Saturday, February 08, 2020

Stan Against Evil: Let Your Love Groan – review

Directors: Jack Bishop & Justin Nijm

First Aired: 2016

Contains spoilers

Stan Against Evil is a comedy series of short episodes (at the 22-minute mark) about Stan (John C. McGinley, Scrubs), the former sheriff of Willard’s Mill, New Hampshire. After his wife died, he beat up an old lady (Sallye McDougald Hooks) at the funeral (who seemed to morph into a hag) and subsequently 'retired'. With the new sheriff, Evie (Janet Varney), he discovers that there is a curse on all sheriffs of Willard’s Mill after a mass witch burning back in the day.

The reason he never died a premature death was due to his wife, who was secretly a demon hunter. Stan (who feels modelled on Ash) reluctantly has to work with Evie to overcome the demons.

life sucked out
This specific episode starts months before, with a woman and man meeting in the town bar for a date. She’s never used dating sites before and nervously downs his drink before inviting him to the toilet for sex. In the toilet they are frantic but she, as they kiss, demands he say that he loves her. When he does so her eyes begin to flash with demonic fire – yes, she’s a succubus. We have also seen the demand that the person say they love the demon before. When he is found he seems shrivelled, as though the very life has been sucked from him (which it has).

speed dating
Cutting forward, Evie has just met her ex-husband’s new fiancé. Her deputy (Nate Mooney, Moonlight) suggests speed dating and she drags Stan (and his daughter, Denise (Deborah Baker Jr.)) along to point out local weirdos by telling him that it is a fight night between a Russian and a bear. Stan and Evie both meet someone, and the next day Denise receives delivery of a pot-bellied pig. But Evie starts to quickly deteriorate (becoming veiny, essentially, though the show suggests she is aging rapidly) and they have to find out why…

John C. McGinley as Stan
Stan Against Evil worked for me, primarily, on the back of John C. McGinley; the character might be rather Ash-like but he can pull that off and instils the performance with a touch of Dr Cox too. The short length means it doesn’t outstay its welcome but again brings Evil Dead to mind (or more specifically Ash Vs Evil Dead). This is less gory (though it still has its moments) and is inventive enough that it doesn’t remain under the shadow of the other vehicle. This particular episode was the third in the season (of 8) and so the characters were just becoming established but was enjoyable and the succubus was definitely displaying vampiric attributes though there is a traditional vampire episode in season 3 as will be covered at a later date. 6 out of 10.

The episode's imdb page is here.

On Demand @ Amazon US

On Demand @ Amazon UK

No comments: