Jul 31, 2014

VIDEO: BEHIND YOU

Jul 30, 2014

CRAPPYPASTA: WEIRD SMILING CREATURE

Once my mom visited to her far cousin (I mean her mother”s cousin have her daughter named cecil) told her a story. One night, Cecil go out to wait her husband from his work.A handsome american boy with black suit, a black long pants, a shiny shoes and a neck tie aproach her. Walking to north. “hey, that’s the wrong way this is the right way”.The man look at her and smile so big like his entire face covered with his big teeth.Cecil run so fast as she can. she wouldn’t look at her back while she running for her fear.Once his husband arrived, she take her to the hospital and because of her trauma, she been in hospital in months but it is long time ago.

So if you visited our country and discover our creepy native creatures, surely you run in fright!!!


Haha, man. Crappypasta...my favorite thing.

Jul 28, 2014

REVIEW: KILLER LEGENDS


Co-writer/co-director Joshua Zeman took an interesting approach with his previous documentary, Cropsey. What is ultimately a true-crime examination of a series of child murderers that occurred in Staten Island, New York, actually began with a brief rumination on the idea of urban legends and how real-life monsters become mythical ones. This idea of investigating urban legends must've sat well with him, for he has returned with Killer Legends, a documentary that examines the origins of four of the most infamous urban legends in popular culture. Zeman posits that every urban legend is based on "some sort of truth," and our desire to believe these legends allows us to "pull back the curtain" on what scares us most: reality. This approach is taken as each popular legend is recounted and its real-life inspirations are analyzed.  

I have always been incredibly intrigued by urban legends – their origins, their power to spread from person to person like something contagious, as well as the stories themselves. I recall, when having watched the pretty terrible Urban Legend in my youth, wishing that the fancy leather-bound book one character looks through in the film, called simply "Urban Legends," both existed and sat on my shelf. There was something that seemed especially dangerous about those particular tales – they weren't just ghost or murder stories. They achieved a real power to them because many people who told them honestly believed they had happened to someone close to them. 


Though that fancy schmancy book of urban legends filled with classy pencil-sketch drawings may never exist, Killer Legends is a phenomenal substitute. Well realized and very well executed, urban legends of the "hook man," the "candy man," the "murdered babysitter," and motherfuckin' "killer clowns" are each explored as in-depth as the doc's running time would allow. Though certain legends have more time dedicated to them than others, the filmmakers deserve accolades for having put such effort into each investigation. We hear so often growing up, and see in films when one character tells a camp-fire story, some of which are featured in Killer Legends, only for the punchline to be a cheesy fake scare punctuated with proclamations that the storyteller's yarn never happened - that it was the stuff of fiction.

Not true. And that actually kind of surprised me. For so long we've been reassured by our parents and teachers that such stories we exchanged on the playground never happened, and we shouldn't worry. I suppose it was "okay" for them to lie to us at that age, in favor of letting us have a few more years' worth of peaceful nights before we found out that, yeah, this shit actually happened, and happens, and will happen.

The doc is propelled by onscreen hosts Zeman and Rachel Miller, but interviews with specialists, historians, and the real people who were local to the various crimes being examined also share their insights, some of them more surprising than others. Also bolstering the theme of life's infatuation with the dark are the assembly of movie clips from such titles as Halloween, Candyman, The Town That Dreaded Sundown, and oh yeah, Stephen King's IT.

Killer Legends has a lot to offer, and to many kinds of viewers. Students of true crime, folklore, psychology, and the casual horror fan – the doc will ably provide a wealth of entertainment, information, and at times even poignancy, depending on what you want to get from it. I'd love for Joshua Zeman to consider this documentary as the first in a series in which he examines handfuls of urban legends at a time. This kind of attempt has been done before, in cheesy shows like "Fact of Fiction" or the recent series "Urban Legends," but not with this kind of serious, investigative, or philosophical approach.

It's now available on DVD from Breaking Glass Pictures.

Jul 24, 2014

COLD IN JULY


Remember the good old days when John Carpenter used to do this own music? And remember way back when, during the late '70s/early '80s, when all he used was a shitty Casio...and they sounded amazing?

