Sep 30, 2014

FOREIGN CONCEPT


Yeah...I'd see this version of Halloween: H20, starring demon possession and Tommy Lee Jones. And that tagline is kind of amazing.

Sep 28, 2014

ARE YOU AFRAID OF THE DARK?: 1X9: THE TALE OF THE SORCERER'S APPRENTICE

If you were a budding horror misanthrope in your early teens during the ‘90s, then you not only remember, but cherish, this long-running Nickelodeon series about a group of variously ethnic kids meeting in the woods at night to trade spooky tales. Perhaps you remember President Gary's opening remarks during the first episode: "We're called The Midnight Society. Separately, we're very different...but one thing draws us together: the dark! Each week, we gather around this fire to share our fears and our strange and scary tales." The stories were creepy, corny, fantastic, or pretty stupid, but we all remember that nervous knot in our stomachs beginning to tighten as the legitimately eerie opening title sequence began (which includes that awful clown-doll from which I used to avert my eyes). You didn’t know if the groundwork for nightmares was being laid, but you sat, rapt, waiting to see.  So grab your weird bag of magic dust and toss it in the fire. It’s time to see if you’re still afraid of the dark.



The Tale Submitted For Approval: 

"The Tale of the Sorcerer's Apprentice"

The Submitter: Betty Ann (Oh great, here we go.)

The Current Midnight Society Administration: Gary (President, Glasses); David (Vice-President, Administrator of the Useless); Kiki (Secretary of War/Ass-Kicker, Name-Taker); Eric (Director of the Office of Management and Budget/Minister of Looking Smarmy); Betty Ann (Ambassador to the United Nations/Gary’s Unspoken Mistress); Kristen (Trade Representative/Socialite); Frank (Intern/Socialite).


The Jist

"Dean Berkham was the kind of guy who blended in," Betty Ann explains. "He didn't have many friends, he didn't do sports, and he never joined anything. He just kinda...was."

So, since that sounds exactly like me when I was in high school, we can determine that Dean is a fucking loser.

It's also really important that we establish right away one thing: Dean sucks everything hard at chemistry. Like, so hard that his teacher, Dr. Crenshaw, becomes physically incensed at the sight of him and nearly rains blows down upon him right in the middle of class.

Hang in there, Dean!

But things aren't a total loss. Dean is friends with a cute black girl named Alix, who is his "total opposite," which implies that Dean is not a cute black girl. I wish he was! Two for the price of one, amiright?

Huh?

Oh, right – the episode.

"My cancer's back..."

Later that day, an archaeologist named Dr. Oliver does a guest lecture in Dean's world civilizations class. She looks really uptight and well-dressed, so when it turns out she's British, I'm not surprised. During her lecture, where she shows off only the items used in conjunction with mankind's most fucked up history (there's a lot of that!), a snake scepter found in an ancient Babylonian temple captures Dean's attention because he's really into rhinestones. The scepter apparently once belonged to Goth, an evil sorcerer, enslaver, and precursor personified of all sad kids at the mall everywhere.

After the lecture, Alix writes off the whole evil sorcerer follow-him-find-fortune/denounce-him-die-hard thing, but Dean's pretty interested. He goes back to see Dr. Oliver and her collection of relics, and she gives him permission to...ahem...touch anything he wants. :D

Naturally he goes right for the scepter, which – no bullshit – you can hear rattling around like crumpled soda cans since it's clearly made of cheap aluminum. But those rhinestone eyes begin to glow, and before you can say Arnold Vosloo, the scepter puts the whammy on him. He walks down to the old pool room that no one uses anymore and goes right to the filter, where thirty years prior, other kids had hidden some kind of probably-essential talisman that looks like a dehydrated scrotum and half-shaft while they were fooling around with snake scepters.

Dean, now totally taken over by this Babylonian force inside him, uses his new-found abilities the same way ancient Babylonians did – by really getting the upper-hand on crabby old Crenshaw, his chemistry teacher. He also becomes a raging tool. You can tell by the new motorcycle leather jacket. Hey Dean – way tougher dudes called: they want their jacket back.

Alix spies him stealing chemicals from the chemistry lab one day and follows him to the pool room, where apparently a bunch of other students are already bewitched by the scepter in the same way he is. He says a bunch of bullshit about Goth, the aforementioned Babylonian god, and gets a total boner for him, but then Alix knocks something over like a dumb-ass and flees from the pursuing kids. She manages to evade them and them doubles-back to Dean because she is dying to know why he's acting like such a b-hole. She sees him take out his ball-sack and put one of his balls in the scepter's mouth.

Needless to say, we're all aroused.

"I'm gettin' hiiiiiiiiiiiigh!"

