Saturday Morning Brain Drain [22/1/22]

A place to let it all out.

Image via Screen Rant

What I watched:  The first Hotel Transylvania and the newest one, Hotel Transylvania Transformania. Apparently, I am the last person in the world to be aware of this franchise, and I thought, “oooh monsters, fun, maybe a bit like old school Scooby Do”.

Hotel Transylvania: “Dracula, who operates a high-end resort away from the human world, goes into overprotective mode when a boy discovers the resort and falls for the count’s teenaged daughter.

Hotel Transylvania Transformania “When Van Helsing’s mysterious invention, the “Monsterfication Ray”, goes haywire, Drac and his monster pals are all transformed into humans, and Johnny becomes a monster. In their new mismatched bodies, Drac, stripped of his powers, and an exuberant Johnny, loving life as a monster, must team up and race across the globe to find a cure before it’s too late, and before they drive each other crazy. With help from Mavis and the hilariously human Drac Pack, the heat is on to find a way to switch themselves back before their transformations become permanent.

They were okay? A bit ham-handed in the “life lessons”? But, hey, monsters are fun!

Hotel Transylvania Trailer:

Hotel Transylvania Transformania Trailer:

What I read: Death Over the Garden Wall (The Case Files of Henri Davenforth Book 7) by Honor Raconteur and Ashlee Dil. I’ve mentioned this series before, it begins with Magic and the Shinigami Detective. The schtick is that an FBI agent has been transported by a witch to a parallel world with Regency-level technology and social customs. Here is the blurb “Three modus operandi to die. Four employees, six house guests, and not a single witness. Confusing clues and no helpful leads cloud the death of Countess Giada Barese, who washed up on shore two weeks after her mysterious disappearance.  Henri and Jamie have no idea if her death is a homicide, suicide, or accidental death, for nothing adds up. There is something strange going on, though, Jamie’s sure of that. The countess was found wearing mismatched slippers, her lover disappeared the next day, and everyone is acting shifty. Jamie feels like she’s playing a game of Clue, one she’s determined to win. Where’s a candlestick when you need one?

I also read The Prof Croft Series: Books 0-4 (Prof Croft Box Sets Book 1) by Brad Magnarella. Here is the blurb for this series “If Everson Croft sat beside you on the subway, you might notice his disheveled coat and burnt satchel, but you’d have no idea he was New York’s hardest-working mage (or that his cat talked). Never properly trained, he’s been learning on the job. Outwitting vampires, wrestling werewolves, banishing powerful demons – all while holding down a teaching gig. But wizarding is in his blood, and he’ll do whatever it takes to protect his dysfunctional city, even if he mashes a few toes along the way. Watch your feet.” They are an engaging read, and the set is on sale on Amazon at $6.99 for Kindle. You could do worse for your dollars.

What I listened to this week: Dekker – Back and Forth; Martin May – One Time Too Many; and Swim Deep – World’s Unluckiest Guy.

So, dearest, darling, and divine DeadSplinterites, is everything okay with you? What have you watched, read, or listened to? Please check in, tell us how you are, and share what you are up to!

About Elliecoo 518 Articles
Four dogs, one partner. The dogs win.


  1. Watched/Watching:  Leverage – Redemption.  They brought back the series via IMDBTV, subbing a couple of new characters in.  The actor who plays Hardison has his own series elsewhere, so he only pops in an out on a guest star basis.  This version of the series is much more cartoonish than the original, which is too bad.  Plus, I really miss the dynamic between Eliott and Hardison, because that was fucking hilarious.  It’s fine to watch, as long as you remember that this is true low budget TV.

    Read:  I’m sandbagging for next week.

    Listened:  More of the best engineered albums of all time.  Last week, I mentioned the Blood, Sweat & Tears album, which was engineered by Roy Halee.  This week is another Roy Halee masterpiece:  Bridge Over Troubled Water by Simon and Garfunkel.


  2. I’m currently reading Boys Life by Robert R. McCammon. I’m not far into it but so far so good. The prose is gorgeous. I’d like nothing better on this cold day than to curl up on the sofa and read but I have a friend coming over.

    I’m watching Archive 81 on Netflix. It’s okay. It’s based on a podcast and I think that would work much better. The acting is a little heavy handed for my taste. I like the way it’s filmed though, it feels very oppressive.

    Listening to the new Elvis Costello, this is the title track.

    The Boy Named If


      • @Elliecoo sooo many, lol. What sort of thing are you looking for – fiction, true crime, comedy? Alice Isn’t Dead is a great fiction mystery/ horror podcast, not gross though, just super creepy. There’s some good true crime stuff but a lot of very exploitative ones. Do not listen to Sword and Scale. It’s disgusting, he airs real 911 calls, and interviews with child rapists.  I try to avoid the  more sensational stuff and listen to the investigation ones. Unraveled is very good. The Long Island Serial Killer season is fascinating. Disgraceland is good. It’s true crimes of famous musicians. You’ll know most of them but he’s a good story teller. I like Unexplained for supernatural, he has a beautiful British accent, and Lore is good too.  I like Smartless with Wil Arnett, Shaun Hayes , and Jason Bateman. They’re all three friends in real life and they interview various other actors, celebrities. The Steven Colbert episode made me laugh so hard I think I pulled a muscle. 

