SDCC 2016 ‘Lucifer’: The Devil has a Mother

by Agent Alicia Glass (a.k.a. Pandora the Punctuation Horror)

It just wouldn’t be a complete Comic-Con without a visit to Hell! Or rather, a re-visit with the Devil on vacation and his pals, both human and divine, as we dive into the panel for FOX’s Lucifer!

The panel included Tom Ellis (Lucifer), D.B. Woodside (Amenadiel), Tricia Helfer (Mom), Lesley-Ann Brandt (Maze), Aimee Garcia (Ella Lopez), and Executive Producers Joe Henderson and Ildy Modrovich.

For those of you who may not recall, season one of Lucifer ended with some feuding angelic brothers teaming up to take on some bad humans, a potential death and return from Hell, and, oh hey, the news that, someone escaped from Hell and Luci’s been tasked to go get them. Who escaped, you ask? The one person/entity/whatever that Lucifer, Amenadiel, even God himself apparently, is afraid of – Mom.

We all wondered, because at the end of season one, Henderson didn’t have an actress to play her: Someone who would end up with the previously unheard-of role of Mother of the Devil. Wonder no more, Comic-Con fans, for famed sci-fi maven, Tricia Helfer joined the cast of Lucifer on stage in role as Mom!

Helfer was gleeful and playful about her role, pointing out, “The ‘Mom’ chapter was left out of the Bible,” so the show had tons of wiggle-room to write that chapter themselves.

Lesley-Ann Brandt was eager to explain that her character, Maze, would have her own version of emancipation in season two, being forced to remain on Earth  with Lucifer more or less as she is now. And of course, there is no love lost between Maze and Mom, who know each other pretty well, since, “Mom was in Hell and Maze was a prime torturer there, so their meeting again up on Earth is … tense.”

Aimee Garcia plays a new character on the show, forensic scientist Ella Lopez, who inevitably gets involved with Lucifer and Decker’s crime fighting. Garcia related an amusing little story where she surprise-hugged Tom Ellis in their first real scene together on the show. “I’m a hugger in real life and, apparently, so is Lopez; I just gave Tom a big hug and he was like, ‘Hey, go with it!’”

The audience was assured that Lucifer is still in therapy in season two, which is great because his therapy sessions are arguably some of the best scenes on the show. Woodside, who plays Amenadiel, Lucifer’s brother on the show, related that it was important to continue that aspect of Lucifer’s journey, “It’s always interesting to see a character be fragile, especially this character.”

Henderson happily explained that season one of Lucifer had most of the characters establishing their own roles on the show, so season two will have a lot more of the characters playing off each other and being much more together. He also gleefully explained to curious fans that the very reason Chloe Decker affects Lucifer in that way, will be explained in season two as well.

Lucifer will be back to set our everything a-boiling September 19, 2016 on FOX @9:00 p.m./8:00 p.m., Central!

‘Lucifer’ Finale: You’re Smarming, Darling

by Agent Alicia Glass (a.k.a. Pandora the Punctuation Horror)

Lucifer Morningstar (Tom Ellis), the fallen angel from Biblical old testament times himself, thought, “Screw this noise,” and popped off from Hell for a vacation here on earth. He just had to get involved with the one woman he simply can’t charm and coerce, who happens to be a police officer, Chloe Decker (Lauren German), and now, somehow, the Devil incarnate is the equivalent of a police-attache CI. Of course, there’s various dramas with the people around Chloe to contend with, too – mainly her ex, Dan Espinoza (Kevin Alejandro); also a cop and the father of her child Trixie; and the brought-back-from-the-dead fellow officer, Malcolm (Kevin Rankin), who turns out to be a psycho pawn to be used against Lucifer. Our Devil there runs his bar with the help of Mazikeen (Lesley-Ann Brandt), “call me Maze for short”: A sexy demon, deadly with her knives that he brought out of Hell with him. Luci (don’t look at me — that’s what his brother calls him) also has to contend with Amenadiel (D.B. Woodside), a brother Angel here on earth, determined to stop at nothing to send our weary Devil back to Hell where he belongs, damn it.

I think I may have figured out at least one of the secrets to Lucifer’s appeal, despite his many many failings – somehow, a lot like Jack Sparrow, if one thinks about it, he manages to be both smarmy and charming at the same time. Thu,s I give you the newly coined, just for FOX’s version of Lucifer, description: smarming. Lucifer’s flippant accent and attitude just adds another layer of smarming, because we all know Brits make the best bad guys. But that’s just it – in this adaptation of the ultimate Fallen One, Lucifer Morningstar is an under-the-radar nightclub owner who thinks he can use bad to do good, coaxing the truth under all those desires from evil-doers and only really resorting to the bedroom red-eyed cloven-hoofed monstrosity on those who really deserve it. There are a few moments when he goes Beast Leviathan 666 monster on people who really did deserve it, and the fact that it happens so rarely is somehow all part of his infernally charming package. This is a much more humane version of Lucifer and when he realizes it, the Devil does something very human – he gets a therapist.