The whole ball-in-mouth thing seems to be like calling collect, because Goth appears in floaty-head form above the bucket of magical ingredients and begins to provide Dean with the final steps needed in order to fully resurrect him, and luckily he provides all of this info to Dean in modern English, which ancient Babylonians definitely knew.

As Alix runs from unused pool room to college-size chemistry lab to majestic amphitheater with balcony seating, I hope you've by now noticed that your own high school was actually really shitty.

Alix tries to convince Dean to fight the evil force inside him, but he ain't havin' that. He runs away without swinging his arms and it's hilarious.


Dean reconnects with his evil band of after-school cult members and they all pedal away to eat some really evil Bagel Bites at Dean's mom's house. Even though Alix is not on a bike, she does a great job of catching up with them. And just kidding about the Bagel Bites – they're actually at that old pool room again. She blows it kind of instantly since she's seriously the worst at sneaking around and she's captured.

Dean does a LOT of talking to the camera, courtesy of guest scene-director Spike Lee, and lays out the whole plot. They're using the school's empty pool to create the "cauldron of mystic vapors" on which Goth is depending to be reborn and wear, like, real golden scarves and collars and stuff – not that smoky kind he's been rocking the last thousand years.

- "So then she's like, 'I'll have the large!'"
- "Get the fuck off the stage!"

Dean fills the pool with all the necessary magical bullshit, despite Alix's best intentions, and Goth is successfully resurrected. Alix breaks Dean's magic balls and wakes him from his asshole trance. Dean wakes up pretty quickly from his brainwashing and realizes he's been acting like a heel for most of this episode and orders Alix to pour a random bucket of chlorine into the pool to dilute the ingredients, which she does.

"Ha ha! Your human science cannot–" Goth hilariously begins, but then oh snap, human science DOES defeat him. He screams, falls into smoke, and goes back to limbo, aka waiting on hold for Comcast customer service.

So, not only does Dean save the day and all his friends, but he also proves that he knows some chemistry shit, which apparently is the REALLY important thing to take away from this episode.

"It was on Crenshaw's chemistry exam!" he said.

Use chlorine to defeat Goth, an ancient Babylonian god. True/False.

Sure it was.

They both have a BIG laugh over this and Alix forgives Dean super-quick for trying to sell her unfettered sex to an evil god dressed like an underpaid greeter at Harrah's Casino.

Oh, by the way: Dr. Oliver was totally a bad guy this entire time. You knew that, right?

 

The Reaction

You know…I feel absolutely nothing toward this episode. I mean, I’m pretty sure I liked it, and I’m pretty sure when I was a wee-boy it used to be one of my favorites, but…I dunno. I got nothing.

Pretty weird, right?

My biggest gripe might be this entire episode is rising action. Dean becomes possessed way too quickly before he can establish his likeability, and then he spends most of the episode snarling, making the lemon face, and just being kind of a fuck. I mean yeah, I get it, I’d be prickly too if I had the evil force of a snake scepter all up inside me, but it feels like nothing happens here except: Alix sees Dean do something fishy, Alix follows him and immediately gives away her position, Alix flees. Repeat. Repeat. Oh quick, throw some of that shit in the pool we win the end.

But after having said all that, I still liked it.

Man, what gives?

Is It Scary?

All Dean does is make mean faces and steal bottles of acid, so, no, it's not especially scary. The entire fucking episode is chemistry. For real. The scariest thing about chemistry is that I had to take it twice in high school.

Is It Corny?

Not too bad. I appreciate the whole ancient Babylonian thing. I'm sure a lot of it was made up, but some of it actually depended on a real history. I liked that.

- "So then she's like, 'Better make that the small!'"
- "Get the fuck off the stage!"

 

Is It Stupid?

Naw.

How Bad Is The Acting?

Acting's just fine.

Do The Kids Deserve Their Terror?

No way. The evil Dr. Oliver totally bewitched Dean, who was only trying to enhance his education by wanting to learn more about ancient civilizations. And Alix deserves her terror even less because she's a total ten, and she was still willing to be friends with Dean, who is a four at best. He's like a Gary, but without glasses, and less punchable.

Why Does That One Kid Look Familiar?

Matthew Mackay (Dean) pulls a hat trick and does another episode of "Dark" this same season. And sadly, Staci Smith (Alix) never acted again after this, at least according to IMDB, which is a shame because she was actually decent – that and I like to look at her, which sounds even creepier once you realize she was probably fifteen when she did this show.

Oh well!

Her only other acting credit is in something called Prehistoric Bimbos in Armageddon City, which, needless to say, I have to track down immediately.

How Canadian Does Everyone Sound?

We get one lousy "aboot" from Betty Ann. Rip-off.

An Eric Douchebag-Ism

"Ah, another bore-fest?" he inquires when Betty Ann says she'll be telling that night's story. (Take that, Betty Ann. I hate you.)

