the Hitchcock styled thriller Spiral which Moore also played the lead. With two decent successes under his belt, Green decided to sit back and produce the disturbing zombie baby horror flick Grace written and directed by Paul Solet. While on the set of Grace, Green wrote his next directorial feature which in my opinion is his best movie with the survival thriller Frozen about three college friends who accidentally get stuck on a chairlift after the ski resort they are at closes for the week.  Next up came the highly anticipated sequel with Hatchet II, which is a total goregasm. Adam Green then teamed up with fellow horror pals Joe Lynch, Tim Sullivan, and Adam Rifkin to make the Drive In/B-Movie throwback anthology nastfest Chillerama.

              Which brings us to now.  Peter Block who had previously produced Green's film Frozen is now the President of FearNet, the popular horror cable channel. Block was looking for a sitcom that featured horror material. He approached Green who took this as his opportunity to finally get his dream project off the ground, which became Holliston. The show premiered back in April on FearNet, is available to digitally download from iTunes, and is now available to buy on DVD/Blu-Ray.

        Holliston revolves around best buds Adam and Joe who want to make horror movies. They have their own apartment with Adam's mentally disabled cat Axel. They are working at Mass Cable Network filming various cable commercials such as Crazy Max's Discount Mart for owner Lance Rockett who is obsessed with '80s rock 'n roll.  They also deal with the ups and downs of the opposite sex. Adam takes advice from an imaginary monster named Oterus who lives in his closet. And they deal with the harsh world of life and adulthood.

               I think what appeals to me the most about Holliston is how awesome the characters are written. Green has turned the sitcom on its head and turned in something very fresh and original. The series plays out like your typical sitcom yet pokes fun at all the cliche's that occur in sitcoms. Not to mention, the show is very aware of itself. These characters know they are in a sitcom, making the show that much more hilarious. I also dig that Holliston plays out like a big cartoon for us adults and even the kids we used to be back in the 1980s or 1990s. I myself have been going through tough times in life financially and this show really reflects being broke as fuck and trying to make the best of things, which at times is not the easiest thing to do. It also reflects the hardships of being in love with someone who just wants to be friends and trying to overcome the hurtfulness of losing your first love. I can relate and that is where this show works. Not only is it mildly hilarious, disturbing and sick at times, but it also connects with me because of the characters and all the crazy shit they are getting themselves into.  With that said, let's discuss each episode individually.

            THE HOOKER

           Adam's old childhood girlfriend Corri moves back to Holliston to work as a nurse. Adam is excited till he discovers that she has a boyfriend. So, Adam decides to get a hooker to pretend she is his girl to fool Corri into believing that he is happy and is over her.

             This pilot episode is a good start. I love all the crazy schemes Adam does to try to convince Corri he has moved on with his life when really he is a complete train wreck. It's even more hilarious where you can see him tearing up when he sees that Corri has a boyfriend. I read in the trivia that Green really did tear up while filming this episode because all of his memories began flashing back. Corri's boyfriend Kevin made me laugh at how much of a doofus he was. He's like doing this Disney Prince Charming routine, which is cartoonishly hilarious. Joe is a great character too and him and Adam just have that natural best friend chemistry between them because they are that same way in real life. I also found Joe's girlfriend Laura to be super cute and twisted. She's that character that looks so sweet and innocent yet harvests this dark and insanely twisted side that comes through in her artwork. Loved the finale where Joe drinks about 10 or 20 cups of coffee while Adam and Corri are outside talking because he doesn't want to pay the bill. Oh and love the characters of Lance Rockett and especially Oterus who is the monster living in Adam's closet and gives him the best worst advice ever. Great first start.


                   CAMERA RENTAL

         Joe talks Adam into borrowing the cable company's camera to lend to a buddy of his. The boys lose the camera and struggle to find a way to prevent themselves from being fired. Meanwhile, Corri and Laura have finally found an apartment for a cheap price. Only problem is that somebody died there and the place is a little haunted.

              While I really dug the pilot, this episode was a laugh riot. From Adam dressing like a popular McDonald's character to the hilarious scheme they think up to get out of losing the camera. I loved it when they go to the website that the guy Trent told them he was shooting for and it turns out to be some porn website dealing with animal fucking and then Adam book marks the website to use in private to release some tension. The humor in this thing is so wrong that I couldn't help but to laugh and enjoy myself. These friends also like to share Watermelon bubblegum. Also love the cameos by Kane Hodder (Hatchet 1 & 2, Friday The 13th 7-10), Ray Wise (Reaper), Bill Moseley (The Devil's Rejects), and Parry Shen (Hatchet & Hatchet II). Camera Rental is definitely one of my favorite episodes.


         Axel the cat has gone missing so Adam and Joe go looking for him. The boys accidentally get skunked. Meanwhile, Corri and Laura go to Cumberland Farms to get the fellas some Vinegar to get rid of the smell. The store doesn't have Vinegar so they get 15 boxes of feminine wash. The girls get mistaken for prostitutes and gotta deal with the Police while Adam and Joe sit in the bath together naked.

             This is probably the grossest episode of the season. Lots of vomiting going on. Loved the opening where the boys discuss how to make movie blood. There's also a funny flashback sequence of things that happened while Adam and Joe are in the tub together. Really loved the cameos by Derek Mears (Jason in Friday The 13th '09), Colton Dunn (Hatchet II), and Brian Posehn (The Devil's Rejects). Loved the Saved By The Bell references too. And the ending was insanely hilarious. Another fun and hilariously gross episode.