We can kind of pretend those days are back, with the soundtrack to filmmaker Jim Mickle's latest romp in the darkness, Cold in July. Jeff Grace's soundtrack for the film is available now - you tell me if this doesn't sound like something that belongs in the third act of The Fog.

Click on Dexter to hear it.


https://soundcloud.com/milanrecords/father-and-son-by-jeff-grace-from-ost-cold-in-july

WATCH: NIGHTMARE FACTORY

 

If I may be frank, it's about fucking time that somebody honored Greg Nicotero, Howard Berger, and the entire KNB FX group for the work they've been doing in the horror genre since the mid-1980s. I won't even name the films of which they've been a part because we'd be here forever.

I had the opportunity to meet Greg several years back and he was kind enough to field a couple questions and pose for a photo, which I still have (somewhere). I even walked away with a copy of the prop newspaper he'd created for Day of the Dead. (Actually, I accidentally walked away with three. Sorry, Greg...)


Perhaps best known for the current pop culture atomic bomb that is "The Walking Dead," for which Greg both provides the grisly effects and periodically jumps behind the camera to direct an episode, Nightmare Factory starts at the very beginning of Greg's life to show this is something he'd always wanted to do. Like similar FX maestro Tom Savini (who would end up mentoring Nicotero in his youth) or Jack Pierce and Lon Chaney before him, Greg was a horror junkie from the earliest part of his life. Like a lot of us, the first part of his young life was rife with confusion regarding what he wanted to do. As I'm sure is the case in many families, there was an unspoken understanding that Greg would follow in the footsteps of his father and pursue medical school to become a doctor, and that was his path for a couple years while he pursued his love of creature effects on the side. Then came the fateful day when he realized the latter was all he wanted to do. So he and his two buddies, Howard Berger and Robert Kurtzman, headed out to LA, bought a smelly house, filled it with smelly bodies, and went after their dream. 

Three decades later, and following multiple awards (including an Oscar), a massive body of work, and the undying love of the horror community, Kurtzman-Nicotero-Berger's KNB is the leading special effects company in the industry. Working for all genres of the medium, and not just horror, KNB has provided effects for the very big (The Chronicles of Narnia), the very small (Splice), and the very art-house (Tree of Life).


Aided by fans, friends, and frequent clients John Carpenter, George Romero, and Frank Darabont (among others), the praises of KNB are rightfully sung in Nightmare Factory, and amusingly, a bit of fun is poked at the frustration that can sometimes occur on-set between impatient filmmakers and the gag that is failing to work the first time. (It's all part of showbiz, kids.)

We so often forget that folks like Greg Nicotero, or those aforementioned filmmakers whom we couldn't help but admire while growing up, were not always the cinema giants they would eventually become. Their place in cinema history didn't just come into being, nor were any of them spoon-fed the opportunities that afforded them the chance to claim that place. They struggled with choices, their fate, and life in general. If honor is having another filmmaker set out to create an examination of your professional and personal life, provided by your friends, colleagues, and peers, then nearly every one of our beloved horror figures has been honored. Nightmare Factory is the newest to honor a member of that crowd. One could say it was long-overdue, but another could argue it was perhaps premature, as KNB are just getting started.

Jul 23, 2014

FAIRY TALE


“Fairy tale about a girl, who hanged herself in the attic. She was hanging there for so long that her sweet scent enticed butterflies. These coated her livid body and now it looks like she was only a chrysalis, swayed calmly by a draught.”

Jul 22, 2014

THANKS FOR NOTHING, MASTURBATION

Le Livre Sans Titre, which translates as The Book Without a Title, is an 1830 French illustrated book warning against the harmful effects of masturbation.
He was young, handsome; his mother’s fond hope… He corrupted himself! [and] soon he bore the grief of his error, old before his time… his back hunches… See his eyes once so pure, so brilliant; they are extinguished! A fiery band envelops them. Hideous dreams disturb his slumber…he cannot sleep… His hair, once so lovely, falls as if from old age;his scalp grows bald before his age… His chest collapses… he vomits blood… Pustules cover his entire body… He is terrible to behold! His entire body stiffens!… his limbs stop moving… At the age of 17, he expires, and in horrible torment.








