Aug 31, 2014


There once lived a lonely man on the 6th floor of an apartment building. One day, he noticed the figure of a woman dancing in a swaying motion in an apartment across from his building. The curtain was drawn, so he could only see the shadow. Everyday he looked out his window, he would see her dancing. Finally, the lonely man fell in love with the dancing woman and decided to pay her a visit. He bought a bouquet of fresh flowers and went to her building, climbing the steps to her floor.

He knocked on the door many times, but no one answered. He could have sworn that he had just seen her dancing in the window. Worried that something had happened to her, he kicked the door open and was heart broken by what he saw.

The woman was hanging from the ceiling in front of the window, her body swaying from side to side as if she were dancing.

Aug 29, 2014


The post-asteroid-announcement world sure has changed since we last saw Detective Henry Palace in The Last Policeman, the first book in Ben H. Winters' apocalyptic existential detective mystery series. He's no longer employed by the Concorde Police Department (though he hasn't given up on detecting, either). The populace has grown more savage; animal-like. Survival has become the name of the game, though with an asteroid hurtling toward earth and ready to make contact in 77 days, there is little hope for anyone withstanding its inevitable landing. Palace's former lover is still dead, his last official case as a Concorde detective nearly forgotten by everyone but himself, and he's still holing up in a ramshackle unfurnished house with his adopted dog, Houdini. 

His newest case, taken on gratis in order to help, of all people, the person who used to babysit him and his sister, Nico, when they were kids, involves a missing husband, a strange anti-government conspiracy group, and an anticipated breakdown of society. Familiar characters make reappearances and are along for the ride, some making more significant contributions than others, but all of whom provide a surreal feeling of comfort by proving that Palace hasn't become the isolationist that he considers himself.

Though there wasn't much that needed improving in the series' first book, Countdown City still manages to be a far better read and far more captivating story. Perhaps it's because, by now, the end of days looming over everyone's heads is very established. The dismantling of humankind continues, as it was already well underway, only now this dismantling has achieved a disturbing yet morbidly realistic rapidity. Much like the most basic tenet of mystery-noir, the ground-level crime that Detective Palace is investigating leads him to a path that opens up his eyes to something far more shocking that's occurring, only this time the two events are connected only by a single character, as opposed to an all-encompassing conspiracy under which Palace's crime unfolded, and by which it was directly or inadvertently inspired. What that all means, essentially, is author Ben H. Winters is having fun playing around with genre expectations. 

I love the subtle changes in this world from the first book to this one. I love that law enforcement positions went from being the most rewarded with that old outdated concept called money to the world of Countdown City, in which money has become irrelevant, and essential law enforcement officers are instead paid with rations: bottled water, non-perishable foods. (And god love you if you can find some coffee.) I love that rioting has become so common place so close to the end that our lead character has the ability to turn away from such sights occurring before him on the street with a level of nonchalant indifference that it should be repulsive, only it's somehow instead relieving. 

The ending of Countdown City promises a rather intimate and personal final case for Detective Palace to solve before Maia comes to end everything, which will unfold in the series' final book. The Last Policeman trilogy concludes with World of Trouble (review coming soon).

Aug 27, 2014


In late 1951, the hills on the outskirts of the small German town were surveyed for the future construction of a NATO military site. The military base was to consist of a series of deep underground bunkers and weapons supplies in case a Soviet invasion occurred. In February of 1952, construction began. Just four weeks later, the crew began digging a massive two-hundred foot deep hole for the future underground storage bunkers. It was during this time that the crew made a morbid discovery. As they neared the end of the digging operation, a human hand was seen sticking out of the bottom of the hole. Upon future examination, twenty-seven bodies were discovered at the bottom of the two-hundred foot deep hole, dressed in Prisoner of War uniforms worn by the allies in Nazi war camps.

A  NATO officer ordered for the bodies to be exhumed immediately. As the medical team slowly carried out the bodies, they looked on in puzzlement. The bodies were remarkably well-preserved. Furthermore, the POW uniforms bore a strange insignia which was unlike any the men had seen before; an orange circle with a single black dash in the middle. However, the most unsettling characteristic were the faces of the men who were exhumed. Their eyes were wide open, and their mouths were sealed shut with an unknown adhesive. The bodies were then dispatched to the local morgue for immediate identification and autopsies.

