Archive for June, 2011

Falling Skies

JT and I finally finished the pilot episode of Falling Skies this evening, in addition to cooking out by the pool. FS reminded me quite a bit of Walking Dead and Y: The Last Man, which isn’t a bad thing, but it remains to be seen if FS can distinguish itself from being just another story about how humans, even in the face of destruction, will find something to argue about. The pilot is a bit heavy on the history lessons, and there will most likely be a Trojan Horse somewhere, or Jeff Goldblum will write a virus.  Also, in a situation such as this, where they are bedding down in people’s abandoned houses and the world is ending, I think there would likely be much more sex.  However the bit about prayer was thought provoking (I don’t ask God for things, I ask Him how I can serve Him.).

JT and I both agreed that it would have been awesome if, when the kids are enjoying a moment of normalcy riding the skateboard, an alien had appeared from nowhere and shot one of them.  Game on.

On another note, but not meriting a full post, I was gratified to see Futurama‘s shout out to The Iron Giant in tonight’s ending, where Bender’s spirit gathers all his parts together just like TIG.  We’ll see if io9 picks up on that one.

The Animal Kingdom is, in fact, the hottest park

For years, it has been a family meme that the Animal Kingdom is the hottest Disney park, if not the hottest place on earth.  Talking with Dr. Dreidel this evening, he independently verified the belief and offered a reason why.  This was meant to be a lmgtfy moment, but I haven’t had much luck with the old G this evening.  I’m going to ask Jeeves in a minute. A link would be appreciated.

It turns out that Animal Kingdom was originally designed cause the visitor to be disoriented, to make it difficult to get one’s bearings.  This was to encourage the visitor to become uninhibited and to explore.  The park was eventually adjusted to be more traditional, but the sight lines remained broken (personally, I never know where I am in the park).  As a result, the flow of air (and people, for that matter) through the park is hindered, allowing hot air to stagnate, unmoved by cooler air.  Possibly shenanigans, but it makes sense.

As an aside, I’m watching Brigadoon on TCM and it is seriously bringing back memories of high school.  The mist of May is in the gloamin’ indeed.

Pro-life isn’t quite as weird as I thought

Cleaning out my Netflix queue and redoubling my efforts to explore the intersection of religion and horror, I watched Pro-life this evening.  As my smart phone was charging and I was too lazy to get my laptop, I was quickly confused by this movie.  It had the eff word and was too violent for network TV, but clocked in at 58 minutes and was directed by John Carpenter.  I surmised that it may have been made for premium cable, but I had no proof.  Then there was the story content.  This is basically the old “Rest of the story” tale that presented the case for and against abortion where Hitler is the case for and Leonardo DaVinci is the case against, because both were nearly the victims of abortion.  Only there is no case against abortion and the case for abortion is the spawn of the devil.  Really weird.

A little plot.  The tale is about a girl who is running from something and just happens to almost get hit by a car carrying two abortion doctors who are on their way to their abortion compound.  The girl just so happens to be pregnant and her father just happens to be an anti-abortion activist against whom the hospital has a restraining order.  The abortionists accuse the father (played by the inimitable Ron Perlman) of impregnating his daughter, he implores them to save the baby, there’s a stand off, some killing, some torture, and then the girl admits she was raped by Satan.  She gives birth to Lucifer’s spawn and then the devil himself shows up.  The girl kills the baby, who is like a human/crab hybrid, and Satan, ever the loving father, weeps.

Watching it, I thought that so much about this is quite weird.  Then I found out it was an episode of the series Masters of Horror on Showtime.  That made it seem so much more common.  It did make me want to rewatch Drive Angry and Season of the Witch and to finally get to see Red State.  Not a great way to waste an hour, especially if you’re looking for nuance in the intersection of horror and Jesus.

The guy from Royal Pains is one of the abortion doctors.

One other thing, I think, in addition to the menstrual blood, some of my vampires could be abortion doctors.  They could be like the evil tornado-ologists who ride in the black vans in the Bill Paxton Helen Hunt magnum opus, Twister.  Easily, this vampire story will be the most demented ever put to paper and/or film.