Thanks to the Oddment Emporium.

See the whole book and (keep away from your genitals).

Jul 20, 2014

RETURN OF THE WITCH-FINDERS

Police Warn Children Are At Risk Over Return of the Witch-Finders

Children in Britain are increasingly at risk of being branded as witches and tortured, police are claiming, following the high-profile case of Kristy Bamu – tortured and murdered by his brother for being a kindoki witch.

The threat comes from the rise of the West African belief, which states children can be possessed by evil spirits, according to a specialist unit set up to investigate witchcraft.

It is thought to be widespread among some immigrant communities, fuelled by a growing number of small fundamentalist Christian churches.

The belief is not confined to the poor or ill-educated and many cases of children being abused may never be uncovered, the officers fear.

Det Supt Terry Sharpe, leader of specialist witchcraft unit Project Violet, said: "We know this is an under-reported crime and a hidden crime."

The warning came after a London couple were convicted yesterday of torturing a 15-year-old boy to death because they were convinced he was possessed by evil spirits.

Murderer Eric Bikubi – who with his partner, Magelai Bamu, subjected her younger brother, Kristy, to four days of torment before drowning him – was obsessed with kindoki.

Kristy, 15, was attacked with a hammer, knife, and pliers before being drowned in a bath after he begged to be allowed to die.

Kristy and his four other siblings were staying with the couple at their east London flat over Christmas 2010. But when Kristy wet himself, Bikubi – described as "feral and out of control" – took it as a sign he was possessed by evil spirits.

The boy was beaten for four days before he was killed.

The couple even forced his brothers and sisters to join in the "staggering act of depravity and cruelty."

At one point, Bamu, 29, twisted her brother’s ears with a pair of pliers before ordering her 21-year-old sister, Kelly, to do the same. Kristy suffered 130 injuries; a metal screw, which he was forced to eat, was found in his bowel.

The boy’s parents, Pierre and Jacqueline, who live in Paris, yesterday said they took "no comfort" from the guilty verdicts.

But a family statement read: "To know that Magalie did nothing to save him makes the pain that much worse. We are still unaware of the full extent of the brutality – we  cannot bring ourselves to hear it."

In a phone call on Christmas Day, Bamu told her father: "Dad, you’ve got to pick up the children – they’re witches, and you’re a witch, too."

Kristy’s younger brother, then 13, told the Old Bailey he and his older brother Yves, 22, were forced to join Bikubi as he broke tiles over Kristy’s head.

His teeth were also smashed and his finger broken with a claw hammer.

It was one of 83 witchcraft cases Project Violet has investigated in London in the past ten years

Expert Dr Richard Hoskins said kindoki was widespread in the country where Bamu and Bikubi were born. He added: "Kindoki remains a force that is feared by lots of people over here, even here in London."

Story and image source.

Jul 19, 2014

GOLIATH

The goliath tigerfish is one of the most fearsome freshwater fish in the world and said to be a much bigger and deadlier version of the piranha.

The giant fish has 32 teeth that are of similar size to those of a great white shark and has been known to attack humans and even crocodiles.


Read more.

Jul 18, 2014

TWO GUYS, ONE QUIP: SAMURAI COP

A joint effort between The End of Summer and Exploitation Movie Review, “Two Guys, One Quip” is a new venture to honor the cheesiest, oddest, and most unheralded crop of films we can stand. Some films can be tackled solo and some cannot. Some films are so excruciatingly unusual that multiple parties are needed to catch every single solitary weirdity. "Two Guys, One Quip" is a free-for-all, back-and-forth, "I'm-just-gonna-say-whatever" approach to double-teaming an easy target in the unsexiest way possible. Below you will find nothing close to actual, legitimate film discussion, but instead sarcastic commentary and douche-bag superiority flying fast and furious. Profanity will be immense, constant, and unyielding. No on-screen target is safe. No incompetence will pass by unmocked. And no punches will be at all pulled. Some films deserve it. This is one of them.