That night, the local mortician began his work. However, he found it difficult to concentrate on his task. The eyes of the first man he was to begin work on seemed to be staring back at the mortician from the autopsy table. He shook his head and just rationalized the sight as the imagining of his over-active mind. The mortician took his scalpel and began his first cut into the body’s chest. Blood poured out of the incision with staggering force. The mortician backed away from the table in shock. The red liquid began running down the table, pooling on the floor below. The eyes of the body began watering, and streaks of tears ran down its face. Soon, the eyes rolled back into the body’s head, and the bleeding ceased. In horror, the mortician began to make his way to the door on the verge of nausea, but not before catching a glance at the twenty-six other bodies lying out on separate tables. Their eyes looked back at the doctor’s with tangible fear.
The men were still alive.

Aug 25, 2014


I was just saying to my mother the other day, "You know what I could go for? One of those sexy, witchy, witch-sex movies."

Then I came home, looked in my mailbox, and grinned. Inception Media had heard my utterances on the late-summer wind and sent me a copy of The Forbidden Girl to review.

My pants were never the same.

A late-night rendezvous between Toby, the son of an apparent religious fanatic, and his girlfriend, Katie, goes pretty sour after she shows him the locket that she's wearing around her neck, which attracts some kind of black-smoke demon that comes and takes her away. See, it was really important to Toby's priest pops that Toby remain all chaste and stuff, so obviously sneaking off to see Katie, Kewpie-doll-voice seductress that she is, was a horrendous idea. With Toby's father newly headless and Katie kidnapped, poor Toby goes rather mad from this and spends the next six years in a mental institution while simultaneously and miraculously not aging whatsoever. After fibbing his way through a gab session with his doctor, Toby is released to salvage the rest of his young life. He begins a tutoring job for a very eccentric couple who live in an isolated old mansion, throughout which Toby seems to sense Katie attempting to communicate with him. When Toby meets his student, Laura, who to him appears to be his missing beloved Katie, well, things get real awkward real fast.

The Forbidden Girl
is a beautifully photographed film with better-than-average special effects that unfortunately still ends up being kind of a mess. Creepy visuals and impressive set designs promise a story engaging and unique that, though it tries, never manages to be more than almost perfunctory. Tonally, the film is similar to William Malone's Parasomnia, though it shares that film's woes as well - essentially, both are impressively realized dreamscape films that exist solely to show off the interesting and disturbing visuals on display. There's no doubt about it that Till Hastreiter knows how to direct, present a beautiful image, and work within his budget (though the day-for-night shooting needs a little work). For once the acting in a low budget horror film isn't entirely deplorable. Our lead (Peter Gadiot) is earnest and likable, and his strange new employer is suitably a big creep. But again, both seem committed to a story that never quite established what it wants to be. Horror? Whimsical fantasy? Teen love? (Gross.)

Never would I accuse The Forbidden Girl of being artistically hollow, as there is a genuine attempt to present a story as engaging as the visuals are compelling, but the script never manages to be more than this thing that ultimately ends up getting in the way of the next creepy or stunning set-piece.

It hits video tomorrow.

Aug 23, 2014


Mermaids had been presented at shows for centuries. These were often dugongs or people afflicted with sirenomelia. During the Renaissance and the Baroque eras, the remains of mermaids were a staple of cabinets of curiosities. However the exhibit which created the Fiji mermaid concept was popularized by P. T. Barnum, but has since been copied many times in other attractions, including the collection of Robert Ripley. The original exhibit was shown around the United States, but was lost in the 1860s when Barnum's museum caught fire. The exhibit has since been acquired by Harvard University's Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology and is currently housed in the museum's attic storage area. 
The Fiji mermaid came into Barnum's possession via his Boston counterpart Moses Kimball, who brought it down to Barnum in late spring of 1842. On June 18, Barnum and Kimball entered into a written agreement to exploit this "curiosity supposed to be a mermaid." Kimball would remain the creature's sole owner and Barnum would lease it for $12.50 a week. Barnum christened his artifact "The Feejee Mermaid." In Barnum's exhibit, the creature was allegedly caught in 1842 by a "Dr. J. Griffin." Griffin was actually Levi Lyman, one of Barnum's close associates.

