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Daily Aggregation Double-Shot Featuring Friday Afternoon Kitty!

daily-aggregation-21. THE EVIL HAS LANDED Peter LaBarbera of the crackpot organization/designated hate group Americans For Truth About Homosexuality has, after initially being blocked from entering Canada, been permitted to bring his abominable, crazy and anachronistic ideas into our country. Yes, LaBarbera will speak at a crackpot, fundamentalist Christian convention in Weyburn this weekend. He wants a “civil debate” about stripping rights away from people because he has a religious objection to their sexual orientation. Uh huh. You know what? I’m okay with this. While the initial decision to bar LaBarbera’s entry is defensible on the grounds that his insane, unfactual ideas promote hatred against and discrimination toward an identifiable minority group that has been and still is targeted for violence, it’s kind of great for sane people to be able to see just how loony the conservative religious extremist, antigay and anti-abortion really movements are. By all means, give the anal-sex-obsessed conservative the microphone and let him hang himself. At this point in history, the LGBT movement and its allies (ahem!) are strong enough to counter such stupidity.

Might be more on the blog on this topic this weekend.

2. STANDARDIZED TESTING IS DEAD, DEAD, DEAD The Saskatchewan government listened to critics who brought their expertise to bear against this plan. Good for the government! [salutes]

3. “GIVE UKRAINE MONEY”: U.S.A. What it says.

4. A STATE FUNERAL FOR JIM FLAHERTY Story here. Read some compassionate thoughts on Flaherty and his legacy by people who think his politics stunk here and here. Though he was probably among the best of a bad lot in our horrible federal government, I’ll let the bankers and Bay Streeters mourn him. I’m busy sympathizing with the 600 CBCers who’ll lose their jobs thanks to his 2012 budget.

5. FRESH ‘N’ SWEET TELEVISION A well-reviewed downtown awesomesauce restaurant is on the Food Network tonight!

6. RYAN SMYTH RETIRES A beloved, awesome NHLer and a real old-time hockey lunk (in a good way) hangs up the skates.

7. ANOTHER BIG FIGHT OVER CLIMATE CHANGE STUDY Read all about it.

FRIDAY AFTERNOON KITTY: BANECAT WILL BREAK YOU! Have a great weekend! Don’t be an ignorant bigot!

Comments: 12

Omer Klein & Haggai Cohen-Milo

A late mistake occurred when we were compiling our music listings for the April 3-16 issue of Prairie Dog. A concert by Klein, an acclaimed Israeli-born jazz pianist who currently lives in Germany, and his bassist Cohen-Milo, ended up being listed as happening on Sunday April 11.

Today is April 11, of course. So which is it? Is the concert happening tonight, or on Sunday? Well, it’s happening on Sunday. All the other particulars in the listing are correct. It’s being co-presented by the Regina Jazz Society, Regina & District Jewish Association and the Beth Jacob Synagogue. The concert will be at the synagogue (4715 McTavish St.) on Sunday at 8 p.m., and tickets are $15 advance and $20 at the door.

To give you a sense of what to expect here’s video from 2011 of Klein and Cohen-Milo, along with drummer Ziv Ravitz, performing a tune by Klein called “Fear of Heights”:

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Divas At The Owl: Apocalypse Wow

DivasYou can get all the details on this annual drag show and fundraiser hosted by UR Pride which goes Saturday night at the Owl from the accompanying poster.

And while a giant-sized Cher won’t actually be in attendance to wreak Godzilla-like havoc on the University of Regina campus and surrounding area there will undoubtedly be some top-notch drag queens at the Owl to entertain and help boost awareness for the services UR Pride provide to students and other LGBT youth and adults in the city.

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Former Finance Minister Jim Flaherty Is Dead

Heart attack:

A source close to the family told the CBC’s Evan Solomon that Flaherty died of a massive heart attack. Emergency services were called to Flaherty’s home in Ottawa at 12:27 p.m. Thursday. MPs suspended the House of Commons just before the daily question period, around 2:15 p.m. ET, as news of Flaherty’s death made its way through Parliament Hill. NDP Leader Tom Mulcair moved for the adjournment. “After consultations among House leaders, there is general agreement the House will now suspend,” Speaker Andrew Scheer told MPs. The flag on the Peace Tower was lowered to half-mast in Flaherty’s memory.