Final Thoughts

This show has a real problem with allowing everyone equal story-telling time. Fucking Betty Ann told the previous meeting's story, too! I mean, Gary's the leader of this social group and he's only told one story so far and it sucked an entire bag of balls.

How does she keep getting away with this? I bet it's because she threatens to Betty Ann them all to death.

The end of everything.



On the Official Gary Creeper-Shot Rating Scale...



I Award "The Tale of the Sorcerer's Apprentice..."

 

4 Gary Creeper Shots

  

I declare this meeting of the Midnight Society closed. (Splash sound.)

Sep 27, 2014

JOSHUA WARD HOUSE

The Joshua Ward House is one of the most haunted houses in America. Most believe the house is haunted by George Corwin, the High Sheriff, a man responsible for executing many “witches” during the infamous Salem Witch Trials.

This photo was taken by a real estate agent with a Polaroid camera during a tour of the house. Many believe that this may be one of the many souls condemned to death on the grounds where Joshua Ward House now stands.

Sep 26, 2014

MYERSES

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Duty!

GREEN BOOTS

The body of David Sharp still sits in a cave, known as "Green Boots Cave," at the top of Mount Everest. David attempted the climb in 2005, and near the top, stopped in this cave to rest. His body eventually froze in place, rendering him unable to move. Over 30 climbers passed by him as he sat freezing to death. Some heard faint moans and realized he was still alive. They stopped and spoke with him. He was able to identify himself, but was unable to move. Brave climbers moved him into the sun in an attempt to thaw him, but eventually, realizing David would be unable to move, were forced to leave him to die. His body still sits in the cave and is used as a guide point for other climbers nearing the summit.

Sep 25, 2014

GIRL IN BLUE

In 1933, a girl dressed all in blue came to Willoughby, Ohio on a Greyhound bus. She stayed the night in a boarding house before spending the next day greeting everyone with heartfelt warmth. At the end of the day, she saw the train to New York approach, dropped her cases, sprinted for the track, was hit by the train and died of her injuries. No one knew her name for 60 years, yet 3,000 people attended her funeral. And no one will ever know if it was an accident or suicide.

Sep 22, 2014

THE FOOTREST

Recent reminiscing with a friend of mine reminded us both of this very random and creepy occurrence that took place about five years ago or so at a movie theater somewhat local to us both, and where he used to work. This is going to sound like 100% bullshit, and I know everyone who's about to tell some kind of creepy tale always preempts with that disclaimer, but you should know that this really did happen. It's too bizarre to have made up. 

In the midst of this particular movie theater being bought out by yet another, larger movie theater company (which seemed to happen every 2-3 years), small signs began appearing on certain seats in one particular theater auditorium. This sign read something to the effect of:
"Part of our renovation process includes the installation of automatic footrests, which will engage once the lights dim and your feature begins."
During this time, customers began to experience the automatic footrests for themselves.

And then the feedback began.

The first feedback was quite negative, and for good reason. (More on that later.) Simply put: the footrests were not as advertised. Management did not take her concerns very seriously, assuming she was complaining just to get some free tickets.

A couple weeks later, the theater had their second customer feedback: the customer simply remarked that they liked the new automated footrests, had used them for the duration of the film, and had nothing more to add.

By this point, theater employees were mystified. You see, there were no automatic footrests installed anywhere in that theater.

One day, my buddy, who was a manager at the time, was asked to see about a situation that occurred within one of the auditoriums, and to assist the security staff as needed. Upon getting there, outside the auditorium in the hallway, he saw a frazzled girl, her angry boyfriend, and a strange looking man sitting on a bench in handcuffs, looking ashamed and terrified.

Clearly, something bad had gone down between all of them.

That strange looking man, it turns out, was the automatic footrest. He would place the sign on the seat where the "footrest" would engage, slide beneath the seat on his back once the lights went low, grab the person's feet with his hands, and stare up at them from the floor while holding the person's feet up above him.

Turns out: the first "customer feedback" had not only been quite negative, but flat-out described the situation for what it was: there was someone in an auditorium sneaking under seats and holding people's feet. She'd described the grabber's face as "ghostly white." The fact that staff did not find the "sign" she'd reported to be hung on the seat reinforced management's stance that she was pulling a scam. They even did a round of myth-busting and tried sliding on their backs under the seat to see if anyone could even fit.

No one could.

Following the second feedback about automated footrests, the light bulb went off and employees went to the auditorium and saw that the sign was still hanging on the seat.

On the day of the third and final reported instance, the grabber had finally been caught. The boyfriend had seen the man take his place below his girlfriend's seat and ripped him out from under it, understandably ready to beat the ever-loving stuff out of him until others had broken up the fight. At that point, security and management had intervened.

