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Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter


He hates these trees! Stay away from the trees!

I was lucky enough to catch Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter at our local drive-in this summer. When you live in the Land of Lincoln, you get kind of numb to all of the Lincoln stuff. I drive past Lincoln’s home all the time, i’ve rubbed the nose of the lucky bust at Oak Ridge plenty. So not only did I find this movie fun because of the action and normal, non-sparkly vampires, but because it renewed my interest in Abraham Lincoln and the time he spent here. I found out that his human cohorts in the movie are all real people, although their roles in his life are slightly tweaked to better fit the movie. Learin’!

The movie doesn’t try to alter the course of history, it simply interjects the idea that from early adulthood all the way up to his death, President Lincoln was also a vampire hunter. It all starts when he seeks revenge on the man who poisoned his mother (in actuality, Nancy Lincoln died from milk sickness, go vegan!) and discovers that he isn’t so easy to kill. And he has fangs and is really strong and whoa boy is he kind of a snarky dick about it. But luckily, Abe meets a guy who wants to train him. Yet you never see this dude kill vampires himself…curious. Anyway, all through moving to Springfield, meeting Mary Todd, and getting into politics, Abe is killin’ vampires left and right. There is killing, war, hijinks, fights on burning trains, and as we all know, eventually Mr. Lincoln is going to take a trip to the theater.

This movie was filmed in 3D, which I don’t like because when you’re at the drive-in you’re like, “God damn, these angles are annoying.” But there is lots of crazy good action and stunts, I half expected Milla Jovovich to pop out at the plantation and start shooting some bitches in the head. You wouldn’t think that Abraham Lincoln and the words ‘thrill ride’ go together, but they do! If you like action flicks but hate the dumbed down dialog, you will like this movie. It has received mixed reviews, but pfffft on what anyone but me thinks.

This is an indie flick so there aren’t any huge stars, but a few very familiar faces: Anthony Mackie (2Pac in Notorious, The Hurt Locker), Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Deathproof, Scott Pilgrim), Jimmi Simpson (Always Sunny, Breakout Kings), Marton Csokas (LotR trilogy), and some guy named Alan Tudyk who likes to play with dinosaur figures and talk like a pirate.

If you are going to watch one of the few movies that will ever feature Springfield, you have to eat our one local delicacy: The Horseshoe. I’ve posted about it before, but earlier this year the Illinois Times posted an article about the history of the horseshoe, how it’s changed over the years (now made mostly with gross frozen fries), and the original cheese sauce recipe. I tucked that away in my brain because if you look at the recipe (way down at the bottom), it’s so easy to veganize. So easy that i’m not going to pretend I ‘made’ the recipe by swapping, so here are some step-by-steps:

1. Acquire or make a loaf of white bread, bake if needed. Slice into toastable thickness. Hide the bread from the cat.
2. Slice some potatoes (also if you are doing veggies, those too), dice them, whatever shape you want, if you’re doing wedges I suggest baking over cooking in a pan. I sliced them into rounds that were thick enough so they wouldn’t come out like chips, just crispy on the outside and warm and soft on the inside. I also fried them in a cast iron pan.
3. While the potatoes are cooking, follow the recipe for the original cheese sauce with vegan subs (we used oil, almond milk, PBR, and a wedge of Daiya cheddar). You’ll spend a few minutes just poking the potatoes and stirring the sauce and singing to the dogs.
4. Now is the time to do your ‘meat’. It can be various veggies, a portobello cap, whatever fake meat or soy thing you desire. We used Upton’s seitan because they are Chicago-based (and it’s delicious), so I just waited for my potatoes to be done, moved them to a paper towel, drained the oil, and cooked the Upton’s in the cast iron.
5. Toast your bread.
6. Assemble! Lay 1-2 pieces of bread (ours was pretty small so we did two) down, pile with potatoes and your meaty stand-in, drown in cheesy cheese sauce. Dig in and remember to name your food baby after me.