Apparently Canada’s business community remembers him as a great Canadian. I remember him raising the retirement age for everyone born after April 1, 1958. Things like that make it difficult for me to mourn. Regardless, condolences to those who loved and admired him.

Comments: 2

Daily Aggregation: Being Superman

daily-aggregation-21. PUNISH THE SLUTS New Brunswick’s Morgentaler clinic is closing because the provincial government won’t fund it. Problem with that is, it leaves New Brunswick women with precisely two hospitals that provide the service. And they’ll only perform an abortion if TWO doctors agree it’s “medically necessary”. Where the fuck the province gets off pushing  anti-scientific religious flimflam on women who are capable of making their own health decisions is unknown.

2. PUNISH THE CBC Conservative funding cuts and the loss of Hockey Night In Canada have forced CBC to cut 657 jobs over two years. I imagine this will put downward pressure on journalist wages across the country, which corporate media outlets will like. You know, some people think a world-class democracy would find a way to strengthen its public broadcaster rather than nickle-and-dime it to death.

3. BRAZEAU BUSTED The suspended senator was arrested after fighting with a woman and a man at her residence. He was charged with assault, making threats, breaching conditions and cocaine possession.

4. CAR TROUBLE The United Nations approves sending peacekeepers to the murder, torture and rape-plagued Central African Republic.

5. SASKTEL REVENUE IS DOWN Read all about it.

6. JACKASS POSTS KIJIJI AD, BUSY PEOPLE FORCED TO WASTE VALUABLE BRAIN-TIME ON IT The home for rent ad says no n*****s, no f*****s and no furries. How do furries get on that list? Weirdness.

7. STEPHEN COLBERT WILL REPLACE DAVID LETTERMAN Uhhhhhhh… does this mean the end of his conservative pundit character? I don’t know if I want to see the greatest satirist in television history reduced to a celebrity interviewer.

8. PITTSBURGH SCHOOL STABBER UPDATE He’s apparently being charged as an adult? Sigh. Sounds like a tragic mental health situation rather than a criminal case to me.

9. THE WAR ON SRIRACHA CONTINUES Irwindale, California wants to shut down a Sriracha plant just because its stinky fumes are making residents sick. Pfft. The sweet scent of spicy pepper processing couldn’t possibly bother anyone reasonable. We must fight for Sriracha! Who’s with me?

VIDEO: BEING SUPERMAN This GoPro promotion is pretty good! Metropolis is looking a little run down, though.

Comments: 2

Prohibition Days

BottomsUpBurlesqueWhen the Saskatchewan government made changes to the liquor laws awhile back to allow licensed dance performances with clothing removal and the possibility of some nudity most of the attention focused on strip clubs. But from an arts perspective, one of the big beneficiaries (at least potentially) was the several burlesque clubs that have begun operating in the province in the past few years.

Burlesque has a long and storied tradition as a theatrical art form that, in addition to providing titillation for audiences, also offers humour and social commentary. But because it generally involves a degree of clothing removal, burlesque was lumped in with stripping as far as liquor regulations went so any performances that were mounted in the province had to be unlicensed. That meant audiences couldn’t enjoy a glass of wine or beer with their entertainment, which made it hard for the companies to hold successful events at popular venues.

Even with the new liquor regs in place, municipal authorities are still dithering about the distinction between burlesque and stripping, and under proposed zoning amendments in Regina anyway, are considering restricting licensed burlesque shows to the industrial area to protect the delicate sensibilities of Regina citizens.

On Friday, the Bottoms Up Burlesque troupe is holding a Roaring ’20s themed show complete with gangsters, molls and speakeasies at the Artesian on 13th at 7:30 p.m. Because the zoning situation is still up in the air, this will be a dry show, which ties in nicely with the prohibition theme, but will probably leave the organizers and audience alike a little peeved. It’s also an adults only show. Tickets are $20 advance and $25 at the door.

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Daily Aggregation: Creationism Vs. PBS

daily-aggregation-21. TAX DATA ATTACK The Canadian Revenue Agency has shut down access to its online services due to an evil security threat.