Exploitation Movie Review (EMR): Little to nothing is written about the production of Samurai Cop, or, at least, nothing that I could find on the first two pages of my Google search. There are literally tens of words written about this demonically bad piece of shit, but none of them come close to the almighty fucking drubbing it's about to receive here.

I want to start by apologising to you, man.

The End Of Summer (TEOS): I’m used to it.

EMR: Ok, so this movie starts how all ‘80s movies should probably start: with a theme song lifted straight from its Commodore 64 movie tie-in game loading screen, and boy, does this motherfucker want to be Giorgio Moroder.

TEOS: Who doesn’t?

EMR: The Chinese guy with the six shooters from Big Trouble In Little China goes straight for the throat and explains that his gang isn't established yet, while Robert Z'Dar's chin justifies anamorphic widescreen and some red-headed broad with pretty decent looking tits preens her hair and looks sultry in the background. It's difficult to know exactly what's going on because I'm caught off-guard by how racist this thing is. The plot is being communicated to me exclusively in grunts and growls. Some shit about a fight or something.

TEOS: Wow, you’re already onto the plot? I’m still haunted by that fucking opening credit sequence, which was longer than Dennis Rodman standing on top of Kim Jong Un standing on top of 37 nukes that will never propel. I’m actually a little winded from all the unending Woody Allen white-font-on-black background and Nintendo music.

Go on, I’ll catch up.


Head on over to the Two Guys, One Quip blog to read the rest.

Jul 15, 2014

CLOSE CALL

On the night of March 22, 1970, Kathleen Johns was driving from San Bernardino to Petaluma to visit her mother. She was seven months pregnant and had her 10-month-old daughter beside her. While heading west on Highway 132 near Modesto, a car behind her began honking its horn and flashing its headlights. She pulled off the road and stopped. The man in the car parked behind her, approached her car, stated that he observed that her right rear wheel was wobbling, and offered to tighten the lug nuts. After finishing his work, the man drove off; yet when Johns pulled forward to re-enter the highway the wheel almost immediately came off the car. The man returned, offering to drive her to the nearest gas station for help. She and her daughter climbed into his car. During the ride the car passed several service stations but the man did not stop. For about 90 minutes he drove back and forth around the backroads near Tracy. When Johns asked why he was not stopping, he would change the subject. When the driver finally stopped at an intersection, Johns jumped out with her daughter and hid in a field. The driver searched for her using his flashlight telling her that he would not hurt her, before eventually giving up. Unable to find her, he got back into the car and drove off. Johns hitched a ride to the police station in Patterson.

When Johns gave her statement to the sergeant on duty, she noticed the police composite sketch of Paul Stine's killer and recognized him as the man who abducted her and her child. Fearing he might come back and kill them all, the sergeant had Johns wait, in the dark, at the nearby Mil's Restaurant. When her car was found, it had been gutted and torched.

Most accounts claim he threatened to kill her and her daughter while driving them around, but at least one police report disputes that. Johns' account to Paul Avery of the Chronicle indicates her abductor left his car and searched for her in the dark with a flashlight; however, in one report she made to the police, she stated he did not leave the vehicle

 

Jul 14, 2014

A MADHOUSE?

"What do you know about caring? Have you ever seen the inside of one of those places? The laughing, and the tears, and those cruel eyes studying you? My mother...there?"
If we don't, remember me.

Jul 11, 2014

OLD MAN

I live alone with my dad, and he works long hours of the day, so I stay home by myself a lot. We’ve lived in this house for 12 years and nothing paranormal has occurred, at least that I know of, but recently some weird things have been happening to me while he’s gone or asleep. This morning around 4am, I decided to go to sleep and turned off my laptop.

My bed is next to a window facing a wall, but there’s currently nothing behind it because we’re rebuilding the headboard/desk that was back there. When I turned off my laptop, I thought I saw the frame of what appeared to be an elderly man standing behind me in the reflection from my lamp. I turned around but didn’t see anything, and chocked it up to sleep deprivation. I went to sleep, but had a strange dream where I killed a huge group of kids with what looked like two knives carved out of wood.