Lucifer Morningstar’s therapy sessions with Linda Martin are some of the very high points of the show, whether the sessions are between the sheets or on a couch in her office. Because of course Lucifer sleeps with his therapist, at least for a while, in the beginning, and he’s obviously smarming enough outside the boudoir to let Martin deal professionally with his insistent metaphors about Angels and God and whatnot. Owed in no small part to the wonderful performance from Rachael Harris as Dr. Martin, we watch and are delighted by Lucifer’s therapy, the way Linda deals with his idiosyncrasies make us all wish we could have a therapist like that.

Lord Lucifer is all kinds of used to reading the minds of us humans, with our darkest desires easily brought to the surface and all, and smarming his way into the pants of every single woman he meets, just about. So, when he meets Officer Chloe Decker and is simply unable to convince her to sleep with him or float her darkest desires to the top, he is, of course, simply fascinated, darling, and determined to stick to her like tar to find out why. Lucifer discovers, to his chagrin, that Decker’s presence seems to humanize him instead, making him both literally and figuratively vulnerable to the frailties of being human. One would think that discovering hanging out around a human woman, a cop no less, makes Lucifer susceptible to things like bullet wounds, would deter him from her presence forever, but no. This version of the Devil delights in squiggly naughty things and thumbing his nose in Dad’s general direction without ever actually committing what we would consider true soul-crushing evil. In fact, Lucifer discovers he enjoys punishing bad guys so much, he tells Amenadiel to stuff it when his brother comes a-calling, demanding Lucifer return to his rightful place in Hell.

So what’s an Angelic brother to do? Amenadiel has been shadowing Lucifer throughout this entire season, watching our Devil fumble with his humanity versus his accursed divinity, and patience apparently isn’t his strong suit. So Amenadiel brought Malcolm back from the dead (I didn’t know Angels could do that), out of Hell and into his service, with one clear goal in mind – frame and then kill Lucifer Morningstar. What Amenadiel didn’t count on is the sheer surprises in life, including learning to actually care about Maze after he sleeps with her. She is after all a demon. And he didn’t expect Malcolm to go bugshit nuts trying to keep his butt from being sent back to the Hot Place. It’s all come down to this finale episode, where Lucifer has been successfully framed for murder, Decker’s trying to arrest him, Amenadiel has finally come round to start helping Lucifer, and we just know there will be all sorts of confrontations involved, including one completely unexpected.

The bad guys doing a couple of bare-knuckle rounds with a pair of pissed-off Seraphim amazed me – if you believe the hype as far as the highest Choir of Angels goes, you could strap a backpack nuke to a Seraph and he/it probably wouldn’t even sneeze, nevermind attempting straight fisticuffs. (But perhaps I watched a little too much Dominion and Legion.) We got treated to an adorable double therapy session when both Luci and Amenadiel went to see Dr. Martin, and now everyone’s on the hunt for Malcolm! But we can’t forget that Decker’s presence makes Lucifer vulnerable, so when he takes some gunshots, we fear this could be the end of at least Lucifer’s human body. Not so, Ellis fans, for Lucifer Morningstar rises to save the day most improbably and drops something even more surprising later, when he and Amenadiel are celebrating coming through this mess – Dad, that Divine parental absentee landlord that Lucifer’s been ranting at this entire time, not only spoke to Lucifer at the moment of his proposed death, He sent Luci back to earth with a mission. Find the one important person who escaped Hell’s clutches and send them back to the Pit. And who is the one person that could actually terrify Amenadiel, Lucifer, and even Dad? Well. Lucifer calls her, “Mum.”

It also bears noting that the soundtrack for the show is really great and worth looking into, not just yet more repetitions of “Sympathy for the Devil.” The finale out-tro confirmed that Lucifer has been renewed for a season two on Fox, so let the mother of the Devil speculation begin!


The ABCs of Horror: P is for ‘The Prophecy’

by Agent Alicia Glass (a.k.a. Pandora the Punctuation Horror)

The war amongst the archangels left in heaven comes to earth, when a prophecy states that a dark soul will allow Gabriel to win!

