American Horror Story – Episode 1 – Witches Be Trippin’

Despite the fact that we are certified chickens, we here at Animal Style Hurricane absolutely love American Horror Story.  The fact that this season is set in New Orleans is just the icing on the extremely disturbing and likely poisoned cake for me.  I’ve been counting down the days till the premiere and now here it is!

We open on Madame LaLaurie (Kathy Bates), one of my favorite New Orleans legends.

At first she seems like a typical lady of the 1800’s, obsessed with social position and finding her daughters suitable husbands.  However, her batshit insanity begins to show as we cut to a post party shot of her nightly beauty routine – smearing blood on her face to maintain her youth.  The ritual is interrupted by her husband, who informs her that their daughter slept with a slave.  Despite the fact that the daughter came onto him, the slave is taken to the LaLaurie’s torture attic.  He is not the first one there.  We see a slave whose mouth and eyes she has sewn shut and another whose skin has been peeled back from her face.  What’s incredible is that this is based in actual fact and is not even the worst of what she did to people.  As punishment for this slave, she makes him into a minotaur.  It’s as disturbing as it sounds.

In present day, Zoe (Taissa Farmiga) is about to lose her virginity to her boyfriend (who is played by someone I went to high school with.  Good job, Kurt Krause!) and ends up accidentally killing him.  Turns out she’s a witch and her power is the ability to sex people to death.

Her mom ships her off to a New Orleans mini-version of Hogwarts, escorted by three albinos and a combination of Grace Coddington and Andy Warhol.  After a hazing prank, she is introduced to Madison Montgomery (Emma Roberts), a movie star who taught her director the meaning of hitting your mark with her telekinetic powers, Queenie (Gabourey Sidibe), a human voodoo doll, Nan (Jamie Brewer), a clairvoyant, and their extremely lame headmistress Cordelia (Sarah Paulson), whose power seems to be that she is really good as Chemistry.

Zoe and Madison head out to a frat party where Zoe meets Kyle (Evan Peters), and Madison is gang raped by Kyle’s frat brothers.  This is far and away the most difficult scene to watch in the whole episode.  Kyle stops the rape and everyone loads back onto the bus.  Zoe chases after fruitlessly, but Madison sad and broken wanders onto the street and flips the bus with flick of her wrist, killing all but two on board.

Meanwhile in LA (as played by The National WWII Museum), Fiona (Jessica Lange) visits a Doctor about getting stem cells to maintain her youth.  Unfortunately for him, the medicine doesn’t work to her satisfaction and she sucks the youth out of him.

After seeing a report of a girl burned at the stake in Louisiana (I’m assuming this will come back later considering the girl is played by Lily Rabe and her power is necromancing), she decides her daughter is doing a shitty job and she needs to take over the academy.  Naturally, Cordelia is less than thrilled and gains some major brownie points from me for immediately trying to poison her mom.

Fiona takes the girls on a field trip where they get side tracked by the LaLaurie mansion.  Here we learn that in her pursuit of slave pancreas to maintain her youth, LaLaurie managed to piss off the famous Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau (Angela Basset).  As any good New Orleans girl knows you don’t fuck with Voodoo.  Laveau then tricked her into drinking poison that presumably killed her, but her body was never found.  This isn’t actually how it all played out (bitch got away with it and died a free lady in Paris in her sixties), but it makes for a better story.  Also, Voodoo is scary shit.

Zoe goes to the hospital to see if Kyle was one of the two frat boys to survive the crash, but sadly he was not.  However, the gross frat boy who started the gang rape did survive so Zoe sexes him to death.  Girl power?

Earlier in the courtyard of the LaLaurie home, Other girl heard the lady of the house so Jessica Lange gets two gentlemen to dig up the courtyard.  They find LaLaurie alive and well and now a member of the 21st century, which is absolutely terrifying.

This was a great set up episode to what looks to be a really strong season.  It was creepy and campy with some really funny lines.  I was left satisfied, but wanting more.

The season preview looks incredible.  I can only hope that we’ll get more crazy LaLaurie, more bitchy lines, a bloody satisfying death for Patti LuPone’s character and a better power for Zoe.  Can’t wait till next week!

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