Today, I received a text from my dad a few minutes after I woke up saying that it was nice to see me up early for a change, and that he hoped I had a good day. I asked him what he meant by this; I had gotten up late in the afternoon. He said I had walked downstairs and had breakfast with him, and we had a conversation about not knowing when you’re going to die or where you’re going to go afterwards. This was kind’ve weird to me, both because I’ve read about doppelgangers on this site and because I’ve never walked in my sleep and have a good memory, but I ignored the feeling and told him to have a good day too.

A couple hours later, I was upstairs in the bathroom putting on some makeup when I saw something out’ve the corner of my eye in the mirror. My room was across the hallway, and when I looked in the doorway I saw what looked like a charred black arm. It was twisted and just sort’ve hung there. I screamed and ran downstairs, and immediately began talking to some friends about it online. After a few minutes of convincing, they got me to go back into the room to see if someone had broken in.

Once in the room, I searched it all over and found nothing. I sat in my bed and started messing with my phone, when I felt something sit down next to me. There was a big depression in the bed, and I felt something touch my leg. I felt nauseous suddenly and it felt hard to breathe, and once I was able to move again I bolted out’ve there. Not so sure I’m going to sleep in my room tonight, but I’m really curious about the dream and the possible(?) fire and if they relate at all to the old man.

Story source.

Jul 10, 2014

CAT'S EYES

I had a rather strange experience when I was around 15 years old.

My room was in the basement of my parents' house. Picture a typical half finished basement: concrete floors, a few rooms, small windows scattered around, old furnace, you know the drill.

We lived in a heavily wooded area out in the country; many of our childhood days were spent playing in the woods.

My room was being finished and it only had a partial wall at the time. While lying in my bed, I could see across part of the basement to the further wall. Against the wall was a washer and dryer, and above that was a small egress window.

I remember waking from my sleep one night with a strange feeling, almost like something was in the room with me. I slowly opened my eyes, straining to adjust to the darkness. My eyes were affixed on the window across the basement. There was something floating in the air. Something strange and yellow.

A mixture of confusion and fear gripped me. What was across the basement? As my eyes adjusted, I realized it was another pair of eyes looking back at me. Our gaze was locked for what felt like an eternity. No movement, nothing.

After a while, there was some movement in the window; the eyes bobbed from side to side. I was truly terrified at this point. As I slunk deeper into my covers, I started to see the outline of a creature. It turns out it was a black cat, staring at me while I slept. It ran off and I didn't see it again for many years. It wasn't our cat - we didn't even own a cat. I never saw it before or after...well, so I thought at the time...

Fast forward to my mid-twenties. I was dating a girl who loved cats. It just so happened that she had a large black cat (which reminded me of the incident from my childhood). She is a nurse and often works overnights. I would go over her place in the evening and go to bed. She would come home very late and snuggle in with me.

One night, I was lying in her bed, half asleep. I rolled to my side and had a strange feeling...something was watching me. I slowly opened my eyes to see a pair of yellow orbs staring back at me. Initially, I thought it was her cat (as she often let them outside). I began to feel some relief. That's when I heard her cat next to me in bed, hissing at the cat outside, hair on edge.

Being more freaked out than ever, I quickly turned to face the other direction. I slowly rolled back over and the cat was no longer outside the window.

I now live in a house with small windows in the basement. I'm waiting for the day where I fall asleep on the couch downstairs, closed eyes facing towards the window...

Story source.

Jul 9, 2014

MACABRE ART: 1000 SHADOWS

Brazilian street artist Herbert Baglione has somehow managed to make an abandoned psychiatric hospital in Parma, Italy even creepier with his paintings of shadows.

The way Baglione’s shadows creep out from disused wheelchairs and lurk ominously on the walls makes it easy to imagine that they belonged to the tortured souls that used to inhabit the place.

The work is part of Baglione’s "1000 Shadows" project, where he paints silhouettes on floors and walls.






Herbert Baglione.

Jul 8, 2014

READ: THE LAST POLICEMAN


If you were a homicide detective who got the call on a dead body, which, when investigated, had all the makings of a suicide and very little of a murder, would you investigate it, anyway? Would you ignore all the obvious makings of someone having taken their life and investigate it as if the deceased were murdered?

