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TV Review: Stan Against Evil 1.2 “Know, Know, Know Your Goat”
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Stan Against Evil
Episode 1.2 “Know, Know, Know Your Goat”
Directed by Jack Bishop & Justin Nijm
Written by Dana Gould
Created by Dana Gould
Starring John C. McGinley, Deborah Baker Jr., Janet Varney, Nate Mooney
Air date: Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016, 10pm

Debuting at NYCC, Stan Against Evil was created by Dana Gould, former writer for The Simpsons. Imagine your significant other, your soulmate, your one and only has passed away. Now imagine that in the aftermath you discover a secret that completely changes everything. That is what is happening to Sheriff Stan Miller (John C. McGinley) of Willard’s Mill, New Hampshire. Now alone with his odd daughter Denise (Deborah Baker Jr.) he is fired after an incident at his wife, Claire’s funeral. Stan has old world views and is thus aghast when a woman, Evie Barret (Janet Varney) replaces him as Sheriff. Even harder to accept and understand is finding out his wife was actually a demon hunter, protecting him and the town from a legendary curse. With her gone, demons are out in droves to put Stan, Evie and all law enforcement.

Spoilers below for Stan Against Evil.

As the elaborate opening credits sequence tells us, 172 witches were burned in this town Salem-style hundreds of years ago by the local sheriff, and they’ve been out for revenge ever since. This week, if the title didn’t give it away, there’s a goat demon! Awkward Denise wants Stan to go blueberry picking with her to bond. This drives Stan into hiding and Denise goes out alone and comes home with a new friend, an adorable little goat… demon. Evie meanwhile, is putting together a puzzle involving the local apocalyptic hobo, and a symbol that keeps appearing, first on a necklace, then in a wall hanging of Claire’s in Stan’s kitchen.

Denise wants Stan to meet her friend, except when Stan opens the door, the full fledged goat demon is there waiting, leading to this exchange where I nearly spit out my iced coffee:

“He seemed like a cute little goat.” – Denise

“Don’t they all!” – Stan

“What is happening?” – Denise

“We’re under siege… like Michael Caine in Zulu!”

Evie ventures to the hobo’s house to hear the story behind the town. There is a beast, the Baphomet, a trickster. At first the hobo is helpful, but he gets possessed by the goat demon and tries to kill her. With a demon goat outside circling the house, Stan and Denise are forced to spend father-daughter time together, and this includes arguing over which characters they are in this Jaws-esque scenario. “I want to be Quint,” she says. “You can’t be Quint, Quint dies!”

Stan “MacGuyvers” a homemade explosive out of hairspray and duct tape, and goes out to battle the Baphomet. He and Evie take turns reciting the epic Brody line from Jaws, “Smile you son of a bitch,” but both times the plans fizzles out, until Denise grabs the her mother’s demon killing weapons and screams an emphatic, “Smile you stupid man!” and destroys him, all the while the same music is playing from the ending scene in Jaws.

While obvious comparisons will be made to Ash vs. Evil Dead, Stan Against Evil can certainly stand alone in the horror comedy department. I laughed out several times, and John C. McGinley is just plain fantastic. His deadpan deliveries are tremendous. It feels like Dr. Perry Cox (from Scrubs) against evil. The plot is simple but creates an X-Files like ability to carry a long term narrative while providing short term humor and fun. In that regard it also reminds me Buffy the Vampire Slayer, only replacing the high school cheerleader type with a “Get off my lawn” grouchy old neighbor type. Also big kudos to Dana Gould for his homages, as this episode featured music straight out of Halloween and Jaws of course. Stan Against Evil and Ash vs. Evil Dead are the perfect remedies for those horror fans who get emotionally worn out by the hour long American Horror Story and The Walking Dead, and just want to enjoy some hilariously gory 25 minute romps.

Stan Against Evil returns with back to back episodes next Wednesday night at 10:00pm ET on IFC. It is also available on demand, and through the IFC app.


Stan Against Evil | Sneak Peek: Tied Up | IFC

In this scene from the upcoming debut of Stan Against Evil, Stan and the new sheriff in town have some problems of the paranormal kind.

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