This strange man – described as little and pale – had been doing this for months before he was finally caught. In at least one confirmed instance, he'd held a person's feet for the duration of an entire film, and that person never knew. Makes you wonder how many people he'd actually done it to, but who never bothered to provide feedback for these "automated footrests."

See you at the movies.

Sep 21, 2014

SUN-DRIED

Finnish soldiers displaying the skins of Soviet soldiers near Maaselkä, on the strand of lake Seesjärvi during Continuation War on the 15th of December in 1942. Original caption: “An enemy recon patrol that was cut out of food supplies had butchered a few members of their own patrol group, and had eaten most of them.”

Sep 19, 2014

SEAT'S TAKEN

In 1702, a convicted murderer named Thomas Busby was about to be hanged for his crimes. His last request was to have his final meal served at his favorite pub in Thirsk, England. He finished his meal, stood up, and said, “May sudden death come to anyone who dare sit in my chair.”

The chair remained in the pub for centuries, and patrons would often dare one another to sit in the cursed seat. During World War II, airmen from a nearby base frequented the pub, and locals noticed that the soldiers who sat in the chair would never return from war.

In 1967, two Royal Air Force pilots sat in the chair, only to crash their truck into a tree just after they left. In 1970, a mason tested his fate in the hot seat, only to die that same afternoon by falling into a hole at his job site. A year after that, a roofer who sat in it died after the roof he was working on collapsed. When the pub’s cleaning lady tripped and fell into the chair, she died shortly afterwards from a brain tumor.

This list goes on, and finally the pub owner moved the chair into the basement. Unfortunately, even in storage the chair claimed another victim. After a delivery man took a quick rest while unloading packages in the store room, he was killed in a car accident that same day.

Eventually, the pub owner donated the chair to the local museum in 1972. The museum displays the chair by hanging it five feet in the air so that no one can possibly sit in it by mistake again. Fortunately, no one has sat in the chair since.
 

Sep 18, 2014

SHITTY FLICKS: SAVAGE PLANET

Shitty Flicks is an ongoing column that celebrates the most hilariously incompetent, amusingly pedestrian, and mind-bogglingly stupid movies ever made by people with a bit of money, some prior porn-directing experience, and no clue whatsoever. It is here you will find unrestrained joy in movies meant to terrify and thrill, but instead poke at your funny bone with their weird, mutant, camp-girl penis. 

WARNING: I tend to give away major plot points and twist endings in my reviews because, whatever. Shut up.


I've seen a lot of dreck. I've seen dreck from low-rent filmmakers, and I've seen dreck made by so-called real, established directors. I've seeked dreck and gotten quality; and, in turn, I've seeked quality, and boy oh boy, did I get dreck. It happens. It's unavoidable. And all during this, Savage Planet comes along - a cinematic equivalent of a really really bad liar - comes up right behind us all, and says, "Oh, sorry I'm late. Did you save any bean dip?"

Savage Planet is pretty special. Not because it's "ha ha" bad, and not because it was made by the Sci-Fi Channel back when their original television movies were bad by accident instead of kitschy bad-on-purpose nonsense like Sharknado (although one can still appreciate Savage Planet for those things), but for a very different and special reason. We'll get to that reason in a bit. I suppose it should be considered a spoiler - not because it will ruin the "plot," but because it would ruin the moment during this film that you would be struck by the sheer stupidity of its "villain" and be so utterly taken aback in joy that I kind of don't want to let the air out of your tires.

But, if you choose to keep reading, that's on you.

The film opens with a group of scientists on another "planet" and machetteing their way through a thick wood. The leader takes readings with a gizmo and mentions how the levels of whatever are better than on Earth. It's really important that the film establish right away that these guys are most def NOT on earth, because what are clearly very plain woodsy areas of Canada should at NO point be mistaken for Planet Earth.

References To Being On Alien Planet And Definitely Not Earth: 1

Lead guy gets his hand hacked off by a machete completely by accident and falls into a hole, where he burns his hand stump in a puddle of radioactive green goo. His hand grows back (kind of), and he is then viciously attacked by a space alien. This poor man's fear is paramount. Never, back on Planet Earth, had he ever encountered such an otherworldly monster, but yet here he is, facing something harvested from his nightmares - something so indescribable and beyond comprehension that H.P. Lovecraft would have needed nearly two volumes and limitless cognac to properly describe every minute detail. 

On a planet that savage, aliens look like this:


Okay, you got me. The "aliens" in Savage Planet are bears. And not just plain old bears, but "mutant" alien bears. This is also something they will say over and over to force you into believing you're seeing, like, gigantic mutant bears. But, you're not.

Even the DVD packaging goes very far out of the way to not drop the "b" word. The front cover is a picture of a mossy-looking planet, on the back is nary a photo of a bear, and the summary reads as follows:
Earth is declared uninhabitable from years of toxic pollution and ecological damage. A team of scientists are sent to visit an unknown planet in hopes of finding a new, safe, world. But within the lush and verdant landscape of the new planet they find a mutated species that turns their expedition deadly. They expected and needed utopia but instead found something more deadly than what they d left behind.  
Yep. They found bears.