2. IS RUSSIA PLOTTING TO INVADE UKRAINE? They better not be. Talks will be held next week.

3. TRUDEAU SAYS HE’LL REPEAL THE CONSERVATIVES’ ELECTION BILL IF HE’S ELECTED PRIME MINISTER Well, good.

4. URBANIZE TO SAVE THE ECONOMY That’s what Regina and Saskatoon must do, says someone smart.

5. BRIAN MULRONEY WANTS HARPER TO DO A BETTER JOB BUILDING A PRO-PIPELINE CONSENSUS. HE ALSO SAYS SOMETHING EXTREMELY INSIGHTFUL, THOUGH PERHAPS NOT IN THE WAY HE INTENDED The story’s here. The quote? “The essential continuity of governments from Mulroney through Chretien and Martin to Harper explains a great deal of what is right about Canada today.” Yup. Right wing.

6. MISSING AND PRESUMED EATEN The possible fate of Michael Rockefeller, lost in 1961.

7. STABBING SPREE No one has died but four people were critically injured in a knife-based school attack near Pittsburgh.

8. REST IN PEACE, ULTIMATE WARRIOR The wrestling legend has died. The Guardian re-caps his greatest moments.

9. REMEMBER THAT DOCUMENTARY ABOUT GEOCENTRISM THAT WAS MADE BY A HOLOCAUST DENIER THAT I MENTIONED YESTERDAY? Captain Janeway says she was a mere voice for hire, and no, she is not a geocentrist. Also, a scientist who appears in the film wrote a piece about it on Slate.

VIDEO: THE LOTTERY The creationist group Answers In Genesis is whining about a PBS science program. Fuck ‘em! Creationism is maliciously ignorant, toxic sludge that, if left unchecked, could drag us all backwards to an era of quivering superstitions, bizarre rituals, miscellaneous quackery and probably witch-burning. IWhatever’s behind it, it’s sure not Christianity. Creationists! Cast off your shackles of ignorance and step into the light! And go read Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery. IT’S ABOUT YOU.

THE LOTTERY – 1969 from Gonçalo Brito on Vimeo.

Comments: 3

Ladies + Local Music

The Raincoats

The Raincoats

Just want to steer your attention to my current Sound Check column where I bemoan the dearth of ladies in rock / alt / weird /indie / underground bands here in YQR and…everywhere else. There’s a healthy comment thread growing that you might wanna read or contribute to, too!

  • Read the column!
  • Fun, related content: ALIEN SHE, a touring exhibition about riot girl, curated by Astria Suparak and Ceci Moss
  • Fun, related content: Venus Radio, an excellent Montreal-based lady-led and focused music radio show you can listen to on-line
  • Fun, related content: Gender Talk, a local spoken word show about gender over on CJTR 91.3FM or cjtr.ca
  • Fun, related content: Rock Camp for Girls Montreal / Ottawa / Peterborough / Toronto / Vancouver

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Taking Steps

Taking StepsRegina Little Theatre has presented several works by the prolific British playwright Alan Ayckbourn in the last few years — most notably, his trilogy The Norman Conquests which dates from the mid-1970s.  

This farce was first produced in 1979.  It concerns a hard-drinking tycoon with a disenchanted wife who is contemplating buying a house that was once a brothel. Throw in a brother-in-law, his fiancee, the tycoon’s solicitor, and the vendor, all of whom decide to make a night of it at the house, and you have the potential for all sorts of shenanigans to ensure.

Taking Steps runs at the Performing Arts Centre April 9-10 at 7:30 p.m., and April 11-12 at 8 p.m. Tickets are Adults $20, Students & Seniors $18, and can be obtained by calling 306-779-2277.

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Basking In Victoria Park

Basking (Victoria Park)All in all it wasn’t a bad night to be outside. I saw some people walking around downtown in t-shirts and shorts. I didn’t go that route myself, but with no wind it was plenty comfortable.

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Daily Aggregation: Centre Of The Universe

daily-aggregation-21 QUEBEC: A LESSER EVIL Quebec elects a Liberal majority government. And by “majority” we mean the Liberals got 41.51% of the vote. Which is not what the word “majority” means.* The previous government of neoliberal, pro-ethnic cleansing goofs masquerading as the PQ dropped to 30 seats on 25.37% of the vote, by the way. And their dumb leader, who led the charge into bigotry, corporatism and ruin, has resigned.