Aug 22, 2014


This giant (4-foot-long) killer worm was discovered in an aquarium (Newquay’s Blue Reef Aquarium) in the UK. They found Barry, the giant killer worm, when they were trying to find out what was eating the prize fish and attacking the coral. Experts say that this worm can permanently numb a human with its sting.

Aug 20, 2014


"The only thing that burns in Hell is the part of you that won't let go of life, your memories, your attachments. They burn them all away. But they're not punishing you. They're freeing your soul. So, if you're frightened of dying and you're holding on, you'll see devils tearing your life away. But if you've made your peace, then the devils are really angels, freeing you from the earth."

Aug 19, 2014


This indigenous Mexican woman’s memory is literally preserved, as she – following her death in 1860 – was stuffed and put on display the very way she had been while alive. Also born with hypertrichosis, her features were more characteristic of a gorilla than a dog; her nose and ears were especially large, her face was covered with hair, and she had a double pair of teeth which pronounced her mouth as such. She had a husband named Theodor Lent – who had originally purchased her and taught her to be a performer – and eventually a child of the same affliction, who died after three days. She died five days after that (complications from birth), and her exploitative husband had both her and the baby mummified and placed in a glass cabinet. Lent went on to marry another woman with a similar condition, and was later admitted to a mental hospital.

Aug 18, 2014



A Chinese woman, surnamed Liu, in Shuangcheng, Heilongjiang Province, needed hospital treatment after being bitten on the hand by a snake that jumped out of a bottle of wine.

Ms. Liu bought a live snake and preserved it in wine to cure her rheumatism. However, the snake was still alive after spending three months in an alcohol-filled bottle.

Alcohols containing preserved snakes boasting medicinal properties are common in China. When Ms. Liu opened the bottle to add more spirits, the snake attacked her. She received treatment for inflammation.

A similar case involving a serpent resurrection occurred in 2009 when a Hubei Province resident, surnamed Zhang, was bit two months after he attempted a similar brew. Zhang was not severely injured, unlike a villager from Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in April 2001 who died a day after being bitten from a preserved wine snake.

Aug 17, 2014


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.

Horror movies in the late 70’s and early 80’s were really bossy. You weren’t really allowed to go anywhere or do anything.

Don’t Go in the Woods. Don’t Go in the Basement. Don’t Go to Sleep. Don’t Go Near the Park. Don’t Go in the Bedroom. Don't Answer the Phone. Don't Play with your Peeno at Grandmother's.

Preeetty sure you were allowed to go in the house, though.

Don’t Go in the House.

Ah, farts.

Don’t Go in the House is about a man named Donny who is obsessed with fire. So much that he works in a factory whose job is to burn things. One day on the job, Donny tosses a can of something—maybe spray paint— into one of the furnaces just to see it explode. It doesn’t, however, so Donny walks away, disappointed.

And then BOOMO.

The can explodes right in the face of a hapless worker who walked over to do whatever it is these people do to the furnace. Donny watches as the man, covered in flames, twirls around helplessly. People quickly come to his aid as Donny continues to be useless.

“A man goes up in flames and you just stand there like a faggot!” yells his boss later in the locker room.

“I am not a faggot,” Donny says, defending himself, as if one has anything to do with the other. “It covered him up. He wasn’t evil, but it covered it up.”

That’s crazy if you ask me.

“You’re crazy,” agrees the boss. “I always said you were crazy.”

"I think YOU and ME oughta go OUT some time
because we would MAKE a good COUPLE."

Donny, who isn't crazy, thinks fire has thought patterns and seeks out evil to purify it.

But he isn't crazy.

He drives home to his sick mother, as several disembodied thoughts whisper in his mind.

But he isn’t crazy.

Donny prepares chamomile tea for his mother who sleeps softly in the chair. After a few gentle jostles, mother does not stir. Donny fruitlessly tries to wake his sleeping mother, but it’s too late for her. She’s a fucking dead corpse. He paces the room and tries to convince himself that she is merely sleeping and that she will wake up soon.

“I MADE YOU TEA I MADE YOU TEA,” insists Donny at her dead body.

The voices then begin talking to Donny, trying to calm him. They whisper sweet nothings in his ear and promise that things will be okay, that they will take care of him.

“Can I play my music loud?” asks Donny. He then immediately puts on some disco (loud) and begins jumping on chairs and smoking inside the house.

