Monday, November 22, 2010

Tales from Beyond the Pale (Episode 3 and 4 Reviews)

I'm totally hooked on Tales from Beyond the Pale. It's totally makes my morning commute go by like a flash when I'm on the train. I download the episode, load it up to my iPhone and I got 30 minutes of entertainment. Like I said when I reviewed the first 2 episodes, Glass Eye Pix brings about the evolution of horror radio. Top notch star voice talent, great suspenseful stories in half an hour and some sound effects that make it feel real.

The next 2 episodes were just released and both went in very different directions. Is this Seat Taken? from Sarah Langan takes a stab at serial killers while This Oracle Moon goes all sci fi. Read the reviews below to find out which one was better.

Here are a couple of brief reviews of the last 2 episodes.

Is this Seat Taken?

Written by Sarah Langan

We get a Dexter-ry episode in this tale from Sarah Langan. Here be the plot:

A young man meets an alluring woman on the Long Island Railroad and slowly comes to realize they have a common past... but maybe not the one she is recollecting.

This episode was decent, though it had a few moments. I've actually commuted on the LIRR and to hear the sounds of the train were dead on.

Robert Benchley our strange stranger is manipulated by LI heavily accented Cassey Coca who has taken an interest in our hero. Their relationship is one of a doctor/patient feel but it becomes more intense. The dialogue is heavy and at times pretty hilarious. Benchley is a little odd and off and his secrets are slowly dragged out by our Amy Fisher like Cassey. At times, the conversation seems read rather than casually spoken and lines feel forced.

The end feels a little predictable as it ends with a bang. I can't say I loved Is This Seat Taken but it was entertaining. It's a pocket full of Dexter, horror radio style.

You can download a preview of the episode, by clicky here.

This Oracle Moon

Written and directed by Jeff Buhler

I recognized Jeff Buhler's name immediately. He had directed Insanitarium (which I reviewed and gave 1 SK) But what drew me to this episode was that it featured the voice talent of Ron Perlman. Perlman's voice is so recognizable you could figure it out through a subway intercom.

This is the first sci fi horror Tale from Beyond the Pale. I'll admit, I liked this one just because it was sci-fi-ish. Here be the plot:

A rescue team of astronauts is dispatched to a distant moon in hopes of reclaiming survivors from an ill fated exploratory mission sent six years prior. When no survivors are found, the rescuers turn their attention to the elusive creatures inhabiting the nearby hills for answers.

Perlman brings his Hellboy attitude in as Marsh, our el capitan. He steals the show as he has all of the best one liners. This Oracle Moon can best be compared to Event Horizon in its sci-fi horrorness. It's got that eerie chillness as Captain Marsh and his crew sense everything on this distant moon isn't as it seems.

I also liked the sound effects in this one. Just bleeps and bloops and rocket ship engines brings in a nice Star Wars touch. And for the first time, we hear fighting in a TFBTP! I imagined Perlman in his space suit punching creatures with a long metal pipe. You'd think it would sound goofy but your imagine runs wild when you HEAR something rather than see it.

Overall, This Oracle Sound twists as all the other episodes have. It's predictable but the explained ending was creative. I liked this more than the previous entry as I've not been exposed to much sci-fi horror of late. It's good their mixing in different types of horror genres. Sci-fi horror to psychological serial horror.

As always Larry Fessenden's intro is always funny and the breaks in between make it feel all 1950s.

Every horror fan with a mp3 player, iPod or iPhone, Droid or whatever digital entertainment device should at least download one of these episodes. It's definitely worth the $2 (it's the price of a cup of coffee!) to check out some quality horror radio back from the dead.

The Vitals

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