I’m talking about the new ABC horror series, The River, which starts tonight (check your local listings).
If you’ve been a reader of this blog for a while, then you know that I fell hook, line and sinker for the F/X hot series which premiered last October. I would look forward to Wednesday nights and then I’d review the episode on my blog. It garnered me a whole bunch of new readers. If you’ve stuck around, thank you. If you’re new, welcome. Tonight will either keep me glued to the networks first real by God paranormal foray since….since….Bewitched??????
Here’s the premise: Emmet Cole , played by Bruce Greenwood, is a popular, globe-trotting host of a fictional TV show called “The Undiscovered Country” and as part of his show, he goes to the Amazon to film some piranha wrestling or Pygmy poison dart making or some such nonsense. Out of the blue, he goes missing along with his cameraman. No one hears a peep from this either man cat for six months, then suddenly, his emergency locator beacon suddenly starts transmitting at signal. This makes his wife think he’s still alive, so she and his wife, son and his former camera crew head into the Amazonian jungle to find him, with TV cameras rolling.
From what I understand, the premise will change every week, and I guess because of the title, everything will center around a river. Emmet’s tag line on his fictional show is “There’s magic out there!” and that turns out to be true…and not always benign Samantha Stevens nose twitching, attach a teapot to fishing line to make it appear to float or have crazy, senile Aunt Clara get confused. The shenanigans begin when she accidentally turns a washing machine into George Washington—-whose presence will be nervously explained by Darren who with Samantha’s help, says will be the perfect spokesman for the advertising campaign of McMann and Tate newest client, the Cherry Tree pharmacy chain.
‘That said, I’d love to see this show get into the scary lore around The Rio Grande River. Black-magic based Palo Mayombe and exaggerated forms of Santeria are rampant along the Texas/Mexican border. The Latinos down in that part of the state have mixed their Catholicism with their indigenous beliefs. Mix in a little Afro Caribbean flavor to it and you have ‘magick”. Drug dealers have used it to get others to do their bidding. In 1989, a to do their bidding. The DEA will call them ‘narco-cultists”. University of Texas pre-med student, Mark Kilroy was murdered by narco-cultists. He was in the Mexican border city of Matamoros (across from Brownsville, Texas for Spring Break in 1989 and was kidnapped, then murdered as a sacrifice to appease the Gods…or demons in Palo Mayombe.
The man responsible for Kilroy’s murder was a “Palero” named Adolpho Constanzo who ordered his followers to bring him a white man. Kilroy was plucked from the streets of Matamoros after a night of Spring Break partying and taken to a ranch outside of town on the Mexican side. Human sacrifices were meant to give them power. In all, 37 bodies were dug up after it was discovered Mark Kilroy’s body was there as well. You see, Constanzo was able to convince big time Mexican drug dealers (many in the cartels) that for a price, he could give their henchmen and bodyguards the power to be invisible to all law enforcement and bulletproof to all enemies. This was all utter bullshit but drug dealers from peasant Mexican stock who knew all too well about the frightening power of brujeria (witchcraft) often believed what they were told…or rather, were sold.
Well, it doesn’t matter if the show comes to Texas or not, I’ll give “The River’ a chance. I’m hearing this series will be scary; at the very least, intriguing. I hope it’s far more cohesive than the first season of “American Horror Story”. It’s’s got a fighting chance with co-creator Oren Peli behind it. Peli was the writer-director of the big-screen thriller “Paranormal Activity.” That film, and this series will follow “The Blair Witch Project” concept. It purports to found documentary footage. So expect a lot of jerky camera shots and mad crazy pans left and right. Yeah, that premise has been done to death, but it works if you have a budget and it does add a certain amount of grittiness and depth to the finished product.
Steven Spielberg is the executive producer, which doesn’t necessarily mean guaranteed success. Anyone remember the movie, “1941”?????
Well, as we all know, the proof will be in the pudding. I’ll be back here later tonight, after the show (providing my Ambien kicks in early enough this afternoon) to give you my thoughts on “The River”.
Join me, won’t you???