Obviously this is not a healthy recipe. Lots of places do offer vegetable horseshoes (and you’ll notice that the one pictured in the article is vegetarian), so it’s possible to do it up right and get some veggies in, but you can’t make a fat-free horseshoe. To even try would be depressing. I’m just adding this as a disclaimer. And yes, it is RICH. The portion size of a modern horseshoe is so insane, way bigger than what Brian and I made, and I couldn’t finish mine. Also as a disclaimer, the cheese sauce does not look pretty as it cools down and congeals, so either eat it all ASAP or be prepared to hide your leftovers from the sight of anyone who will go, “EWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU EATING GROSS VEGAN”.

Dessert: If you have the room, you probably don’t have the desire to make anything fancy. Lucky for you, Mr. Lincoln wasn’t big on food and preferred simple desserts, like a plate of fruit and nuts. So microwave ‘baked’ apples sound pretty perfect for our Abe dessert.

posted: October 31, 2012
under: 2010s, action, horror, period piece
5 Comments on Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

The Stuff

Oh man, I hate it when I get The Stuff in my eye.

Last year when I was asking for suggestions on what horror movies to do for MoFo, John immediately suggested The Stuff. I had never seen it and it wasn’t available on Netflix at the time, so I couldn’t do it. But now i’ve seen it and here we are!

The Stuff is sticky white substance that some dude discovers coming out of the ground. Naturally, his first instinct is to put it in his mouth and he finds that it’s very sweet. Soon, The Stuff is being marketed as a zero calorie dessert that’s so addictive, it’s putting the ice cream industry out of business! Also it may or may not be a parasitic organism that takes control of the people who eat it. You’ll have to watch to find out!

This movie is delightfully 80’s, has a few funny lines (which may not be intentional), and it’s not particularly scary. It’s definitely a fun movie to watch with a group and good for people who don’t like their horror movies too horror….y.

Starrng Michael Moriarty (the original ADA on Law & Order), Garrett Morris (SNL, 2 Broke Girls), and Paul Sorvino (Goodfellas, also OG Law & Order).

So since it was his idea for me to do this originally, I asked John to help me with the menu.

First, you get yourself a tub of Ricemellow Creme. The Smuckers marshmallow ice cream topping is vegan, if you’re in a pinch. Then grab a spoon and dig in!

Uh, John. I said grab a SPOON. Gross! What is wrong with you?

Oh. Well shit.

(For a serious suggestion, i’d recommend just having a vegan ice cream party! Buy your ice cream or make your own, drown it in Ricemellow, and check out this PPK thread for some topping ideas! There’s also a great article on VegNews full of links about ice cream and related things.)

Many thanks to John for getting goo in his hair and Isa for probably gagging a little while taking the pictures.

posted: October 8, 2012
under: 80s, horror, so bad it's good
284 Comments on The Stuff


The plot for Phantasm sounds so ridiculous when you describe it: flying spheres that drill into your brain? A creepy tall guy, who can make you see things that aren’t really there, snatches corpses so he can shrink them down and send them to his home planet to work as slaves? What?

Yes, the premise is pretty silly sounding, but the Phantasm series has several things going for it.

1. Angus Scrimm as the Tall Man. He is TERRIFYING just being him! He towers over everyone and always looks like he just sucked on twenty evil lemons.
2. The shrunken former dead people are creepy, shuffling about in their tiny brown robes like the Jawas in Star Wars.
3. Unlike most series where at least one actor wants nothing to do with the following movies, all of the cast members reprise their roles (except for the second one, where the studio made the director recast the role of Mike for a better-known actor). For me, that is really important because I usually can’t handle it when movies or tv shows try to pull a Darren. Don’t ever get me started on that Katee Sackhoff/Rose McGowan switch on Nip/Tuck.

The four movies are all kind of the same in that the main characters are Mike and Reggie, and they are trying to stop the Tall Man from doing what he’s doing, stealing corpses and killing people and being a creepy old bastard. So unlike other horror series, instead of a different group of people going through the same situation over and over again against the same antagonist, this is a whole story in four parts.

Fun fact: Angus Scrimm is 6’4″, but to look even taller for this role he wore suits that were too small and platform shoes.

While no one in this movie ever got famous, Angus Scrimm has had a decent career and Reggie Banister (who plays…Reggie) is a Scream King if there ever was one.

We’re going balls-out for this menu! Instead of three courses, you can just have plates of balls as far as the eye can see, and people can take whichever ones they want. One thing that would help you with this is if you had the Panda With Cookie zine, Ballin’ and Baggin’.