What a life for Donny this is! Adios, dead mother!

A la better movies about sons who had formerly-abusive and now-dead mothers, Donny begins to hear her voice yelling at him. Donny inspects his dead mother and sees that she’s still dead, but the voices tell him that she must be burned to be purified. Donny doesn’t ask too many questions as he gathers up a box of matches. He then has a flashback of the time his mother the asshole flipped out because her husband left them and she blamed Donny for it, telling him he was evil, and she pulled Donny’s little arms over a stove flame.

Think that’s what made Donny crazy about fire?

Me neither.

We're pretty dumb, though.

The next morning, Donny calls out of work and begins to build something in his house. It’s too soon to tell what it is, but knowing Donny, it’s probably a roller rink.

You know. For disco.

Then he runs off to a store to buy a flame-retardant suit complete with overly-dramatic and creepy face mask.

Later, he charms his way into a closed flower store, telling the girl he would like a small arrangement for his sick mother. He pays for the flowers and then hesitantly leaves, looking disappointed at himself in his truck parked outside the store. Whether it was because he didn’t have the balls to ask her out or kill her remains unseen, although, he does manage to coerce her into accepting a ride from him after she misses the bus.

“Why don’t you come inside and say hello to Mother?” Donny asks along the way.

The girl agrees for some reason and off they go.

Back at the house, Donny leaves, telling the flower store woman that he will be right back. Donny disappears momentarily in the kitchen, but then comes back.

“Mother must be upstairs! I’ll be right back!”

Donny runs up the steps excitedly.

“Mother!” he calls, as flower store woman looks nervous, regretting having agreed to come into the house of a man she doesn’t know and who clearly has issues. He then comes out a few moments later looking worried.

“Mother’s even sicker than I thought! I’ve gotta call the doctor!”

Donny, what the fuck is your plan?

After Donny makes a fake phone call to the doctor, flower store woman insists on calling a cab. She begins to make said call before Donny helps her to be asleep with the aid of a blunt instrument.

She groggily awakes, nice and naked and strung up in a strange, metal, windowless room.

Donny, meanwhile, sits in his own room, staring at the box he schlepped home from his night errands. I wonder what it is.

Oh, that’s right—the flame-retardant suit complete with overly-dramatic face mask.

He walks into his new dungeon of sorts, pours a can of gasoline over the naked body of the flower store woman, and then proceeds to blast her with a fucking flame thrower. She screams in bloody agony as she burns to death, which is almost as painful as having to sit through this movie.

Lars von Trier's remake of Schindler's List was
banned almost immediately, but some critics
secretly hailed it as "fucking bad ass."

Donny watches inside his big astronaut suit, pleased with how his burn room is faring.

The next day, Donny pulls up alongside a woman on the side of the road experiencing car trouble.

“Would you like a lift to the next gas station?” he asks innocently enough.


"Would you like to feel my flames on your cheeks?"

The woman gratefully gets in the truck with him.

“Mind if we drop some stuff off at my house? It’s on the way!”

“Sure!” the woman happily obliges.

Later, as her smoking body hangs from chains and hand-shackles, Donny continues to look more and more pleased with himself.

At a nearby convenience store, Donny spies an attractive woman paying for some items. He blocks her attempt to exit by offering such manly services as, “some help” carrying her groceries, as well as “a ride home.”

The woman clearly isn’t interested and brushes past him, as Donny becomes more insistent.

The clerk intervenes, telling Donny that he’s only bothering her.

“You’re right,” Donny exclaims. “I better go apologize!”

Later, Donny carries that woman's body into his mother’s room and he introduces the two of them. Then, despite how things have been going, Donny begins going even crazier, having spotted his mother’s ghost’s reflection in the mirror behind him, which is genuinely creepy thanks to an intrusive music sting.

He then hears all of his burned women, whose skeletons he keeps in rocking chairs in a room in his house, giggling and laughing at him.

“You bitches!” he screams at them, slapping their charred faces. “You think you can laugh at me? Well…no more laughing!”

He then goes downstairs and puts on his music. Loud.

Despite this loudness, he falls asleep and dreams of women grabbing at him from crevices in a blue desert. He shakes himself awake and sees his flaming, green-faced mother at the top of the stairs, bellowing, “I’ll get you, Donald! I’ll get you!”

