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50 States of Fright Review 2020 Tv Show Series Season Cast Crew Online
Stars: Rachel Brosnahan, Asa Butterfield, Danay Garcia
If you’ve been surfing the net as much as I have these past few weeks in quarantine, you’ve probably stumbled upon this clip. What looks like a cutaway gag from Bojack Horseman or 30 Rock is actually part of a new Quibi show by Sam Raimi (yes, the Sam Raimi of Spider-Man and Evil Dead fame).
50 States of Terror is supposedly an anthology horror series, with a story from each state spread across two or three “Quibis” (those Sufjan Stevens fans among us are probably groaning at the prospect of another project aiming to cover each state).
Each story begins with the disclaimer “every state has its folklore, tall tales of legends — but sometimes there is a darker story, a tale not so much told, as whispered.” I’m assuming the last part is ironic, given not only the amount of screaming that occurs but the willingness with which each episode’s narrator blurts out their state’s story.
It’s an enticing premise and one that’s most interested in its commitment to providing a showcase of emerging directors. Yoko Okurmura and Ryan Spindell are clearly talented and seem to be having fun with the material (out of the three stories provided with Quibi’s free trial, the first is directed by Raimi himself), it’s just a shame that the material itself isn’t of higher quality.
The first story of 50 States of Fright, entitled “The Golden Arm (Michigan)”, is so ridiculous that it feels like an extended bit conceived to meet the terms of a contract.
The plot concerns a couple of high-school sweethearts; the wife (Rachel Brosnahan, who I hope bought something nice with her paycheck) is described as “expensive” and vain, while her husband (Travis Fimmel) is a lumberjack who looks at diagrams of chairs when he thinks his wife isn’t looking.
Tragedy strikes when he makes his wife help him cut down a tree (as marital obligations frequently compel one to). She loses her arm in the process, and thus enters the titular prosthetic.
“It was like a drug,” says the narrator who is seemingly obligated to force what little subtext and subtlety the story has to the surface (the narrators of the following two stories are much more interesting). When the doctor prescribes her with “Pulmonary Gold Disease” (a very real ailment) the woman would rather die than give up her golden arm.
There’s a lot more to this story than I could fit into one review (so I’ll expand in my blog), but if 50 States of Fright’s game plan was to be so weird it would have to be talked about, “The Golden Arm” more than succeeds.
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