**Despite the fact that my Canadian Oxford dictionary defends this usage as legitimate. No. No it is not. That’s what the word “plurality” means. The anti-democratic bastards have corrupted my dictionary and changed the meaning of words to legitimize their anti-democratic power grabs. Fils de pute!

2 CANADA’S MINISTER OF DEMOCRATIC REFORM ATTACKS CANADA’S ELECTION WATCHDOG This kind of shit should be setting off waaay more alarms than it is among the general public.

3 THE SAGA OF QUESTIONABLE EXPENSES BY GOVERNMENT POLITICIANS AND WORKERS CONTINUES Saskatchewan’s Opposition caught some shenanigans. The perps made amends. The government will make changes. The Opposition is keeping an eye on things. Huh. the system worked! Applause all around.

4 MEANWHILE, IN FEDERAL POLITICS The federal NDP has been ordered to stop using House funds for their new Saskatchewan office. To me, the situation seems sort of analogous to the federal Conservatives using public funds for their out-of-riding propaganda mailers (and the NDP are doing that now, too). Hopefully, the NDP will stop following the Tories’ bad example. Because what did that ever get the Conservatives? Besides a majority government?

5 LOOK OUT, WOLVES Saskatchewan has made it easier to legally shoot wolves. Ravens, too.

6 PARKING CASH GRAB, I MEAN CRACKDOWN, IN THE QUEEN CITY Beware!

7 TROUBLE IN EASTERN UKRAINE Pro-Russian separatists stir up trouble and the Kyiv government represses them. Blah.

8 PHILIPPINE COURT BACKS FREE BIRTH CONTROL IN GOVERNMENT HEALTH CENTRES, NYAH NYAH NYAH Read all about it. Some church groups were trying to stop  the distribution of birth control. What a bunch of pushy little tyrants.

9 I GUESS HUMAN RIGHTS GROUPS ARE TERRORISTS The United States spied on Amnesty International.

VIDEO: WHY IS CAPTAIN JANEWAY INVOLVED WITH AN EXTREMIST CHRISTIAN DOCUMENTARY THAT SAYS THE EARTH IS LITERALLY AT THE CENTRE OF THE UNIVERSE? Hopefully because either A.) actors need paycheques B.) she was duped, or C.) both. I sure hope Captain Janeway doesn’t believe the Earth orbits the sun, though. Anyway, more here, here and here. And here’s the trailer for The Principle. Blah.

Comments: 10

Kataklysm

This Montreal-based death metal band has been around since 1991. They’ve had a few line-up changes in the 20 plus years they’ve been around, mostly at drummer, but the band’s signature “hyperblast” drum sound that relies on a double kick pedal has remained consistent.

Wednesday night Kataklysm are in town to play a show at the Exchange with another metal band called Aborted. Doors are at 7:30 p.m., and the show will start at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20. To give you a sense of what’s in store, here’s the video for “Elevate” off the band’s 2013 album Waiting For The End To Come:

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Puddle Update

Blog (Mini-Wascana)As the Sun sets on the shores of mini-Wascana Lake in beautiful downtown Regina we bid you a fond good night.

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Daily Aggregation: Farewell, Mickey Rooney

daily-aggregation-21. ELECTION DAY IN QUEBEC CBC has a news hub here. And here’s John Conway’s column in the latest Prairie Dog.

2. IS RUSSIA STIRRING UP TROUBLE IN EASTERN UKRAINE? Oh,  probably.

3. TODAY’S “STEAL THE NEXT ELECTION ACT” NEWS The legislation that the Conservative government has justified with untrue stories of election fraud would have  a large new role  for Canada’s public prosecutor. Unfortunately this was decided without consulting the director of public prosecution.

4. CONSERVATIVE FAMILY VALUES Canada’s justice minister really wants spouses to testify against each other. He says it’s necessary. I suspect he’s just a fan of emotional confrontations. Probably a big Judge Judy fan.