Modern Christian mythology mostly has angels as androgynous halo-ed harp-playing spiritual helpers. Which is peachy and all, except, as the movie points out, it’s rather mistaken. In the old days, long ago in Old Testament-style times, whenever God needed someone punished, or needed to make an example, or when he needed a killing, sometimes to lay waste to entire cities, he sent an angel. As Tommy Dagget says, “A whole existence spent praising your God, but always with one wing dipped in blood. Would you ever really want to see an angel?” And that, Biblical horror fans, is the premise of the entire film.

So, Simon (Eric Stoltz) the angel has come to earth hopefully before Gabriel (Christopher Walken) can get there, to find this prophesied dark soul and spirit it away. Gabriel sent Usiel first, and his bizarre death is what leads Tommy Dagget (Elias Koteas), the former-priest turned police officer, to get involved in this mess. Dagget was all set to enter the priesthood, but was plagued with visions of the war in heaven amongst the angels, and just couldn’t hack it. As he ironically puts it, “Some people lose their faith because heaven shows them too little. How many people lose their faith because heaven shows them too much?” Because Dagget was a seminary student, he is able to translate the ancient bible Usiel had in his possession, including the non-existent twenty-third chapter of Revelations, which describes the war in heaven and the prophecy of the dark soul that will win the war.

Meanwhile, dear Simon has found the soul and harvested it, and yes, it’s making him rather sick. Gabriel, knowing Usiel failed, is coming for the dark soul and Simon, in desperation, passes the soul off to a pretty little Native American girl who was nice to him, Mary (Moriah ‘Shining Dove’ Snyder). I think the choice of giving the dark soul to a girl who had not one, but two, sets of spiritual protection (both the Christian side and the Native American tribe) was deliberate and a very smart one on Simon’s part. Gabriel is slaughtering his way across the states with a zombie driver, searching for the dark soul and dropping some great one-liners in Walken’s singularly cool style.

That disgusting dark soul, it made pretty little Mary unsurprisingly sick too. Her schoolteacher Katherine (Virginia Madsen) is determined to help Mary however she can, and Dagget has followed the trail of clues here to the Native American reservation where there will be a final showdown! But before there ca be any kind of final showdown, oh we’re not through yet, there has to be a visitation from the very first angel, the Morning Star, Lucifer himself (Viggo Mortensen). Prophecy was made long before there ever was a filmed Aragorn, and Mortensen absolutely rocked the creepy rose-eating black-nailed hissing version of Lucifer in this movie. The lines he delivers to Katherine and Dagget, the threats and the truths that terrify grown adults, while at the same time freely giving them the clues they need to win this last fight against Gabriel, is a unique and marvelously black way to portray the Devil.

It all comes down to this last battle! Mary is having a Sing, surrounded by her Native American brethren in their full power, while Dagget and Katherine prepare as best they can with Lucifer’s advice, for the coming of Gabriel and his determination to have that dark soul for himself! But, hang on: An angel has to be especially careful about how he conducts himself and which battles he happens to be fighting, because if you lose sight of that, hey, you get to go keep Lucifer company in the basement!

One of the finest movies about the dark side of angelic beings, the covered-up black things in popular religion that no one wants to talk about, The Prophecy is a well thought-out journey of what Old Testament lay waste to Sodom and Gomorrah-style Archangels really would be like in a modern setting.

Dark Whispers: And in the Darkness, Sing ‘Alleluia!’

by Agent Alicia Glass (a.k.a. Pandora the Punctuation Horror) 

Welcome to Dark Whispers, the horror corner of the Super Villain Network – speak intently, break the rules, and may all your nightmares come true.

This week, we say a fond full-circle hello to Lucifer himself while he has a sing-off with God, we explore the Curse of Downer’s Grove, where it really sucks to be a teenager, and we ponder whether everyone in Washington really is Braindead!

You singing Devil, you

The time has come around again, oh Saints and Sinners all, to choose a side! Lucifer (Terrence Zdunich too) is continuing his war with Heaven and we’re all invited to grab a torch and pitchfork to the world screening of the hot sequel to The Devil’s Carnival, called Alleluia! The black big top begins again with a travelling circus showing of the movie on August 11, 2015, in Los Angeles and then continues throughout the U.S. and the fall!

All I want for graduation is to escape from Downer’s Grove!

Okay horror fans, this is going to be a hard one to wrap your brain around, until I tell you who co-wrote the screenplay and all. But first, welcome to Downers Grove (what an appropriate name)! Of course, Downers Grove has a dark secret curse: For several years now, one high school senior from each year’s graduating class has met with a bizarre death right before graduation day. Check out the curse of Downer’s Grove as told by them terrified kids.