And, if the world was doomed to end courtesy of Maia, the asteroid, which was scheduled to hit the planet in a matter of months, would you still investigate? 

That's the big question at work in Ben H. Winter's The Last Policeman, the first in a trilogy involving Detective Henry Palace, a detective with the Concorde, NH, police department.

Falling within the genres of soft science fiction and mystery, though described as an "existential detective novel" by its author, The Last Policeman is an entertaining and enigmatic police procedural, and while these are always fun, it has the added effect of playing out against the apocalypse, which forces several of our characters to confront the big question: why bother? If the world is doomed to end in six months, why bother going to work, eating healthy, walking the dog, solving that murder? What's it all going to mean in the long-run?

The character of Detective Henry Palace easily fits the mold of what has become the typical investigator. He's hard-boiled, haunted by his past, cynical (though not to the point of indifference), and mostly, just trying to do his job that he's being paid to do: a man has apparently taken his life (not an uncommon occurrence in the months leading up to complete devastation), and Detective Palace dutifully investigates the scene. The "victim," Peter Zell, is found in the bathroom stall of a local McDonald's, his belt tied around his neck, strangled to death. Everyone around Palace seems ready to write it off as a suicide and move onto the next thing, but the scene bothers Palace too much - to the extent that he's willing to become a pain in the ass to his superiors and dismissive of the rules and conduct of a New Hampshire police officer. As is demanded by the mystery/noir genre, nothing is what it seems, and Detective Palace peels back layer by layer of what everyone has labeled a standard suicide, revealing something far more surprising beneath. 

The Last Policeman is thrilling, funny (in that sardonic kind of way), introspective, certainly existential, and haunting. The reader will root for Detective Palace from the start, because even though his task to investigate a suicide as a murder seems like a fool's errand in the face of Maia the asteroid and humanity's growing apathy, it's more comforting to believe that there is someone out there who cares enough to embark on such a quest on which most people have already given up. (Plus he's a kind of a generous tipper, throwing down thousands of dollars for his $15 breakfast.)

The Last Policeman is followed by Countdown City, and the final part, World of Touble, is a brand new release from the author; all three are available from Quirk Books (publisher of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children.)

Jul 6, 2014

JERSEY DEVIL

In Freehold, New Jersey, in 2007, a woman supposedly saw a huge creature with bat-like wings near her home. In August of the same year, a young man driving home near the border of Mount Laurel and Moorestown, New Jersey reported a similar sighting. He claimed that he spotted a "a creature resembling a gargoyle with enormous bat-like wings" perched in some trees near the road.

On January 23, 2008 the Jersey Devil was spotted again this time in Litchfield, Pennsylvania by a local resident that claims to have seen the creature come barreling out of the roof of his barn.

On January 19th, 2009, nearly 100 years after the frequent Jersey Devil sightings, a local New Jersey citizen from Swedesboro claimed to have seen the Jersey Devil. He was driving towards Woodstown at night and saw a large creature fly in front of his car. At first he thought it was a deer, so he slammed on the brakes, then he realized that the creature was flying and was much larger than a deer. The shape of the creature was unclear. The creature swiftly flew across the street and disappeared into the darkness of the woods.

In September 2009, a young man driving home on Interstate 80 near Parsippany, NJ, claims spotting what he saw as "a black long-necked creature with a long tail" run across the road, and disappear into the darkness on the other side of the road.

Several witnesses were camping outside of town and late at night one of them was attempting to put out the bonfire when he heard the most awful and horrifying scream. It resembled that of an injured dog crossed with a scream of a woman. The witness dropped the flashlight and was joined by another witness.

Suddenly out of the woods a hideous and gruesome creature appeared. It did not look human, somewhat satyr-like in appearance and walked on two legs. It had a long tail like a dragon and wings like those unicorns in fantasy books. The beast took several steps towards the witnesses. One of them picked up and yelled at it and then shone his flashlight at it. The creature then turned towards the bushes and ran away from the area.
 
Location/Date: Near Trenton, New Jersey.
March 4, 2002, near midnight.

Story and image source.