                Adam and Joe are thrilled to have Tony Todd aka Candyman guest spot on their late night show The Movie Crypt. After the show, Tony wants to treat the fellas to some drinks. The next day, Adam and Joe find that Tony has basically moved in with them and won't leave. Candyman takes their last waffles, hogs their television set, invites pot smoking people over to watch football, and raps in their shower about all the movies he has been in. Things go too far though when Tony wants to bang Corri in Adam's bed. So, what better way to get rid of someone who has over stayed their welcome? Just gather up pictures of naked underaged chicks, put them together in photoshop, and get him arrested! Or just try to kill him with strawberry icecream.

              Candyman has got to be my personal favorite episode of this season. I think it is safe to say that most of us have had a guest who just won't leave. I know damn sure I went through that in High School. Those people you think at first are going to be awesome to hang with and it turns out that hanging with them is so aggravating. Well, this episode basically takes that concept and pokes fun at it in a laugh out loud hilarious way. Tony Todd is great as Candyman, Ben in Night of the Living Dead (1990), Bludworth in Final Destination (1,2,5) and Reverend Zombie in Hatchet II, but this is probably my favorite Tony Todd performance. He is playing a totally fictional version of himself and it is absolutely hilarious. He's a total badass. I love it when someone calls him on his cell phone and he answers with "Yo, Candyman! Speak!". And his rapping in the bathroom was hilarious. I was seriously in tears laughing so hard. This guy was just a laugh riot in this episode. It also has some race jokes that are pretty funny involving the boom guy. I also laughed when Adam gets a contact high and gets the munchies really bad. He's talking to Joe while eating chips and all the sudden we read subtitles of what he is saying because his mouth of full of chips. Hilarious episode.

                LAURA'S LITTLE TWITTER

             Laura seems get be getting a lot of followers and popularity on Twitter due to her profile picture featuring her exposed lower region. Meanwhile, Adam and Joe are meeting with a special FX artist who is mildly crazy to shoot the trailer to their first horror film "Shinpads" about some undead Mexican soccer players who rise from the dead.

             This episode was pretty funny. I loved Seth Green's over acting as Gustavo, the crazy make up artist. Seth Green is known in the horror genre for his role as Oz who was Willow's werewolf boyfriend in the popular television series Buffy The Vampire Slayer. I love that Adam Green makes fun of himself and even bashes himself in this show. Gotta love the part where Gustavo is upset when he discovers that Dawn of Dead was remade and takes a stab at The Thing premake. While I liked both movies personally, that part cracked me up.  The whole Laura story arc in this with Twitter was amusing epecially a certain flash you get before the end credits roll. You have to pay close attention because it is quick. There's a scene where Corri decides to show her boobs in Adam and Joe's film Shinpads and of course Adam is uncomfortable with this so he talks to Oterus who says this awesome line of dialogue...


      "Adam, do you want to be the guy who made that crummy PG-13 remake of Prom Night or do you want to make Re-Animator?"


                            WEEKEND OF HORRORS

        Adam, Joe, Laura, and Corri go to the Rock N Shock's Weekend of Horrors convention. The boys want to meet their idol John Landis who directed the classic werewolf movie An American Werewolf In London and pitch him their idea for Shinpads as well as give him a DVD copy of their finished trailer.

           Weekend of Horrors was a great season finale for this very awesome first season. What better way to end a season of a horror sitcom than at a popular horror convention filled with horror icons? Kane Hodder( Jason Voorhees in Friday The 13th parts 7-10/Victor Crowley in Hatchet 1-3), Danielle Harris (Halloween 4 & 5/Hatchet II & III), and of course John Landis all have great cameos. Kane Hodder punching Joe because of something he said about him earlier in the episode was hilarious. There was also a funny scene involving the stereotypical douchebaggy horror fanboy who unfortunately I've met several times on the internet.  I dug the scene with John Landis who you could tell was having fun. The brief Gwar concert with Oterus was awesome. And I loved the way the season went out which is pretty hilarious and surprising. All in all, a great ending to a kickass first season.

             The acting in Holliston by the main cast is hilarious and very entertaining and engaging. Adam Green carries this series greatly as its writer, director, producer, and star. Joe Lynch who is known for directing the very gory sequel Wrong Turn 2: Dead End is equally awesome as the best friend who always gets the lead character into crazy situations. Adam Green and Joe Lynch are always great together and play off each other perfectly. It helped that they did The Road To Fright Fest shorts together, which is what really broke this show into becoming a reality for Green. Laura Ortiz is super cute as Laura. She is known in the horror community for her role in The Hills Have Eyes remake. Corri English is great as Adam's old girlfriend now turned best friend. Corri had also worked with Adam in playing in his Halloween short "The Tiffany Problem" opposite Joel David Moore. Dee Snider from Twisted Sister fame plays the part of Lance Rockett perfectly and is totally different from how he is in real life. And Gwar's lead singer Davie Brockie is great as his monsterous alter ego Oterus Urungus by giving the best worst advice. And of course all of the cameos are fun.

              Overall, Holliston: The Complete First Season is a must buy and must watch for fans of Adam Green, raunchy humor, and horror movies. Honestly, it is my favorite project of Adam's. He's a very talented guy who has proven over and over that he can entertain you with any genre. Gory slashers, psychological thrillers, survival horror, and recently comedy. Green is a man of many talents. I love all his short films. I love his movies. And I especially love this show. Green has become one of my favorite filmmakers. I've never met him, but he sounds like the kinda guy that you just want to chill, have a beer, and watch movies with. I personally look forward to his special hour long Christmas episode this December, which I'll definitely be downloading from iTunes. And of course, I'll make sure to have plenty of money in my account to download all of season 2 each week in Spring 2013. Holliston is here to stay my friends and so join me in the laughs, the friendships, and the hardships of life but the thrill of success!


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