Just go with it.

Sean Patrick Flannery plays Randall Cain, a sad earthling man with a haunted past who has a giant scar across his chest that actually looks like an even gianter Cronenbergian sex bug. It's...off-putting to look at, and even more off-putting to pet. He lives in a "Dystopian" future, which means everything looks exactly the same as it does now, except for the first establishing shot of the city, which is a 3D generation of smoothed-over metallic building blocks probably designed by the guys who made Candy Crush while they were each on their own toilet. From what is immediately apparent by this future, The News is dominated by one bored-sounding voice, everything is really white, and Mexico seems to have become a breeding ground for violence and depravity. 

So, it's pretty much like now, only really cheap looking.

Cain's vacation of looking sad and lying in a future cot with that weird bug-looking scar thing across his person is interrupted by his superiors and is brought on to be briefed on a very important mission that he apparently has no choice but to endure. There, he is told that a planet nearly identical to Earth (let's just get that established as soon as possible) has been discovered and I guess some dudes and dudettes need to go there and do some science stuff to determine if the people of Earth can go live there. The planet is called Planet Oxygen, which is just as imaginative as the person whosever idea it was to film a movie set on an alien planet in the not-so-alien looking woods of Ontario. (See, because there's a whole bunch more vegetation on this planet, and hence, a whole bunch more oxygen.)

Cain and his rag-tag group of colleagues, including Not Stephen Moyer, Guy Who Looks Like A Grown-Up Baby, Token Black Guy, and Almost Lisa Kudrow are beamed directly onto Planet Oxygen using an invention called DST (standing for distance travel). 

Each time someone is beamed onto the planet, the director is quick to use split screen, so we can see everyone's understandably amazed faces while the person disappears right before their eyes!

If they think that's amazing, wait till they see how LARGE these bears are!

Alien Bear steps on a lego.

One of the last people to beam through - and also the guy in charge of security - dies during transference. He hilariously makes pain sounds identical to that of a monkey's, his bones disappear, and he crumbles into a pile of thin, blankety, wet man. Carlson says, "We all agree this is a tragedy," without looking all that bothered by it, and then he--

Oh, shit!

References To Being On Alien Planet And Definitely Not Earth: 2

Where were we? 

Oh, right.

So, these scientists, I guess, are about to--

References To Being On Alien Planet And Definitely Not Earth: 3

Jeeze. 

So, the scientists begin their expedition--

References To Being On Alien Planet And Definitely Not Earth: 4

Right.

During their recon, they locate the body of a dead bear.

"What the hell is it?" asks one of the many people claiming to be a scientist.

After an autopsy of sorts, this amazing exchange takes place:

"It's a prehistoric cave bear; been extinct on Earth for over ten thousand years...The most formidable predator in its day." 

"How does an extinct bear come to get on this planet?"

"Somehow its DNA sequence regressed. No modern bear, even full-grown, has claws this big, or a hide this dense...Their only known enemy was man."

Later, everyone has a philosophical conversation about whether or not the lives of those already lost are worth whatever discoveries they might find on Planet Oxygen. If this were real life, of course the lives lost would be deemed irrelevant, but since this is television - brainless brainless television - these scientists have hearts and decide it's not worth it and everyone wants to go home. Not Carlson, though, because he's the movie's resident money/fame-driven penis head.

"For a scientist, you know a lot about death, but nothing about life," someone says to Carlson, and god damn does he look SHUT DOWN.

(No he doesn't.)

Also:

References To Being On Alien Planet And Definitely Not Earth: 5

One of the scientists decides it would be best to go off on her own. I think her name was Bird Seed(?)

Weird, right?

Then this happens:


It was quite a sight to see!

Cain attempts to take control of the mission, since the whole science part of it seems to have gone out the window and now it's more about survival, which means Carlson can be 100% dick. Bears come and Cain asks Carlson to shoot some of them, but Carlson says "fuck that" and him and his eyebrows peace out of the scene. Cain promptly falls and hits his head on a gigantic rock.

I don't blame him.

Maybe he accidentally watched a little bit of his own movie and it all just got to be too much.

As everyone makes plans to spelunk down a cave wall, let's all pause for a moment of out-of-context dialog:

"Okay, here's the plan: I'm gonna go down first, followed by the two girls." 

Day dims, night comes, and it's almost too easy to take out these attacking bears with a shot gun. A perfect juxtaposition of: stock footage of roaring bear, man with shot gun, stock footage of roaring bear calmly lowering from two feet down to all four = man successfully killed bear with a shotgun. 

Movie magic.