Boy, asleep or awake, Donny’s life is the pits.

Donny goes to church to steal holy water to ward off his insane mother, I guess, and has a philosophical argument with the priest about evil. Donny makes his confession and then comes home to forgive his mother. He anoints her face with holy water, making the sign of the cross.

There. All better.

Donny almost doubled-back after leaving the house, having
forgotten to turn on the humidifier for his mother, but then he
remembered she was a burnt corpse, and he smiled, relieved.

Donny calls his boyfriend from work and the two make plans to take some girlies to—you guessed it—a disco!

I love the '70s!

Donny goes to buy a shirt, which takes years. Every second he spends on screen not burning naked women makes this movie that many seconds too long.

He goes to the disco to meet his pallies for the evening, and if you can make it through this scene without checking your watch or e-mail, then you’re a stronger person than I am. To say that nothing even remotely interesting happens in this whole scene would be an insult to nothing.

Donny proceeds to sit and watch everyone dance as he looks boring and nervous. When his date for the evening sachets over and tries to yank him to the dance floor, Donny picks up the candle off the table and smashes it into girl’s face, which is a perfectly acceptable way of declining to dance.

He makes his escape and drives home, as the voices in his head whisper that everything is okay, and that he did good.

Then he picks up two giggling girls along the side of the road.

Jesus, Donny. How do you do it? Is the secret to your success setting women on fire?

Because I’m willing to try that…

Donny takes the girls home and they wander around admiring his big house. Then he shoves them into his secret burn room, and introduces them to his fire. However, he grows distracted in his room of bodies and doesn’t finish the job of burning them alive, which disappoints me greatly, because why else am I watching this movie?

Donny’s boyfriend, concerned about his friend’s growing insanity, goes to get the priest, and together they go to Donny’s house. They rescue the sadly unhurt girls, and the priest wanders upstairs to find Donny.

And find Donny he does. Along with Donny’s flamethrower.

Say, what do you get when you set a priest on fire?

The end of this movie, thankfully?


Disco Inferno, anyone? ZING!

Donny's collection of burned women get up off their chairs, and in another genuinely creepy scene, slowly creep toward him, their skeleton arms outstretched. If only this movie didn’t have that whole thing called the “beginning” and “middle” to drag it down...

Donny flips shit and burns them—and himself—to death.

The movie ends with a lame attempt at setting up a sequel as a completely unrelated boy gets smacked around by his mother, hears creepy voices in his head, and stares dumbly at the camera.

Cut to Black.


Aug 15, 2014


Hanging coffins are an ancient funeral custom of some minority groups, especially the Bo people of southern China. Coffins of various shapes were mostly carved from one whole piece of wood. Hanging coffins either lie on beams projecting outward from vertical faces such as mountains, are placed in caves in the face of cliffs, or sit on natural rock projections on mountain faces.

It was said that the hanging coffins could prevent bodies from being taken by beasts and also bless the soul eternally.

Aug 13, 2014


President Wolfman is less of a narrative and more of a film-making experiment. It asks the questions: Can a coherent AND entertaining film be made from existing material and stock footage? Can you overdub nearly all of this original footage with new voice actors and maintain consistency? Conceptually based primarily on 1973's Werewolf of Washington starring Dean Stockwell, upon which a large portion of this new film's footage has been assembled, President Wolfman manages to revitalize an older obscure title, re-imagine it in the goofiest of ways possible, actually manage to carry forward a cohesive plot, and even lampoon the current political climate all at the same time. (It also has its own theme song!)

President John Wolfman (pronounced Wolfmin, and still played by Dean Stockwell) has a problem: not only do a majority of Americans support the Chimerica proposal (which is essentially China buying the United States flat-out [tell me that hasn't happened already]), and not only has he been saddled with a do-nothing congress (hey, wait a minute!), but he's also a fucking werewolf. Hilarity ensues as he deals with those problems.

