In today’s Nerds Gets Spooky installment, the best-of for spooky episodes of our favourite TV shows, I’ll be covering Supernatural’s episode 5 of season 4: “Monster Movie.”
A “straight forward, black and white case” is what Dean asked for and, in a way, it’s what the boys got. The Winchesters waltzed into Canonsburg’s Oktoberfest to investigate the death of Marissa Wright, who was found with a two-hole puncture, a picture-perfect vampire bite mark, very much unlike the vampire remains that the boys are used to.
The episode follows the usual beats of the show. They scope out the bar (and by that, I mean flirt with the bartenders), interview witnesses, and try to identify any suspicious — or rather, “supernatural” — activity. Interestingly, the witness swears outright that the murder was caused by a vampire complete “with the fangs and the slicked back hair and the fancy cape.” Things get a little more complicated when the next body falls and the Winchesters don’t need to give the witness “the talk” for her to claim that the attacker was a werewolf… but that deduction wasn’t made by seeing fangs extend over his teeth. No, it was the “furry face and the black nose and the claws” that gave it away. The wolfman isn’t the last monster to show up though, as a mummy rises from its tomb to carry out the next kill.
Just as these monsters are staples of the gothic horror movies of old, the episode doubles down to capture the essence of the genre: shooting the episode solely in black and white, including tailored vintage-movie inspired opening, closing and intermission sequences, as well as complementary dramatic organ music throughout.
These stylistic elements really sell the concept. However, the writing of the show and the interactions between the Winchesters within this meta context adds the satirical twist necessary for this to be a Supernatural episode. Such cross-over episodes are always a welcome break within the show’s catalogue and watching Dean react to finding himself face to face with Count Dracula by dealing him a blow straight to the face gave me particular joy.
So, if you want to see that or the postponing of Count Dracula’s evil schemes due to the arrival of his pizza delivery, I wholeheartedly recommend this cheesy Halloween thrill alongside the real horror of Supernatural’s final season which, continues weekly on The CW. Stay tuned for our next installment in our spooky series, coming tomorrow.