After one of the dudes' girlfriends gets dragged from her tent and eaten perfectly in half, the other scientists begin to really doubt their own faith in science. Talk about horror!

- "You know, I was actually offered 'The Walking Dead' first."
- "Is that true?"
- "Oh, lord, no."

The bears continue to take out our scientist characters one by one, and shockingly, Token Black Guy is still hanging in. Even Harold Perrineau was bear meat at this point in The Edge

Have you seen The Edge

It's great.

Anyway, this shit has gotten far too complicated for a killer alien film where the aliens are played by bears. There's something happening now about "life serums" and Planet Oxygen's habitat becoming "increasingly unstable." All I know is: more bears, please. Token Black Guy is still breathing, as is Guy Who Looks Like A Grown-Up Baby.

Whoop. Never mind.

As the bear viciously attacks Token Black Guy and begins tearing apart his innards and ripping off one limb after another, he screams for Cain to shoot him and put him out of his misery. Count how long Cain stands there holding his shot gun with a stupid look on his face before he actually does anything to alleviate Token Black Guy's suffering, and then convert that to Bear Time. Your final figure should be somewhere around, "Cain's a dick."

Rest in peace, Token Black Guy!


Dear god, I've never seen a more boring film where bears play aliens and aliens rip apart really terrible dummies filled with gooey balloons that play the people. My time would've been better spent digging a hole in my backyard and shitting directly into it, and when my one neighbor called the cops and the cops came and asked, "Just what on Earth were you thinking?" I would say, "Well, it was either that or watch Savage Planet," and they would be like, "Say no more, we totally get it. Please shit some more into that hole you dug," and I would say "Thanks, officer," and I might even buy a couple tickets to their Policeman's Ball, even though I'd have no one to go with, because who's gonna go to a ball with someone who shits in the backyard?

No one. :(

Carlson gets his head beared off and things begin to look really dire for our remaining heroes. Almost Lisa Kudrow manages to beam herself back to earth while Cain falls down for something like the hundredth time in this fucking piece of shit, and then a large mutant alien bear with regressed DNA, bigger claws, and a denser hide (read: a normal bear) attacks Cain before he can beam back to Earth.

The scene cuts to several days (weeks? months?) into the future at a press conference where it's revealed that Cain somehow survived his attack even though I'm pretty sure he was within the snares of a bear and unable to get back to his beamer. Jump-cuts save more lives on the Sci-Fi Channel then firefighters save people from fire. That's a real stat - I just looked it up. I couldn't even tell you what happened during this scene because I was already ejecting the disc and dreaming of the fifty cents I'd get for it at MovieStop.

Production is underway on Savage Planet 2: Beary Scary, and it will star Norman Reedus from "The Walking Dead," which is both a stupid joke I just made up and also an excuse to put the words "Norman Reedus" and "The Walking Dead" into this review, just so a bunch of pre-teen girls and sad moms can find it by accident when Googling the phrases "Norman Reedus no shirt" and "Norman Reedus kiss me" and "Norman Reedus friend bear movie."

Sean Patrick Flannery was in the movie Powder. He played 'Powder.'

Good night.

Sep 16, 2014

MADE OF STONE

ACCORDING to Dante, the Styx is not just a river but a vast, deathly swamp filling the entire fifth circle of hell. Perhaps the staff of New Scientist will see it when our time comes but, until then, Lake Natron in northern Tanzania does a pretty good job of illustrating Dante's vision.

Unless you are an alkaline tilapia (Alcolapia alcalica) – an extremophile fish adapted to the harsh conditions – it is not the best place to live. Temperatures in the lake can reach 60 °C, and its alkalinity is between pH 9 and pH 10.5.

The lake takes its name from natron, a naturally occurring compound made mainly of sodium carbonate, with a bit of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) thrown in. Here, this has come from volcanic ash, accumulated from the Great Rift valley. Animals that become immersed in the water die and are calcified.


Source/more.

Sep 15, 2014

CRAPPYPASTA: DARK BEES

legands talk for bees about in past that didd horrble things and had the curses but nobody belived silly story and laugh at them but they would be wrong and pay for it with death

it was at the farm and sam the farmer went to his bee area of te farm and fed them some honey “good bees” he said but then one got in his anti bee suit and stung him “ouch stop that hurt” he sout and then the bee went inside his skin and made a bee hive in his body and it hurted but he thought it was just cold “i go dinner and bed” said sam

sam ate the dinner and went to bed and heard buzzing “what is buzzing” he say and then he felt sore and his chest burst and bees came out and the bees started eating him and he was sekelton and then the bees open a window and go to city.

at the city people where shoping and having fun and ice cream and it was ghood day “ouch daddy a bee stung me” said a girl and the dad patted her on head “it alright bees just want friends” said the dad but it was too late because she was a bee hive and die and bees eated her and her dad and there was screaming and death as city was bee city now

a man kiss his wife “let me love you forever” said the wife and then she turn into bees and cover the man in bees and he die

on a hill there was a blue man in gas mask and it was leader of the bees and creator of creepypasteas mrcreepypasta “remember live good life or bees find you to” he laugh

the police got to city nexct day but there was no sign of bees and they decise that everyone just had car accdants and forgot what happen but there was scary legands about bees but nobody belive them which was foolash of them but people never laern.

the end
 

by megamangx


Quite possibly my favorite CrappyPasta...ever.