Savory balls: Mushroom Rice Balls, Carrot Oatmeal Balls, Swedish Meatballs, Cheeze Ball to be eaten with crackers.
Sweet Balls: Sweet like Hannah Truffles, Besan Laddoo, Buckeye Balls, Raw Pumpkin Donut Holes, Coconut Almond Rum Balls, Granola Balls, and Ice Cream Balls for Reggie, the ice cream man.

posted: October 30, 2011
under: 70s, horror
2 Comments on Phantasm

Night of the Demons

Have you noticed that i’ve posted 80’s movies almost exclusively? It all comes down to childhood nostalgia, these are the movies that were released when I was a kid, so they are the ones I like the best. Sometimes ‘good’ doesn’t enter into it for me, and Night of the Demons is definitely one of those movies. It’s not horrible, but unless you have a love of horror movies, you probably won’t want to see it. Also I really wanted to do a non-kid Halloween movie and i’m not up to covering 50 movies about Michael Meyers.

In the late 80’s, a ‘weird’ girl named Angela hosts a party at a Haunted house with her slutty friend Suzanne (played again by always-nude scream queen, Linnea Quigley). For whatever reason, less than ten people show up and no one thinks this is weird or sad. Of course, the house really IS haunted, by a demon, and it slowly possesses the party-goers, who then attack and infect their friends. Some of them appear demon-like right away (the fat guy ends up with a pig nose, of course), Suzanne performs a party trick with a tube of lipstick and does what she does best (hint, it’s not family friendly).

This movie spawned two sequels, neither of which i’ve watched in a long time so I can’t say how bad they might be, but (spoiler alert) the same actress reprises her role as Angela in both of them, so they are tied to the original film. There was also a remake a few years ago which while not bad and it changed the story enough to be unique from the original, is full of some really embarrassing acting from Shannon Elizabeth and Edward Furlong (I KNOW), and some of the fakest breasts i’ve ever seen. But the demons are way cooler looking, so at least it has that going for it.

Usually these movies are filled with no-names and if we’re lucky, someone who hasn’t hit it big yet (it’s fun to see their baby faces), but the woman who plays Angela is actually really interesting! Amelia Kinkade is the niece of Rue McClanahan, a former 80’s video dancing vixen, and now she makes her living as a pet psychic/whisperer/whatever you want to call it.

Entree: The obvious answer would be ‘anything pumpkin’, but when I saw these asparagus skeletons in puff pastry coffins (and the wonton ghosts), I couldn’t resist. I like that these are very adult, yet very Halloweenie.
Side: Another dish that falls under the ‘very adult food, very halloweenie feel’ are these quinoa stuffed pepperjacks!
After all of that grown up, healthy crap, wouldn’t you like some candy? Make your own vegan candy corn!

posted: October 28, 2011
under: 80s, horror, so bad it's good, teen
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We’re going indie horror today! May is kind of a modern take on Carrie (ironically, the main character is played by the same woman who played Carrie in the tv movie remake). It is about a lonely, weird woman who had a rough childhood because of her lazy eye, which she finally gets corrected. When she meets people she does whatever they do to please them, and like most delicate souls, she gets crushed repeatedly. And then she snaps. Oh, and her best friend is a doll.

The “horror” part is absent until towards the end, there is a lot of build-up to the bloody rampage that ensues at the end. Unlike a lot of horror movies, May actually has a decent cast, good writing, and all that jazz. It is, dare I say it, a good film! Everyone should watch it, even if you are not the horror movie type.

Starring Angela Bettis (Girl Interrupted, Carrie remake, Dexter), Jeremy Sisto (Suburgatory, Law & Order, Clueless) and Anna Faris (House Bunny, all of those Scary Movies).

