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Tag Archive: The Following


Hannibal - Season 1

If only it wasn’t another incarnation of Hannibal Lecter.

In hindsight the Academy Awards sweep of Silence of the Lambs at the 1992 Oscar ceremony seems very strange.  A win for a horror movie about a cannibal that took best film, best director for Jonathan Demme, best actor for Anthony Hopkins as the villain Lecter, best actress for Jodie Foster, and best writing for Ted Tally’s adaptation of Thomas Harris’s novel–it was pretty much unheard of.  The actual antagonist in the film was far creepier than Hopkins’ Lecter, played by Ted Levine, who would go on to star as the far kinder cop in Monk.  The Hunt for Red October and Silverado star Scott Glenn also had a key role in the film as an FBI director.

One explanation for the Oscar wins was that the events were preceded by actual cannibalism in the news and as sometimes happens Oscar nods to movies reflecting life.  The other is that it was a pretty bad year for movies, with Lambs facing off against the underwhelming JFK, Bugsy, and The Prince of Tides (it beat one acclaimed film, the bigger box office draw for the year, the successful animated Disney film Beauty and the Beast).  It also beat out two of the best sci-fi films of all time: Terminator 2 and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.  Yet which of these are the only films that stand up to repeated viewings today?  Not Lambs or Tides or Bugsy or JFK, but the now classic genre films Terminator, Trek VI, and Beast.

Hannibal poster

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Knepper as Grimm in CW Network Cult series

Review by C.J. Bunce

What hidden evil lurks in the hearts of TV producers?  There must be something going around in Hollywood about cults and serial killers.  That is, cults made up of serial killers.  Last month we reviewed the pilot of The Following, starring Kevin Bacon as a has-been detective tracking down a recently escaped serial killer.  It’s four episodes in and so far, so good.  Starting Tuesday on the CW Network another new cult themed series debuts, titled Cult.  We at borg.com previewed the pilot and found both of these new series have enough differences, and enough going for them, to watch and keep watching them both.

CW’s Cult offers enough layers of creative theatrics that you’ll want to check it out just to see how the producers introduce a series-within-a-series.  That’s right–Cult is two shows in one.  The series centers on a fictional Warner Bros. production of a TV show called “Cult,” featuring an actor named Roger Reeves (Robert Knepper) who in turn is playing the character of Billy Grimm, a charismatic, religious, rural cult leader.   The fictional “Cult” also stars an actress named Marti Gerritsen (played in real life by Alona Tal) as LAPD detective Kelly Collins.   Formerly close to Grimm, Collins is trying to learn what happened to her sister and her sister’s son, somehow taken under the influence of Grimm’s cult.  Genre fans will instantly recognize Knepper from Heroes, Prison Break, and SGU Stargate Universe, as well as his guest roles on Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek Voyager, and Alona Tal as Veronica’s best pal Meg on Veronica Mars, Jo Harville from Supernatural, and notable guest roles on Monk and Leverage. 

Alona Tal in CW Network Cult series

This series-within-the-series is a quick-paced mystery with a horror twist and altogether pretty fun stuff.  Tal is tough and determined and Knepper brings in just the right amount of creepiness.  And he acts differently when seen outside the series as actor Roger Reeves.  In fact, we hope the producers break out of form at some point to show complete episodes of the inside show.  At times the show-within-the-show looks like it could quickly suck in viewers more than the main plot.  It even includes a bizarre and creepy catch-phrase likely to stick around in genre culture.

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Following cast

Last Monday, January 21, 2013, The Following premiered on the Fox network. It’s a dark, bloody crime drama from Kevin Williamson, creator of the Scream franchise, Dawson’s Creek and The Vampire Diaries.  It’s the Scream franchise that might come to mind if you check out the premiere on Free Per View before tonight’s episode “Chapter Two” airs.  Expect some horror movie jumps and startling revelations as well as a little more than you might see as far as crime scenes from other series (although not a lot more than what you might have found on something like TV’s Medium when it still was on the air).

The big draw for The Following is the series star, Kevin Bacon.  You might also have checked out the pilot if you were a fan of Maggie Grace, star of the Taken film series, The Fog remake, and Lost, the TV series.  If you’ve missed the original Law and Order, you might be happy to see the return of Annie Parisse in an ongoing role beginning with tonight’s episode.  And if that weren’t enough, you might think you’re watching Warehouse 13, Veronica Mars, Smallville, Lost Girl and In Plain Sight’s Aaron Ashmore as Agent Michael Weston–but you’d be wrong.  Turns out Aaron has a clone, twin brother Shawn Ashmore.  (And hey, don’t TV writers watch TV?  That’s at least the third Michael Weston on TV right now).

Spoilers ahead.

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