Anyone who knows me and my weird film habits knows that I am a sucker for a stupid title, especially when it comes to so-bad-it's-good cinema. It's the reason why I've actually sat through stuff like Ninja Terminator and Crazy Fat Ethel 2. With those kinds of titles comes a certain kind of expectation: to be goofy, amusing, never boring, and despite all good intentions, misfiring by 100%. Films like these are novelty; they exist in their own strange sub-sub-sub-genre of horror where nothing else will ever be quite like it, and they carry such ill-conceived concepts that one has to wonder how on earth they ever made it to celluloid. It was because of this I enthusiastically sat down with President Wolfman, expecting to see a rather straightforward film about the President of the United States of America suffering from lycanthropy. And while I did kinda-sorta see that, I saw this other thing, too: a sort of "Mystery Science Theater 3000"/Black Dynamite/Kentucky Fried Movie hybrid boasting a very specific kind of humor: immature. 

Have a sample below:

- "67%. That's what the polls say."
- "I don't listen to polls. They are tall pieces of wood that can't talk, used for holding telephone wires and escaped bears."


"No wonder they call you Speaker of the House. You never shut the fuck up."

Or maybe:

"You got the lucky shift. You're assigned to President John Wolfman himself. You have to shave his balls, take his butt temperature in his butt, and get a penis sample."

That's the caliber of humor you'll be getting with President Wolfman.

While obviously not for everyone, it's certainly for someone. I'm not going to say I laughed at every gag, but I definitely had a good time.

Fans of immature, off-color, politically incorrect, and flat-out fucked up humor should definitely check this out.  

Aug 11, 2014


Johnny was a very forgetful student, but he was pretty much average. Like everyone in his neighborhood he went to Jefferson Jr. High. He has few friends. Their names are Bill, Joe, and Nick.

One day after school Johnny forgot his cellphone in his homeroom. He and his three friends went to get it. When they went up the stairs they heard the doors close. They had been locked in the school. They thought nothing of it at first but just as they turned around they saw a shadowy figure bolt across the hall. They all stood for what seemed like forever in fear. Then they went over to Johnny’s homeroom. Johnny walked to his phone on the desk but before he grabbed it he saw a text appear from an unknown number. The text read “I know that you are all here and your friend Joe will die next.” Johnny looked to his friends, but there he saw that something was… missing. Then it hit him. Joe was gone!

They all went to search for him. When they got to the second floor hallway Bill felt something drip onto his nose. Then another. He looked up to see red liquid dropping from the vent above. When they opened the vent Joe’s lifeless body fell to the ground. The three that were left disposed of the body out a window into a bush. They continued to the media lab. Nick saw a single computer on. A note was left and it read “Dear Johnny, I killed Joe. Nick and Bill are next. Nick looked to Johnny and said it’s for you. When he finished reading he looked back at the two but again one was missing. This time it was Bill. Nick and Johnny continued on again. Just then Nick said “Why don’t we call the police?” Johnny said “Great idea!” He dialed 911. It ringed and noone answered. He thought it to be odd because they should always pick up. When he glanced at the phone he saw the words “number not avalible.” Nick was petrified with fear because he was next.

Johnny told Nick he was sorry that he couldn’t help. Nick was beginning to give up. Then Johnny continued on. He heard Nick scream “Help!” When Johnny looked back he saw Nick laying there with a stab wound in his throat and a note left on his head reading “All of your friends are dead. I would have gotten you but the busses are pulling in. If you do not want to go to prison leave through the back door. P.S. It was unlocked the whole time.” Johnny left the school crying because he now knows he could have saved his only friends the whole time.

Every night after that day Johnny reads the text he had gotten that read “I know that you are all here and your friend Joe will die next.” And exactly one year from that night Johnny got another text from the killer of his friends bodies sat down in front of a wall that had a smiley face drawn in blood above each one with a message underneath reading “Here is a picture for you to remember your friends by. Goodbye.”

Credit To – Jacob Roof



Aug 10, 2014


“Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence– whether much that is glorious– whether all that is profound– does not spring from disease of thought– from moods of mind exalted at the expense of the general intellect.”

Aug 8, 2014


In the fall of 1987, local news channel WSB-TV 2 of Atlanta, Georgia, was attempting to fill a scheduling gap in their Sunday morning lineup.

After a few solicitations by local business owners, they decided to allow the young Reverend Marly Sachs to take the available hour block to do a religiously themed show. It premiered October 18th with little promotion.

The show was standard religious fare and consisted of the reverend sitting in a simple chair reading passages from the Bible to the camera and discussing their interpretation and significance to our modern, day-to-day life. The show received a reasonable number of viewers and continued to be shown into early December. It was then that the studio began to receive extremely strange complaints from viewers of “Words of Light with the Rev. Marly Sachs.”