Entree: One of the things that May does to impress Jeremy Sisto is to take up smoking, so how about some smoky tempeh bacon (scroll down)? Make a double batch because like cigarettes, tempeh bacon is highly addictive.
Side: While thinking up menu ideas, I thought of this ‘I Do Win Friends With Salad‘ shirt, obviously there are a million salads to win friends with, Susan and Isa both have many delicious recipes that would complement the tempeh bacon.
Dessert: You know the real way to make friends is to share food, and I was happy to find a vegan recipe for Amish friendship bread! P.S. Before anyone gets testy about the mention of using eggs OR egg replacer at the bottom, that is part of the instructions you would pass onto your friends, who may or may not be vegan, to finish the bread as they please.

posted: October 26, 2011
under: 2000s, drama, horror
4 Comments on May

Killer Klowns From Outer Space

In space, no one can eat ice cream*.

So at some point in my young life, after I was traumatized against clowns by Poltergeist, I watched Killer Klowns and it scared the pants off of me. When it came out on dvd, I scooped it up and made Brian watch it. Before we started it I was like, “This movie is really scary, just to warn you!” I think it only took about five minutes of viewing before we both realized that I was wrong, and I was horribly, horribly embarrassed. This movie is about as scary as the monkey neck pillow I sleep with!

Aliens who just so happen to look like clowns, land on earth in a spaceship that just so happens to look like a circus tent. Why are they here? To round us up, encase us in cotton candy, and eat us! Of course, people are killed in comical fashions, like with shadow puppets and cotton candy ray guns. Stop judging me, I was like, nine when I watched this! Of course, no one in the town is afraid of a bunch of goofy looking clowns, so they’re not scared and basically just stand there and get slaughtered. Only a couple of teenagers are wise to what’s going on, and it’s up to them to save the day.

Believe it or not, this movie is actually pretty highly rated on IMDB/Rotten Tomatoes, for a horror movie. It’s definitely not scary, but it’s entertaining and not even close to the worst movie i’ve posted.

I’m going to break from my usual meal format because, this is a movie about clowns (and I can only post hot dog recipes so many times)! What do people eat at the circus? Besides sadness and cruelty, I mean. So I collected some recipes of various treats for you to enjoy, besides the obvious answer of: popcorn. Lots and lots of popcorn.

Soft Pumpkin Pretzels
Nachos with your favorite queso sauce, or this seven layer dip
Peanut Butter Caramel Apples
If you’re feeling really adventurous, or have some enemies you want to encase and then suck dry, you can make your own cotton candy.

*this is the tagline for the movie, i’m not that clever.

posted: October 25, 2011
under: 80s, comedy, horror, kid friendly, so bad it's good, teen
2 Comments on Killer Klowns From Outer Space

Cheerleader Camp

They look just as thrilled to be in this movie as you will be to watch it!

Cheerleader Camp is a stupid, low-budget, not very scary slasher film from the 80’s, and I LOVE it. Why? I’m not sure. I think it’s so-bad-it’s-good, others think it’s just bad, although I will admit that it’s no ‘Death of a Cheerleader’. It does have things to peak your interest, like bare breasts, the token “fat guy” comedic relief, and Leif Garrett stuffing a sock in his underwear. Oh, and this (part of which I used to sing to Bonny):

In case you can’t guess, this movie is about a group of cheerleaders…who go to camp. Camp Hurrah! They are going there to compete against other cheerleading groups for…something. And for some reason, no one else is there, like family to cheer them on, or judges. Just a bitchy camp director, a weird cook, and a creepy groundskeeper. Oh, and the sheriff. And then people start dying! But in addition to dying, the main character has some really weird dreams. There’s one that’s really awkward to watch: her boyfriend is banging another cheerleader while the rest of the squad stands around them chanting. What?

The acting is pretty bad, the gore is laughable, and a lot of things just don’t make sense. Like why is there a party with a band at a cheerleading camp where multiple people have been murdered? Why is the beauty contest being judged only by the other cheerleaders? Why do we have to watch the creepy sex play between the sheriff and Miss Tipton?

Believe it or not, this movie has several recognizable faces in it! Betsy Russell (Jill Tuck from Saw) plays the lead, Leif Garrett (70’s teen idol, The Outsiders, Celebrity Rehab) plays…the sexy dude…for some reason, and you may recognize Cory the mascot, Lucinda Dickey, from Breakin’ and Breakin’ 2. The real treat if George ‘Buck’ Flower, who often plays a hobo or a drunk (he’s the one who sprays himself with the hose in the video above), mostly in John Carpenter movies, and he was Red the bum in Back to the Future I and II.