5. CANADIAN JOURNALIST STILL IN JAIL IN EGYPT One hundred days and counting.

6. PARKING PRICES DOUBLE DOWNTOWN AnnOYYYYing. Mainly because transit isn’t where it needs to be for people to easily bus their way downtown.

7. DEVELOPERS SUE THE CITY Dundee Homes says it wasn’t properly reimbursed for work done in Harbour Landing.

8. DOYLE STEPS DOWN The well-compensated Potash  executive is retiring. I’ll remember him for the not-at-all self-serving comments that he, a ludicrously wealthy man, made about Saskatchewan’s “philosophy of failure” and “envy”. Others might remember him for laying-off workers.

9. MUCH ADO ABOUT SOME PINGS The search for the wreckage of Malaysian flight MH370 has a promising lead, apparently. More here and here.

10. ROB FORD: AT IT AGAIN I desperately hope he yelled “Don’t you know who I am?” during this incident.

REST IN PEACE, MICKEY ROONEY The Hollywood star has died at the age of 93. I knew him best as Santa Claus in the old Rankin Bass Christmas classics. Here’s Rooney singing a song from Santa Claus Is Coming To Town.

Comments: 9

Weekly Reckoning: The Captain America Sequel Was Pretty Cool Edition

weekly-reckoningAnd that’s how you review a movie in the title of a blog post (for a proper review, read Jorge’s take on Captain America in the current issue). On with the aggregation, which fulfills the Internet’s function as a gigantic virtual washing machine that agitates and agitates the information without ever quite getting the stuff clean.

1. MAYBE WE’LL GET TO VIEW ALL OF THE POPE’S DOODLES IN THE MARGINS OF HIS ZANE GREY PAPERBACKS The Vatican Apostolic Library, which has taken notice of that thing of which Peter Mansbridge once said, “it’s called Internet,” is digitizing an impressive 41 million pages of documents from its library. That’s 82,000 manuscripts, people.

2. NATURALIST PETER MATHIESSEN RETURNS HIS COMPONENTS TO NATURE Peter Mathiessen, who wrote some of the greatest books on nature (as well as some kick-ass novels) I’ve  been had the pleasure of reading, died on Saturday at the age of 86. He’s probably best known for The Snow Leopard, In the Spirit of Crazy Horse and the novel At Play in the Fields of the Lord.  You can read some of his work for free right over at The New Yorker.

3. OMG GUYZ TEH SEX ON TEH CABLE TEVELISHUN Salon.com, the once informative and enjoyable site now reduced to a species of dreary leftist clickbait, is worried about all the sex on the new season of Game of Thrones. To be fair, the article seems as weary of the topic as the rest of us. But there’s an interesting notion buried in the article about the creative latitude involved in adapting George R.R. Martin’s work (which can be summarized thusly: “Can we stage this scene with everyone naked? How about just the woman naked? Can we turn it into a bloodbath then? Okay.”).

4. CHANCES ARE YOU HAVE WHAT IT TAKES TO BE A COMPLETE JOKE OF A PRESIDENT George W. Bush, who is not done embarrassing us all with his presence on Earth, has  started painting portraits of world leaders, including Vladimir Putin, Tony Blair and Angela Merkel.

5. BUT WHAT ARE THOSE SEASHELLS FOR? This isn’t news, exactly, but I’m fascinated by Japanese toilets and their advanced butt-cleaning technology. So is the author of this article. Maybe he’s a little too fascinated? You be the judge. Maybe North Americans are too horrified by excretion to lend additional pleasure and comfort to the act.

Comments: 3

Canadian Ringette Championships

When ringette got going in the mid-1960s it functioned as a female version of hockey. Since then, many more girls and women have started to gravitate toward hockey. Ringette remains a viable sport though, combining the skills of hockey with some of the court strategies of basketball like a shot clock which requires the team in possession of the ring to take a shot within a 30-second period.

Until April 12 the Canadian Ringette Championships are being held in Regina at Co-operators Centre, Evraz Place.  Participating will be 48 teams from across Canada in the U16, U19 and 19+ divisions. To fill you in on some of the nuances of the ringette here’s a segment Canuck comic Rick Mercer did on the sport a few years ago:

Comments: 1

Drowntown Drama

Blog(VictoriaPark)Victoria Park is a sloppy mess this time of the year. Whenever I go walking in there I wear rubber boots so I can slosh through the mini-lakes that have flooded four or five of the paths (picture above).

