Slate's Culture Blog

Oct. 31 2014 1:13 PM

The Scariest Thing About Grimm Is Its Horrific Butchery of the German Language


NBC’s Grimm is back for its fourth season, much to the delight of aunts and grandmas the country over. But Grimm has another sub-demographic: German-speakers. Of course, we largely watch for linguistic Schadenfreude—a word that, by the way, actually exists.


Yes, the grimmest aspect of Grimm is the fact that its creators decided to make an entire television program based on (an albeit highly fantastical version of) Germanic folklore without, apparently, consulting a single one of the world’s approximately 100 million native German speakers (not to mention second-language speakers like me, who also reportedly number roughly 100 million).

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Oct. 31 2014 12:35 PM

Flying Lotus’ Gory New Video Is a Perfect Halloween Treat

Flying Lotus has always favored a more abstract and unconventional approach to his music videos. So it’s no surprise that teaming up with experimental animator David Firth, creator of the cult animated web series Salad Fingers, would produce the sickest video he’s ever done—sick as in grotesque, as well in the more colloquial sense. Shot for “Ready Err Not,” a song off FlyLo’s new album that’s just as odd as this video, it’s the perfect Halloween treat.

Oct. 31 2014 11:50 AM

Every NBA Player’s Favorite Cliché

I love the NBA. I’ve been a rabid fan since the Bird-Magic days, through the Jordan years, and up to the phenomenally high level of basketball achieved by last year’s San Antonio Spurs. But I have one NBA pet peeve that’s been driving me nuts for years. Not flopping. Not high salaries. Not the meaninglessness of too many regular season games or the persistent crappiness of the Eastern Conference. My NBA rage is caused by the word aggressive.

NBA players, coaches, and announcers use this word with mind-numbing frequency. The NBA loves aggressive more than the corporate world loves synergy and Chihuahuas love yipping. I really believe NBA Commissioner Adam Silver needs to take immediate action before my pet peeve destroys this beautiful game.

Oct. 31 2014 9:57 AM

Wait, What’s an Inhuman? A Primer on Marvel Studios’ Oddest New Superheroes.

Marvel Studios announced its superhero plans for 2016 and beyond in a splashy media event Tuesday, and even casual fans have plenty to get excited about: High-wattage sequels like Thor: Ragnarkok, Guardians of the Galaxy 2, Captain America: Civil War, and a third Avengers movie so massive it needs a two parts? Great. Milestones like Black Panther, the first Marvel Studios creation starring a black superhero, and Captain Marvel, the first starring a female one? Excelsior. A Dr. Strange adaptation with Benedict Cumberbatch rumored to star? The game is on.

Still, one of the announced films might have left you as confused as Bruce Banner the morning after: The Inhumans. What’s an Inhuman, you ask? Huff some Terrigen Mist, and I’ll explain.

Oct. 31 2014 8:47 AM

All the Zany Ways Jason Comes Back to Life in the Friday the 13th Movies

As the Friday the 13th saga spun out of control, the series began to cook up increasingly demented ways to bring back its villain. At first, in Part IV, Jason merely woke up in a morgue, despite an axe to the head at the end of Part III. Seems possible. Then came the blast of lightning, the meddling psychic girl, and, 500 years into the future, certain … sounds.

For those who haven’t kept up with the franchise, we’ve recapped all of Jason’s many zany reanimations in the video above.

Oct. 31 2014 8:06 AM

An Ode to Smarties, Bit-O-Honey, and the Other Halloween Rejects

A trick-or-treater’s haul consists mostly of delicious favorites in eye-popping wrappers: Reese’s, Butterfingers, Twix, Snickers, and the like. But every costumed tot always ends up with a few candies that are less exciting than the chocolate-covered stars of Halloween. Some of them are even downright disappointing: Let’s call them the Halloween rejects.

Oct. 30 2014 10:47 PM

How Strong Is the Case Against Adnan Syed? We Discuss the Latest Episode of Serial.


Serial, a new podcast from This American Life, is investigating the 1999 murder of Hae Min Lee, a Baltimore area high school student. Here at Slate we are following the story closely, discussing each new episode as it appears. This week, Katy Waldman and David Haglund are joined by Mike Pesca, who interviewed the host and executive producer of Serial, Sarah Koenig, on his own podcast, The Gist.



This edition of the Spoiler Special is meant to be heard after you’ve listened to Episode 6 of Serial, called “The Case Against Adnan Syed.” 


Oct. 30 2014 7:00 PM

Finally, Nas Raps Over a J Dilla Beat: Listen to New Song “The Season”

One of rap’s biggest sins is that Nas and J Dilla, both equally regarded as two of the greatest to ever do it, never got the chance to work together before the celebrated Detroit producer died in 2006. Now, thanks to a bit of sampling magic, Nas has finally laid his pristine Nasty Nas bars over a Dilla beat—this one being “Gobstopper” from Dilla’s acclaimed 2006 album Donuts—in a new song called “The Season.” Nas first teased the song last night during a Run the Jewels in-store appearance at Rough Trade NYC and, now, we have the official studio recording to feast our ears on.

Oct. 30 2014 6:48 PM

New Key & Peele Parody Taps Into Everything You Loved About Bad ’90s Action Movies

Everything you’ve ever loved about terrible action movies from the ’90s—the wild hair, the cheesily choreographed showdowns, the synthesizers ominously alerting you to impending danger—is parodied with flair in Key & Peele’s latest sketch. “Strike Force Eagle 3: The Reckoning,” which will air on next week’s episode, finds the hero Jamison Teague (Keegan-Michael Key, as actor “Cal Flavell”) facing off against drug kingpin Fernando Escubado (Jordan Peele as “Kris Baucom”). His challenge? To save Dr. Carol Roberts (Anna Camp as “Barbara Van Kraft”) from Fernando’s clutches.

As pitch-perfect as the parody is, Key and Peele can’t spoof the genre without throwing in their own weird twist—and it’s a great one.

Oct. 30 2014 3:48 PM

The Best Horror Movie Death Scenes of All Time

Yes, there are a couple of obvious choices in CineFix’s countdown of the “top 10 horror movie death scenes of all time”—how could such a list be complete without Marion Crane’s still-shocking death in Psycho? But what makes the movie buffs’ video particularly fun is the combination of cheeky commentary and hard horror history they use to back up their picks.

You may not agree with the way the list shakes out, but the folks at Cinefix usually support their choices well, and there’s no better time of year to reignite this perennial horror nerd argument.