Onto the menu! I’ve already done camp food, so let’s tailgate! Soon it will be too cold to grill outside, but I know all y’all have grill pans, right?

Entree: I have never tailgated in my life, but I think chili dogs seem like a damn good idea. The Field Roast frankfurters are a delicious alternative to the rubbery veggie dogs, or you can make your own!
Side: Tofu teriyaki kabobs do double duty, since anything skewered is always good for a slasher movie.
Dessert: I have seen a lot of variations on Smores this MoFo, but I think these Smore pocket pies are my favorite! If you don’t have access to vegan marshmallows, did you know that the Smuckers marshmallow ice cream topping is vegan? It’s runny, but these are enclosed so it doesn’t matter!

posted: October 24, 2011
under: 80s, horror, so bad it's good, teen
1 Comment on Cheerleader Camp


I don’t have anything witty to start this post off with, because have you met Pinhead? Dude is serious as hell! Cenobites don’t have a sense of humor, they don’t make jokes while they’re filling your face with hooks.

Hellraiser is all about a puzzle box, that when opened, summons demon-like creatures (cenobites) who will torture the lucky prize winner and take their soul to hell. There is lots of leather, hooks, and blood involved. A lot of sticky, icky, blood, and a lot of gross-but-cool stop-motion animation. If the idea of watching a skinless man talk for a good chunk of the movie makes you feel ill, you might want to sit this one out. But it really is a solid movie, good acting, good writing, never a dull moment.

The second movie is just as good as the first one, and picks up immediately where it left off. There isn’t too much that can be said about it without spoiling the end of the first movie, but we’re shown what hell looks like (it’s a giant, dreary maze), Pinhead is given a little history, and there’s a new cenobite (Dr. Penishead, we’ll call him).

And then the series starts to go downhill. If you want an in-depth (but spoilery) look at the series, I watched this review not too long ago and agree that the third movie can be skipped but it won’t hurt to watch once, Bloodlines is pretty cool, and then faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaart.

I will say that I had trouble thinking of a menu for this one, so Brian and I rewatched it and I said, “If you see anything that makes you think of food, let me know.” His helpful suggestions were ‘what about the rats’ and ‘that giant fetusey worm thing’. I mostly went, “Oh god, what was I thinking, this is too gross for food!” But at the last minute I thought of three things, so here you go!

P.S. I promise this is the grossest movie I am doing, there will be no Saw menu.

Entree: Franks in a Larry, aka pigs in a blanket. You can wrap your favorite veggie dog in puff pastry or Pillsbury dough (kind of gross, but vegan!), or make baked corndogs. To make them extra icky, brush the franks with bbq sauce before wrapping them.
Side: Cube your veggies when you make these roasted beets and carrots, and you’re good to go.
Dessert: Are you ready to chuckle/groan at me? Okay, here we go: CINNA-BITES. LOLOLOLOLOL! But yeah, we’re just going to make monkey bread and call them that and admire my cleverness.

posted: October 23, 2011
under: 80s, horror
8 Comments on Hellraiser

Children of the Corn

You’re not being paranoid, they’re totally judging you, sinner.

Children of the Corn is another movie based on a Stephen King story, and it kind of falls in the middle of the spectrum of Stephen King films, so it’s often overlooked. It’s not as good as The Shining, nor is it as bad as Sleepwalkers or Maximum Overdrive. If you avoid most modern horror movies because they’re too gory and gross, you will probably like Children of the Corn, because there is more suspense than anything. There is some blood, but very few people actually die (except for the opening scene).

In a small town in Nebraska, a tiny preacher named Issac rolls into town and convinces the children that they should kill their parents, which they do. Then it’s revealed that they are expected to worship a corn god, work in the fields, change their names, dress like fundamentalists, and give up anything fun, like tv and records. I’ll bet they have to eat brussel sprouts too! Of course, occasionally adults will pass through the town and boy, will they be sorry.

The best part of this movie is the preacher, Issac. John Franklin was 24 when this movie was made, but because of Growth Hormone Deficiency, he looks much younger than he is. But his demeanor and line delivery are very adult and serious, and his stare is creeeeeeeeeeeeeepy. Just look at it!