Source.

Sep 14, 2014

REVIEW: WORLD OF TROUBLE (BOOK 3 OF THE LAST POLICEMAN TRILOGY)

 
"...But on the core fact there is one consensus: the asteroid 2011GV1, known as Maia, measuring six and a half kilometers in diameter and traveling at a speed of between thirty-five thousand and forty thousand miles per hour, will make landfall in Indonesia at an angle from horizontal of nineteen degrees. This will happen on October 3. A week from Wednesday, around lunchtime."
Detective Henry Palace returns in the third and final entry in the Last Policeman trilogy, Ben H. Winters' "existential detective series" about one man and the last few cases that fall in his lap leading to the end of days, caused by an asteroid that is on an unavoidable destructive path with the earth. In the first novel, The Last Policeman, Palace's case was his job; in the second, Countdown City, his case was a favor; and in this, the final hurrah for Henry Palace and all the other earthlings, his case is his most personal yet: his sister, Nico, has gone missing, and he's got to find her, desperate to make amends before Maia the asteroid comes along and puts an end to everything. Believing Nico to be in the company of other like-minded folks who are convinced they have found a way destroy the asteroid before it can touch down, Palace, along with his unlikely team of companions - Cortez, a man who'd attempted to kill him with a staple gun in the previous book, and Palace's rescue dog, Houdini - travel the ruined landscapes of America in an effort to find his missing sister. But, as is usually the case, there's more than just a missing sibling. There's two bloody trails leading in and out of an abandoned Ohio police station. There's the barely-alive young girl with the slit throat Palace found in the woods. And there's the missing scientist who may or may not be with this end-of-the-world group of would-be heroes insistent they know how to avert the apocalypse.

World of Trouble is a solid finale for a solid series. The world has continued to regress since the last book, and different factions of people are acting in different ways. Some have taken to the streets in groups of vigilantes to take over stores filled with potential rations; others hide in their homes behind drawn shades, clutching shotguns and nervously peering out windows. Two particular well-meaning teens let all the animals out of the zoo to prevent them from starving to death in captivity, and one of them being immediately cornered by a tiger. These details and the many more flesh out this pre-apocalyptic world and turn it into something both surreal but also entirely believable.

For his swan song, Winters has embraced an almost-The Road type device for his tale, which puts Hank Palace on a rather innocuous task (finding a sledgehammer to bust through a suspicious and newly-installed hatch in a police station parking garage floor), but during which Palace, instead, crosses paths with several different characters, all of whom are reacting to the end of times in very different ways. In prior Last Policeman novels, the characters with whom Palace interacted were all part of the larger mystery - the "point" of the respective novel. But now, instead, there is less of a focus on unraveling a mystery than there is immersing in the drama of this environment. The mystery is still front, center, and fully accounted for, but Winters is instead weaving human experience in and out of Palace's mystery. Each character provides a missing piece of the puzzle, sure, but they're also there to provide something else: humanity.

World of Trouble's ending is bittersweet, and obviously while I won't reveal if the world comes to an end, or if Nico's band of anti-asteroid misfits manage to come through and destroy the means in which the world will end, there's still an ending here:

Hank Palace has solved his last mystery.

Sep 12, 2014

SCREAMED MY NAME

I moonlight as a paramedic and working EMS you will see all kinds of creepy and fucked up things. Every shift I go in I do so with the knowledge that there is a good chance my face will be the last or first thing a person sees as they leave or enter this world. The one that sends a chill up my spine though happened last year while I was still doing clinicals. We received a call to a nursing home for a unresponsive 87-year-old woman. When we picked her up it was obvious she was not long for this world. She coded three times on us before we got her to the ER. What freaked me out though was when she became responsive briefly during transport. I was starting an IV and she just sprang to life, grabbed my arm with a strength unholy for a frail old woman, looked me square in the eye and in a raspy, guttural way quietly screamed my name. The look in her eyes was unlike anything I had seen before or since. It felt like she was staring straight into my soul.

What is so disturbing about that is that during no point had I introduced myself to her as she was unresponsive. Also being a dumb student I had forgotten my ID badge that day as well. I had never worked her before as a patient, nor meet her that I can recall in any capacity. Could be she mistook me for somebody else by the same name but it sure seemed meant for me. She died less than an hour after admission. To this day I still remember everything about that call like it just happened and it makes my blood run cold to remember her face and the way she called to me. Sometimes I close my eyes and still see that face.