The calls were from women (and women only), who vaguely referred to uncomfortable feelings they had at very specific intervals during the program. They described feelings of nausea, back pain, dizziness and blurred vision. These callers, for no discernible reason, were convinced that it was the viewing of this program that was causing these symptoms. It was later determined after 3 weeks of complaints that these “feelings” were happening at roughly 12 minute intervals during the course of the program.

The small studio staff checked all recording equipment, both audio and video, and found nothing faulty. When the Reverend was made aware of these incidents, he merely shrugged and stated, cryptically, that “Some can’t handle the voice of God…” The head of the studio, at a loss to explain the cause of these complaints, decided to continue running the program.

By February, viewership had dropped sharply and it was decided to pull the plug on the show. The studio head figured it would be more prudent to spend as much time as possible on the news story that had the other two local news networks a-buzz: the miscarriage epidemic. Starting sometime in November, the number of healthy pregnant women miscarrying in the Atlanta metropolitan area had reached over 300. The CDC could find no discernible cause for this terrifying occurrence.

The Reverend took the show’s cancellation with what could only be described as abject indifference. When informed, he made no protest, merely nodded, almost knowingly. He left the studio after the last episode was filmed without so much as a word and dropped off the face of the earth. No one ever heard from him again, not his former congregation or any member of the church. The studio moved on, filling the slot with an infomercial and continued to concentrate on the miscarriage story.

A year and a half later, an intern at the WSB studios discovered the tapes of the “Words of Light” and began going through them in an attempt to find stock footage for an upcoming piece the station was doing on the impact religion had on the city. The Atlanta Incident (as the miscarriage epidemic became known in medical journals) petered out three months after the studio cancelled Reverenced Sachs’ show and had already begun to fade from the public consciences. As the intern went through the tapes, he accidentally made a disturbing discovery about the footage.

While attempting to stop one recording at 10 minutes, 45 seconds, he mistakenly jammed the fast-forward button down. While the footage whizzed by, he attempted to pry up the button with a screwdriver. Just as he succeeded, the tape stopped at 32 minutes, 1 second. The intern actually fell out of his chair when he looked up at what was frozen on the screen: the image of a badly decomposed severed head filling up the entire frame. After he collected himself, he moved the film back a few frames, then forward and realized that his mind was not playing tricks on him. He began going through the rest of the recording and soon discovered that at exactly twelve minute intervals the image would appear for one frame.

Thinking it some practical joke being played on the new guy, he presented it to one of the film technicians, ready to be mocked. The technician was just as puzzled as him. No one had touched the footage since the cancellation of the show. After the studio had closed for the night, the intern convinced the tech to help him go through all the tapes of the “Words of Light”. They discovered that every single episode had this same horrifying anomaly.

They also realized that as the show progressed the image had become more disgusting, as maggots began to eat away at the loose flesh and pieces of hair and skin seemed to have fallen off exponentially. The tech made clear to the intern that what they were seeing was technically impossible, since the film itself showed absolutely no signs of splicing. And he himself had been at every filming of the show and knew of no time when this image could have been inserted into the frame.

All of this was presented to the studio head, who, fearing some kind of backlash over allowing this to get on the air, ordered all the tapes destroyed. He told the intern and tech that he had no interest in knowing who did it at this point, only that “…covering their collective asses is all that’s important now.” He demanded that they mention this to no one.

The tech easily moved on, remembering the incident as a darkly funny personal anecdote, but the intern wouldn’t let it go. He made copies of as many tapes as he could before they were wiped and took them to see if he could find anything else in them that might to point to who did this or why they would.

A week later he attempted to rope the tech into helping him again, saying that he believed he had discovered something even more disturbing than the images themselves: when the single frames were edited together in chronological order, the head’s mouth appeared to be moving as if trying to form words. The tech, fearing for his job, told him to get rid of the copies and to not talk about it again.

A week later, police responded to a 911 call made by an elderly woman in one of the Atlanta suburbs at dusk. She had heard horrible noises coming from her next door neighbor’s house where a young couple lived. She told the emergency responder that the wife was pregnant and that she was terrified something had happened. When the officers arrived on the scene 20 minutes later they found no lights on in the windows and the front door ajar. They moved in slowly and made their way into the living room.