When I headed out for a short walk tonight I just wore runners and stuck to Victoria Ave. I still encountered obstacles though. The first (pictured after the jump) was at the southeast corner of Rose and Victoria. You had your choice of hiking down Vic perilously close to the inside east-bound driving lane for a fair bit or ducking around the corner and finding a spot where the slough thinned out. When you did that, though, you were met with a build-up of ice on a narrow swath of grass between the sidewalk and curb.

The second photo is from the north side of the intersection at Cornwall and Victoria. Because of its skewed layout it’s already a safety challenge. To photograph the actual size of this mini-Wascana I would’ve needed a crane. But even what’s in the photo is pretty daunting.

I managed okay. So it’s no big deal for me. But for a lot of other people in the high traffic downtown… I don’t know, is this the best we can do?

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Comments: 9

Sunday Matinee: 3 Dev Adam

3devadamMarvel’s Captain America: Winter Soldier opened this weekend to rave reviews and a huge box office take. There doesn’t seem to be any stopping to the Marvel / Disney movie machine. It’s unfortunate that Marvel’s bigger name characters aren’t controlled by Marvel Studios.

When Marvel went bankrupt in the late 1990′s they licensed out Spider-Man, Fantastic Four and the X-Men. So while Marvel can make an excellent Captain America movie they have no control over what Sony is doing with Amazing Spider-Man 2 which looks dreadful or what Fox is doing with X-Men: Days of Future Past (both films will hit theatres next month). Which brings me to today’s Sunday Matinee.
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Fefe Dobson

Born Felicia Lily Dobson in Toronto in the mid-1980s, Fefe Dobson burst on the Canadian music scene in a pretty big way in 2003 with the release of a self-titled debut CD which garnered two Juno nominations: New Artist and Pop Album of the Year. Her career’s been a little bit low profile since then, but she has three studio albums to her credit, and is in the process of recording a fourth called Firebird. She’s also done some acting and made some high profile appearances at various awards shows and public events — including a national CTV celebration of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics which was broadcast from Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto.

Tonight she’s in town to play a show at the Artful Dodger. Also on the bill is the band Courage My Love. To give you a sense of what to expect here’s  Dobson’s latest single off Firebird called “In Better Hands”:

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VOD Review: Afflicted: No budget? No problem!

Afflicted-photo-2

We live in the golden age of the thrifty horror movie: Big studios purchase low-budget flicks and make a killing with it (Paranormal Activity, The Last Exorcism and all their clones). There is one problem with this business model: The films themselves seldom -if ever- live up to the premise that spawns it. Prime example is The Purge: Fantastic concept (all crime is allowed for a short period of time), terrible execution (your standard house invasion thriller).

Afflicted does things differently: The concept may be a familiar one (vampirism), but it’s carried out with consistency and assurance, not a small feat for two first-time feature directors Derek Lee and Clif Prowse.

Canadian-based Lee and Prowse not only wrote, edited and directed the film. They also star in it. Using the found-footage approach, Afflicted tells the story of two life-long friends on a backpacking trip through Europe. The idea is to break with the safety of their ordinary lives and live dangerously, particularly after one of them is diagnosed with a potentially deadly condition. True to form, they are blogging it all and taking suggestions.

The regulatory “sex with a stranger” feat has unexpected consequences, as Derek ends up with a couple of scars, superhuman strength and a craving for fresh meat.

Derek’s transformation is the high point of Afflicted. It follows natural progression as opposed to overnight fang growth. The limited budget is stretched beyond belief and, for the most part, succeeds at fulfilling its goals without bringing attention to its resources (or lack thereof). Unfortunately, during the second half, Lee and Prowse fall into perfunctory stunts and traditional genre grooves like maker vs. creation and the ethics of killing humans for a living.

Never mind the shortcomings. Afflicted is satisfactory enough and the future for Lee and Prowse looks promising.

Two and a half prairie dogs. Afflicted is available on demand.

Comments: 0