Starring a young Linda Hamilton (Terminator), Peter Horton (thirtysomething), and Courtney Gaines who has had small roles in damn near everything.

Despite not being a favorite of critics, this movie did well enough that it spawned a slew of sequels (all but one were straight-to-video) and a TV movie remake, of which I have seen none. Onto the shocking menu!

Entree: Out of all of the vegan corn chowder recipes on the internet, this one had the prettiest pictures.
Side: I wanted something that still had corn but wasn’t all about corn, and I found this beautiful Red Quinoa Pilaf with Kale and Corn.
Dessert: Cornmeal muffins with raspberries work perfectly to illustrate the blood on the corn. The recipe is gluten-free, but someone in the comments said they used wheat flour and they came out fine.

posted: October 21, 2011
under: 80s, horror
4 Comments on Children of the Corn


Nothing says 80’s like the parents of the film getting high and reading books about Reagan.

Poltergeist is one of the classic horror films of the 80’s, and i’m hard pressed to think of a ghostly movie that even comes close. A happy family in the burbs, la la la, chairs are moving around, la la la, holy shit there’s something living in the tv! While it’s true that the effects really don’t hold up (peep the face peeling scene on youtube), there are still some things about this movie that are still great. The movie goes back and forth from things being safe to things being terrifying, so you can never really get comfortable. I always get choked up when Diane smells Carol Anne in her clothes, and I will always and forever be terrified of clowns. This is the movie that had me leaping from my bed to the door when I was in kindergarten.

Poltergeist II takes place one year later (even though it had been four years and you could tell by how much Carol Anne and Robbie had grown), and though the family has moved in with the grandma and things have been quiet for awhile, that’s about to change. I actually had to watch this today because I couldn’t remember a thing about it, and while it loses its steam at the end, the villian is TERRIFYING. I mean, look at this dude. Keep in mind that the actor died from stomach cancer while making it so that’s why he looks like a skeleton. Fun fact: H.R. Giger helped design a beast version of Kane to fill out the scenes at the end of the movie since they were unwilling to pull a Weekend At Bernie’s.

There is a third one that is a total piece of crap, no one but Carol Anne and Tangina appear in it, the new Kane isn’t nearly as scary, and it has god damned Lara Flynn Boyle in it.

There is supposedly a curse associated with the movies, a lot of people died right after/during the making of the films, but none of the deaths were anything related to the movies, like accidents on set.

Craig T. Nelson (Parenthood [the tv series], Coach) and JoBeth Williams (Private Practice, Rita’s mom on Dexter) play the parents, and sadly most of the other cast either died too young, or were pretty old to begin with and have since died.

Entree: For our fair-haired Carol Anne, angel hair pasta in a cream sauce (recipe below).
Side: Take your favorite seitan recipe, cube it and pan fry it in a little oil to make seitan steak bites that WON’T crawl around on your counter. Hopefully.
Dessert: Like Diane, you can hang out with a bunch of Muddy Buddies, but these are the kind you can eat and not skeletons in the rain-filled hole where your pool should be.

Pasta with Asparagus in Lemon Cream Sauce, from The Vegan Girl’s Guide To Life, posted with permission from Melisser Elliot

1 pound angel hair pasta
1 tablespoon olive oil
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2-1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 pound asparagus stalks, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 teaspoon salt

Lemon Cream Sauce:
1 cup raw cashews
1 1/4 cups water
3 tablespoons lemon juice
Zest of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Prepare the pasta according to the package directions; drain and set aside. While the pasta is cooking, prepare the lemon cream sauce. In your food processor, add the cashews and puree for a few minutes until a smooth paste forms. Add the zest, salt, and pepper and blend again. Pour in the lemon juice and water in a steady stream; process until smooth. The sauce should be thin.

In a deep skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Stir in garlic and red pepper, then add the asparagus and sprinkle on the salt. Saute the asparagus until crisp but tender, and 5-7 minutes, depending on the thickness of your stalks. Add the pasta to the skillet, toss to combine, and remove from heat. Pour in the lemon cream sauce; stir to coat. Once everything is coated, taste for seasoning, and serve hot.

posted: October 20, 2011
under: 80s, horror, sci-fi
6 Comments on Poltergeist

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