Story source.

Sep 11, 2014

CABIN FEVER


"It's a slang term for the claustrophobic reaction that can occur when people are shut in together over long periods of time. The feeling of claustrophobia is externalized as dislike for the people you happen to be shut in with. In extreme cases it can result in hallucinations and violence—murder […]."

Sep 10, 2014

REVIEW: SONNO PROFONDO (AKA DEEP SLEEP)


I love revival films. I love this idea of resurrecting a time period from cinema history and finding ways to cleverly and lovingly recreate it in ways that are both genuine homage but still effective enough to create a strong and competent standalone film.

I've explored this art of imitation in a previous post, in which I highlighted certain modern horror films that lovingly revisited every major horror movement in cinematic history, starting with the silent era, and up to and including the 1980s. Sonno Profondo, produced by Italian filmmakers (though lensed in Argentina) is as successful an homage I've seen since Ti West's '70s satanic thriller House of the Devil.

The giallo was a sub-genre of which I have always been aware and always respected for its ability to combine often graphic horror, hypersexuality, and poetry of the camera to create an altogether different and revolutionary cinematic experience. Though my previous experience of the giallo resides entirely within the confines of Dario Argento and the brutal masterpiece of absurdity that is Pieces (it totally counts), it's not hard to have developed at least a rudimentary idea of what defines a giallo film: the killer's point of view, the leather gloves, the rich red blood, the discotheque score, the unrestrained sexuality, and the abstract non-linear sense of time. Add a killer with a whacked background and fixations on the fairer sex, and, well:

Giallo is back, and its name is Sonno Profondo.


Written/directed/resurrected by Luciano Onetti, Sonno Profondo is not just a love letter to the giallo movement. It's a fever-dream art house exploration of madness – what it is, what feeds it, and the chaos it creates. There is very little dialogue outside of some television reports; lacking (though not suffering because of it) are any kind of "big picture" shots. No sweeping exterior scenes of *coughcough*Italy, no day or night establishing shots. As was often the case in previous giallo films, and in the case of Sonno Profondo, scenes of murder and mayhem were always shot from the killer's point of view, but would often cut back either to the protagonist as she or he dealt with the repercussions of the killer's presence, or the inevitable detective hot on the trail of the killer. Not the case here. Similar to last year's Maniac redux, the entire film takes place behind the killers' eyes (and no, my apostrophe is not in the wrong place - we're dealing with two killers, here: the first killer [black leather gloves] responsible for the murder and mayhem, and the second killer [white surgical gloves] who begins to methodically blackmail and stalk the first). 

Sonno Profondo preserves the sensibilities of '70s-era European filmmakers – Michelangelo Antonioni, for example, who assumed his audience was prepared to have patience for the journey he was about reveal to them – even going as far as dirtying up the film's negative to add all the cracks and pops one would come to expect from a forty-year-old film. Manufactured to look like it was both produced as well as set in the 1970s, Sonno Profondo is as immersive an homage you're likely to find in the independent scene. Lots of filmmakers are pledging to make films in the vein of paranoid-at-home thrillers of the 1970s and cheese-ball gimmick dead-teenager flicks of the 1980s; very few have endeavored to recreate the giallo, a movement that likened the horror genre as close to pornography (in terms of tastelessness) as it could get until the VCR boom of the mid-1980s, in which it actually did kind of become the kind of pornography as we know it today. (The Astron-6 crew [Manborg, Bio-Cop, Father's Day] are also working on their own giallo homage: The Editor.)

The first giallo trend would continue for some time and travel to American shores, even becoming embraced by Hollywood powerhouse directors like Hitchcock, though the style would become so watered down that it barely resembled everything that had directly inspired it. Psycho first, and then Halloween later, would both be termed as variations of the giallo movement; Carpenter would state for years he had been a big fan of Argento's Suspiria, around which he had modeled portions of Halloween.

Make no mistake, Sonno Profondo is not a film for the uninitiated. If you've never seen any giallo films before, don't start here. Start with the very first credited entry - Mario Bava's The Girl Who Knew Too Much - and continue on with Argento (but skip the Adrian Brody film Giallo while you're at it), whose collaborations with composers Ennio Morricone and Goblin would soon cement the importance of the soundtrack on the giallo movement. Only when you're immersed in the movement can you truly appreciate the homage.

If Sonno Profondo is successful or unsuccessful just on the merits of being a film alone, I couldn't say. When you have no choice but to experience the murderous exploits of either one or both off-screen killers, you've got no one to root for. You've got no sympathetic protagonist to whom you're supposed to relate. Some audiences don't know how to respond to such an idea.

And that's how you know if you're ready.

Buy it now.