      • If you like interviews, look here —

        They have 40 years worth and some amazing stuff. The big caveat is they’re not always well edited so you can get things like ten minutes of NPR news from 1999 never removed before an interview starts or random reviews of forgotten TV shows at the end.

  3. I watched The House (Netflix) which is a collection of three stop-motion films linked only by the setting of the house. I imagine the directors were given the following assignment: If Wes Anderson had an existential crisis and was possessed by Albert Camus, Franz Kafka, and to a lesser extent Samuel Beckett, what would he create?

    The short films are slow burners and had my anxiety levels rising as the characters’ situations became more absurd, sinister and unsustainable. They are the movie equivalent of the proverbial boiling frog. #everythingisfine

  4. We binged Station 11(HBOMax) – which was amazing. I didn’t want to like it at first – it seemed like another pretentious story about how transcendental actors are  – even in an apocalypse – but it really had a lot of interesting takes on relationships.

    Now, we have moved on to Raised By Wolves(also HBOMax) – I really had no idea what it was about – but it is also intriguing.


  5. PSA: Butcher has a stellar long read coming up at noon. I won’t give it away, and I am sure that the Deadsplinter crew is always compassionate, but tip your waiter and be kind to restaurant staff.

  6. I watched Encanto this week and wow holy fuck EMOTIONS. Anyways, another fantastic children’s movie that also resonates really well with adults.

    I’m an only child, but I will say if you have siblings that story is exceptional with sibling relationships so much so that most of my friends from larger families were like “hey I was sobbing because it was so much like my own family but also it’s awesome.”

    Also “We Don’t Talk about Bruno” is a helluva earworm.

  7. …I saw the spiderman movie…which was pretty entertaining in several ways

    …& I read that joe abercrombie book (the wisdom of crowds) which rounded out its trilogy pretty satisfyingly, if that’s the word I’m looking for…or at least failing to find a better alternative to…& it seems like there will be more of them at some point…which I’m inclined to think of as a good thing?

    …I’m wary of spoilers for something I’m several trilogies along into…but if the genre isn’t off-putting then I’d say the books themselves are at least as entertaining as some of the better known stuff…& that they also do what I’d argue is a better & less ostentatious job of a lot of things I’ve heard people pontificate about when extolling the virtues of a song of ice & fire…or…well…I can think of a few other examples…but I think my point is that his stuff has been consistently readable while also building out what looks to be a sort of overarching narrative…which sounds unremarkable since it’s sort of commonplace in that genre…but I think it’s…I dunno…better engineered than most, to borrow butcher’s phrase?

    …also watched the finale for the expanse…so it’s very possible that I’m just thoroughly over-thinking the way that endings work when there are dangling plot-lines involved?

    • @SplinterRIP, I watched the end of the Expanse as well. A satisfying ending, overall. (I have not added it to BrainDrain to avoid spoilers for others.) Still team Amos all the way. I’ve enjoyed the Joe Abercrombie books which you have recommended.

      • …they were either very careful or very lucky in their casting…because although a lot of the cast are great there are a few characters that the whole thing kind of wouldn’t have worked without…& because of the nature of the plot spanning vast distances most of even those characters are onscreen in sort of fits & starts

        …but the people who played naomi & amos were in some ways almost the “heart” of the show in that they were the ones who seemed to wrestle with whether ot not they stayed the right side of the line in terms of personal morality…not that others didn’t but those two spent a lot of time feeling like they were balanced on the fulcrum rather than weighted one way or another, if that makes sense?

        …so yes, team amos seems like a good call…but I liked that they had naomi notice & comment on the “boss” thing…there was a lot of subtext floating about in that scene & I thought it said a lot about how well they’d done conveying those characters that it worked the way it did?

      • Thanks for not spoiling The Expanse finale. We should probably have a running tally of who has watched it to the end. When we’re all caught up, we can pour one out and spoil away.

        I have not watched it yet. #teamamos4eva

        • …I definitely wouldn’t want to spoil it for anyone…but it’s fair to say I’d be happy to talk about a bunch of stuff about the expanse if it weren’t for that part

          …have a feeling I’m going to start getting a bit confused when I catch up with the books on account of some characters/events being different in the one from the other but I think there’s a lot to like in either case

          …kinda wish they were doing more of both, really?

  8. Two extra episodes of Miranda showed up recently on my Britbox. They are from 2014 Xmas special, but I thought it was over so I was excited.

    I also watched “A Confession” which I’m sure has been mentioned around here. V. Good cast and based on a true story.


  9. I missed this thread yesterday, but I started a new series that I think you’ll like, (if  you haven’t read it already), which is The Countess of Harleigh series. The first book is A Lady’s Guide to Etiquette and Murder by Dianne Freeman. There’s 4 books out, so far.

    I just grabbed Magic and the Shinigami Detective on Kindle Unlimited (all 7 books are available there, if anyone is looking for them), so thanks for that recc!

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