Inside they found a young woman, dead, with her abdomen slashed open. The wound was jagged and a trail of blood led from the body to the couch on the far end of the room. There sat her husband, the studio intern, naked, the corpse of his unborn child at his feet, dying. In his hand he held the rusty piece of metal siding he had used to gut his pregnant wife. The television was on and playing an 18 second loop of silent footage of a decomposing head mouthing some unintelligible words.

The story at the police precinct to this day goes that the intern kept saying under his breath, over and over again as they led him away: “The light of God calls them…”


Aug 5, 2014


A photograph of a woman with a ghostly extra in the background has been circulating the Internet.

The image was originally posted on Reddit by Daniel Tanner from New Hampshire who noticed something unusual in one of his friend's Facebook photographs. The picture shows a woman kneeling alongside her dog while the faint image of a mysterious figure can be seen peering through the door in the background.

"My friend has been claiming for months that her house is haunted," Tanner wrote. "Her husband took this pic a few days ago." Tanner maintains that the woman and her husband had been the only people present in the house at the time the picture was taken.

Opinions on the image have been mixed with theories ranging from a random shape or pattern in the reflection to a deliberate hoax. Some even believe the picture to show something genuinely unexplained and consider it one of the most convincing ghost photographs to appear online in some time.

Aug 1, 2014


An interesting future promises a specialized group of individuals called "memory detectives" who possess the strange ability to enter memories of their subjects. Much like psychics, these detectives, hailing from a company called Mindscape, are used in investigations on behalf of law enforcement to search memories of the repressed or the suspect to determine absolute truth. 

John Washington (Mark Strong, Zero Dark Thirty) plays one of these detectives, whose memory-entering abilities are high-watermark. Working under the gentle persuasion of his mentor, Sebastian (Brian Cox, Manhunter), John is tasked with investigating a teenage girl named Anna (Taissa Farmiga, that "American Horror Story" nonsense), who has opted to stop eating following a traumatic event, to determine if the girl is a genuine victim...or a sociopath with a penchant for mind games. 

Soon after meeting her and entering her memories for the first time, which include her witness to a pair of dysfunctional parents immersing in alcoholism, abuse, and betrayal, John gets sucked into a mystery involving a nasty accident at Anna's house - her father is convinced Anna is responsible and wants to commit her to an institution, but Anna begs John to look beyond the accusations against her and search for the real truth.

Anna has an interesting premise and is competently handled. Despite being a mishmash of "Millennium," The Cell, Inception, and the tiniest bit of Lolita, for extra hot/wrongness, it all comes off as rather fresh and unique. It's almost surreal watching Strong stand by in Anna's collection of memories and bearing witness to the events as they unfold in her mind, and then later watching him interact with characters and ask them questions that have directly to do with the memories he experienced quite second-hand.

Director Jorge Dorado shines in his first feature film and first spoken-English project, and he's collected a classy cast for the honor. Mark Strong doesn't often carry the lead role, and his turn as John makes you wonder why. He's pretty great, in this and in everything he does. Brian Cox's screen time is unfortunately limited, but when he's on screen, he does his Brian Cox thing, which is: be awesome. Realistically, though, this is Taissa Farmiga's show. Being that she's someone you're not supposed to fully trust, she does a great job of riding that line between victim and psycho.

Like many other films involving a haunted protagonist, Strong's insistence on helping Anna has less to do with his personal involvement with her (at least at first) and more to do with the tragedy that seems to have befallen someone very close to him, glimpses of which we're provided, and only fleetingly at first until the film approaches its conclusion. Yeah, the whole "saving a stranger = saving my child/wife/whomever" has been done before, but like I always say: do something a hundred times and I'm cool with it, so long as you do it well. Dorado and Strong do it quite well.

The ending will likely generate controversy among its viewers. Many will ask, "That's it?" But there's more going on than some cheap twist out of left field. It's less about "how?" and more about "why?" Both Anna and Anna ask that age-old question: What is reality? Are memories of the mind real? They are, after all, only as accurate as the mind in which they exist is stable. Are they more or less real if they exist within a sound mind versus one of a sociopath, or a victim repressing and/or manipulating them to make them more bearable? And if memory has the power to obscure the truth, then what is truth?

And, simply put, what good is it?

Anna hits video August 5.