Jul 4, 2014

WATCH: THE CONSPIRACY



There are certain factions of the American populace who are a little...off. If I were being as respectful as possible, I would say that those people who have broken off from society and chosen to live in survivalist camps, hording non-perishable food, water, guns, etc., convinced that society is soon going to collapse and leave people scrounging for survival...well, let's just say I don't have too much in common with them. Though there are times when I have grown so exasperated and disillusioned by my own government, the idea behind which is to provide law, order, aid, support, and "freedom," but which instead is fine with being as useless as a three-ounce paperweight, that I've sworn off my social security number and credit cards and threatened to pull an Into the Wild and go off the grid entirely. Granted, though the chances of me ever following through with this threat are pretty slim, the fact that my sometimes anger and disenfranchisement has lead me to even consider it perhaps shows that I do share something in common with those aforementioned groups.

I bring this up because, at the heart of these kinds of thoughts, sometimes lies any variety of conspiracies. I can look at the government and think the only thing driving them is greed and their blind stunted political ideology. But others can look at the government and think all kinds of shadowy conspiracies are afoot. We are a country that has long been obsessed with conspiracies. From the JFK assassination to Area 51, we as a people like to, or need to, believe that we're never being told the whole story. We don't want to believe that it was simply one jack-ass who managed to kill the most powerful man in the world; we need to believe it was the mafia or Castro or the succeeding Vice President Lyndon Johnson, or all of them, who were responsible. But, sometimes, it really is just one jack-ass.


The Conspiracy, a mockumentary approach to unveil the world's most powerful secret society, presupposes that World War I, the Vietnam War, and 9/11, among other deadly events significant to American history and culture, were caused not because of the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand, a naval attack in the Gulf of Tonkin, and religious extremists, but were all actually perpetrated by something called the Tarsus Club: an Illuminati-esque group of the most powerful individuals across the globe.

The documentary within The Conspiracy begins with focusing solely on a man named Terrance (an awesome Alan  C. Peterson), whom our documentary filmmakers, Aaron (Aaron Poole) and Jim (James Gilbert), are studying. Terrance has some wild claims about the Tarsus Club, but his public tirades delivered via loudspeaker are mostly ignored. Aaron seems rather taken with Terrance while Jim seems only amused...that is until the filmmakers, one day, have trouble getting in touch with their subject. Calls go unanswered, messages unreturned, front doors unopened. They eventually gain access to Terrance's apartment and find that it has been ransacked and vandalized; his blanket of newspaper clippings linking together five random news stories in order to construct one single conspiracy, has been torn off the wall.


Aaron feels compelled to take the evidence left behind from the ransacking and continue the investigation where Terrance had left off, and gradually, as he unearths more and more about the Tarsus Club, they welcome into their lives more and more layers of danger, beginning with a black SUV that seems to follow them everywhere they go, and ending with an upfront and terrifying confrontation with the very club they are investigating.  

The Conspiracy, an amalgam of JFK, the non-sci-fi aspects of "The X-Files," Conspiracy Theory, Interview with the Assassin, and many more like it, is simply put, fantastic. Written/directed by Christopher MacBride, it is a hyper-realistic, well-written and well-acted piece that presents you with some pretty fantastic claims, but never in a way where they feel fantastic. The cast is sympathetic and entirely convincing (and special mention must be made of character actor Julian Richings, perhaps most famous for his reoccurring role of Death on "Supernatural," whose entire performance is limited to two scenes, a blurred-out face and artificially deepened voice, and who is still, somehow, entirely recognizable).

(Image from "Supernatural.")

Your personal mindset will determine how much belief you'll need to suspend (while some of you may even believe everything you're watching is 100% real). The Conspiracy is a film that both deserves and demands your attention; the more details you soak up and infect your brain, the more rewarding the outcome will be. (For instance, if you consider the ending "ambiguous," then you simply hadn't been paying attention.) This was a film I'd been waiting to see for two years or more once news broke of its existence; all these years later, it was more than worth the wait.


* For the record, it was through absolute random chance that I've chosen to highlight a film about conspiracies related to the American government on this, the anniversary of the country's founding. But, I don't feel bad about it, either.