Now I know, it may look like fairly standard high school trope horror fluff. But you crazy blackhearts saw what the trailer said about where the story came from, right? Brett Easton Ellis is the mad author who brought us American Psycho, and for that alone, I will brave the curse of Downer’s Grove!

Are you Braindead, too?

And finally, CBS is taking a headlong dive into horror comedy. Let that sink in for a second: This new show, Braindead, is supposed to be somewhat (they’re hoping, anyway) like The Strain meets The West Wing. Said executive producers Robert and Michelle King, “It seemed like the best way to address the current news today – not straight-on, but as the opening act of a horror movie.”

Braindead follows a young fresh-faced Hill staffer getting her first job in Washington, D.C., and discovering some unsettling things – the government has stopped working entirely, and alien spawn are not only already here on earth, but they’ve eaten the brains of a growing number of Congressmen and Hill staffers.

I’m actually going to give Braindead a shot, since Ridley Scott and David Zucker are on board as executive producers, along with the Kings. It may turn out to be similar to that bubblegum classic They Live, but with a modern twist, because we knew modern Washington was full of Pod People already. The series has ordered 13 one-hour episodes, and is supposed to drop on CBS in summer 2016.


Dark Whispers: The Devil Went Down to L.A.

by Agent Alicia Glass (a.k.a. Pandora the Punctuation Horror) 

Welcome to Dark Whispers, the horror corner of the Super Villain Network – speak intently, break the rules, and may all your nightmares come true.

Those vampires that turned the entrance to an ancient evil temple into a bar with the laughable name Titty Twister are back to haunt the El Rey network, along with a vision of Neil Gaiman’s version of Fallen Angel Lucifer on Fox, and a gender-bent attempt at the ultimate Crow villain.

Lucifer loves Los Angeles

A very different take on the ultimate Fallen One, the First Angel, ole Splitfoot himself, comes to us from the creator of Sandman, Neil Gaiman. Originally a supporting character to the legend of the King of Dreams, Lucifer eventually gets his own story when he chooses to leave his post as the Lord of Hell and walk amongst us mortals. And they made it into a show!

Lucifer Morningstar (Tom Ellis) has somehow become jaded with his existence in Hell, and makes the choice to retire above and run a nightclub in Los Angeles. Joined by his faithful companion Maze (Lesley Anne-Brandt), a demon descended from Lilith, Lucifer goes on the search for the human side of his existence and the spirit if not soul that has to be buried under his legendary evil. Drool over the trailer with me, fans of good-in-evil, and rejoice! Lucifer will debut on Fox in 2016!

‘The Regulator’ drops you

El Rey Network, the channel begun by iconic director Robert Rodriguez, brings to us news of the world of ancient vampires and the Gecko brothers. Danny Trejo, horror movie mainstay, longtime actor, and friend of Rodriguez, will play a brand new character called The Regulator in the upcoming season two of the TV show version of that crazed vampire classic film, From Dusk Til Dawn The Series. The Regulator is, “…a horrifying agent of evil summoned to perform a deadly errand.”

Season two of Dawn finds the characters that survived season one scattered to the winds: Richie still in Santanico’s claws, Seth and Kate scratching out survival south of the border, and Carlos and Scott Fuller are about to emerge from the Titty Twister, changed forever. From Dusk Til Dawn: Season Two returns to the El Rey channel in late summer 2015!

“Caw, caw, bang! F*ck – it’s casting!”

For the life of me, I don’t know why they’re still going ahead with a remake of that legendary film in which Brandon Lee left us forever, The Crow, but they are. Eric Draven, the titular role of the film based on J. Obarr’s beloved comic book, has already been handed, after many other choices, to one Jack Huston. Mostly known for Boardwalk Empire, Huston looks like he can do fine with the role, providing they write him a good character to play and not just make it a carbon copy of the beloved Lee’s final performance. *snuffle* But wait, there’s more to despair over in remake hell!

Relativity Studios, which is re-making the film, is in negotiations to get Andrea Riseborough (Oblivion, Birdman) to play the main bad guy –um, girl– Top Dollar. Now, in the comic book, Top Dollar is, of course, a man, and given quite a gloriously dark performance by Michael Wincott in the film. Top Dollar is the head of the evil empire that runs the underworld of Detroit in the movie, and it’s he that Draven faces off against for the ultimate showdown and final vengeance before Eric can go back to his well-deserved rest. How this gender-swap will effect both these characters is anyone’s guess, but personally I’m already having a hard time refraining from judgment. The new Crow is supposed to wing its way to us sometime in 2016.