Stan Against Evil S3 E 3 & 4 Review

reviews, TV

Larva My Life 303

Tonight’s two episodes were both takes on some classic genres, and both were utter delights. Dana Carvey really knows how to play with different tropes and mesh them into the weird world of Stan Against Evil. Even three seasons in, he’s finding new ways to play in the sandbox he’s created in Willard’s Mill, and I’m always so excited to see what each new episode brings.

Larva My Life brings us a take on the Japanese monster films of the 1950s/60s. We have our Kong…who of course is just the local town crank, Lenny, who used to be the number one birthday gorilla in New Hampshire before those pesky princess parties put him out of business. Now he just wanders the town harassing people in his costume, method-acting his days away. It’s some great stuff, and something that wouldn’t be out of place in a (old) Tim Burton film, or an episode of Pete and Pete.

Evie goes into a new store called, “Tucker Fong’s Curiosity Pagoda,” (which looks so much like the weird store in the Friday the 13th tv series) to buy her daughter a gift for her birthday, which for the record–I was wondering if they were ever going to mention that girl again. Also, where is she? Evie’s daughter is the one plot line/storyline I feel has been completely dropped for the most part. I get that this show isn’t kid friendly, but we saw her a few times in the first season, and to my recollection, we haven’t seen her again. Which is a bit of a plot hole.

Regardless, when she attempts to buy a weird moth and toadstool figure, she’s told it’s for Stan. Which should have told her something was wrong with it right from the start. However, I can forgive her getting distracted, as her ex Kenny shows up, claiming he’s in love with an Indigo Girl, and wants to stick around for a bit.

Checking in with Stan, we see that Kenny has come over to ask for a place to stay, and has brought the strange figure. Now Kenny says it’s his, and hey-more power to him, because it starts turning him into a giant gross caterpillar, and the house into his cocoon.

Soon two weird moth twins show up. They are adorable–their weird vocal quirks were done by recording their lines backward, then dubbing them over with the lines normally, so their mouths never match up. While I enjoyed them a great deal, unless they show back up again…they never make much impact on the story, and besides being (very) adorable, didn’t serve much purpose. [Edit: I realize that they are an homage to the Mothra Twins of the old Godzilla films! Perfect! A deep dive into film buff territory!]

Things escalate, as they normally do, and we find a moth-Kenny rampaging through a miniature scale version of Willard’s Mill in the middle of Willard’s Mill. Who will stop this insanity?! Lenny!! Gorilla-Lenny goes to battle with Kenny in true Godzilla fashion, in a very awkward, very slow fight. It’s totally great, and by the end Kenny is saved and Lenny is allowed to perform at Evie’s daughter’s birthday party.

Seriously, this episode was lighthearted, pretty stupid, and totally what the doctor ordered. I love the show when it pulls things like this, and the comedy continued in the next episode as well.

 

The Demon Who Came in From the Heat 304

Like the previous episode, the opening to 304 is set up in a theme–but this one is in the style of old pulpy 70s cop shows, complete with the fonts, car crashes, and deep voice over. And while we know officially what the episode is called, the intro states it’s, “Cuckoo for Murder Puffs.” I’ll take it!

Again, this is a lighter episode on lore and the overarching story–instead we get something fun and horribly funny, set up immediately as we see a man pick up a hitchhiker. When asked why the man wants to get to Willard’s Mill, he announces, “to collect souls,” and to the driver’s credit–he does try to get the guy out of his car immediately (having better sense than most horror fodder), but too little, too late. Poor guy.

Meanwhile, Denise backed up the toilets trying to feed the sewer pigeons–seriously. Look, this show comes up with some of the weirdest shit, and I love all of it, especially when it comes to Denise. Beautiful, stupid, Denise. But hey–she’s going on a date with Kevin (Dana Gould), who is just as sweet and dumb as she is.

Stan calls a plumber to fix the toilets, and of course the man turns out of be a demon–just a seemingly bad one. Well, not ‘bad’ as in, good at killing…more bad at killing, bad. His name is Bill, and he and Stan, of course, hit it off and start talking over beer. Seems that being a demon is a bit boring, and he wants to just hang out.

Of course that will be a bit hard with a killer of demons on the loose–as when Evie shows up after investigating our helpful-driver’s death, Bill declares he wasn’t the one to kill all these people, but it was the ‘Bondsman’, who claims the souls of those Demon who fail. Evie seems suspicious over all of this (as she should), but of course Stan just wants to go along with it. As he puts it, he’s just tired of everything being hard…and really, is that so wrong? Again, there are hints of a more troubled, more tired man under Stan’s cynical, blase nature–but it only shows up occasionally.

Denise and Kevin’s date of course gets crashed by dead people, and Leon faces down the Bondsman in the best (??) way–basically by getting his ass kicked while pretending he’s winning the entire time. Hey, at least he isn’t dying?

Of course, after some discussion Bill convinces Stan and Evie to use a spell to try and reverse the flow–basically release all the souls of the witches currently trapped, and trap the Bondsman. It sounds too good to be true–because it totally is. It instead leaves Stan and Evie trapped, with Bill announcing that he was playing them the entire time…even the Bondsman was made up!

…except not really. There really was a weird big man killing people–including Bill.

Yep, the ‘Bondsman’ shows up and rips Bill’s head off, saving them all. And in a surprise twist, he’s just a normal human. A normal, escaped, lunatic human. …who Evie had to shoot when he tried to murder them. Can’t win them all, right? But hey! Everyone’s survived, we had a bit of fun, and one more witch/demon down. Was a pretty good night for me.

 

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