The movie Suck most certainly does not

With my home theatre around 90% complete (I still need to fabricate a cooling system), I decided to get back into the swing of vampire/Jesus movies.  Looking at the ole Netflix queue, I happened upon a vampire movie that has been on there for quite sometime, the commonly named, straight to video, Suck.  I also noticed it had a 4.5 star rating.  I was looking for something around 90 minutes, so it would do nicely.  How nicely it would do, I hadn’t imagined.  With larger than cameo performances from Dave Foley (the voice of Flick the grasshopper), Malcolm McDowell (as Eddie Van Helsing), and Alice Cooper, the film follows the trajectory of a dime a dozen band that becomes one in a million after it’s female lead singer is turned into a vampire. (Looking at the credits, there a quite a few other cameos I’m apparently not cool enough to get.) With a snappy script (How am I going to look at my self in the mirror after killing Victor?  You don’t have to worry about that now, you’re a vampire.) and a really clever take on Renfield as a French Canadian Roadie, it’s definitely in the top 5 vampire movies I’ve seen. There’s also a vampire who looks for all the world like Johnny Depp’s crappy Mad HatterIt’s got tons of nods to other vampire and werewolf movies (including Blacula and Lair of the White Worm) without feeling derivative or like Scary Movie. The music is quite good, as well, to the extent that it works as a musical.  I was actually hooked after realizing that the opening number was a kind of reworking of a song (I forget which) from Rocky Horror.

Watch this movie.  It rivals Bitten, though the lack of nudity is regretful. It’s kind of insanely ambitious.

Return of the Living Dead


I started watching Return of the Living Dead on the way to DisneyWorld a couple weeks ago, but lost the 3G signal somewhere in Georgia.  I made it only through about 19%.  I finished the final 81% this morning.  RotLD (Not Rolling on the Lavatory Door) is a for the most part pleasant comedy about a zombie outbreak in a medical supply company when a barrel of toxic government gas is mistakenly exposed to some cadavers.  The movie is supposed to take place in Louisville, Kentucky, which was apparently chosen at random because no local landmarks are featured.  Not even the Galt House, which would be a perfect place for Victorian zombie prostitutes.  The cast reminded me of That 80s Show, a program that I have never seen.  I’m not alone in that lack of endeavour, as it was canceled after 13 episodes.  Nonetheless, my impression was that the show was comprised of an amalgamation of 80s stereotypes, which is precisely what is featured in RotLD.  There’s a pastel jacketed dude, a punk rocker with a mohawk, a black guy who makes it to the end (he does die, as Louisville is nuked at the end.  Sorry for the spoiler.  It came out in 1985. You had your chance.), a material girl who spends nearly all of her time naked (nice), and so on.  The special effects are pretty phenomenal for mid eighties.  There’s an awesome zombie puppet which totally looks (un) alive, were it not for the frequent use of ‘B’ words which require lips the zombie does not have. 
Looks like cocaine is involved in the first scene of the pilot:
The ending is fairly similar to Escape from L.A., which is to say not very happy.  Not a bad way to waste 90 or so minutes.

 

Taboo: The Beginning of Erotic Cinema

So, in addition to watching Return of the Dead on Netflix today, I also watched Taboo: The Beginning of Erotic Cinema about pronography before the Hayes code in Hollywood.  American pron was pretty tame, but some of the French stuff, well, they couldn’t show it because it “left nothing to the imagination.  Nothing to the imagination.”  I thought that was kind of interesting that the modern sensibility is so fragile that we are not allowed to see pron made in the 1920s.  I suppose I might get the vapors.

I am quite amused by the wealth of “sex documentaries” Netflix uses as a way to include copious amounts of nudity, and that youtube is rife with spanking videos, which is a trick used by the pron industry (and Bettie Page) in the 1950s.  In that regard, this documentary does not disappoint, with questionable production values and narration that reminded me of The Planet’s Funniest Animals or one of those compilations of commercials you see on the television every now and again.  The narration is more jolly than academic and it tells the story as if you already know the punchline. I will let you know that lesbian pron is not a new innovation.

Youtube does not have a trailer, so here’s a scene from The Planet’s Funniest Animals:

Roeblingfest

Visiting Roeblingfest (probably the only time I’ll ever link to a Chamber of Commerce site) before heading to the fambly reunion at Bluelicks. Feels like an episode of Doctor Who as you can see below. No Daleks though.

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Magic Kingdom movie. Michael Chabon. I had my own idea.

Michael Chabon has been tapped to write a movie titled, and apparently set in, The Magic Kingdom. (of DisneyWorld)  I have conjectured on this before, and, given Chabon’s history, especially with Yiddish Policeman’s Union (an alternative history where displaced Jews are relocated to Alaska rather than Israel after WWII), I think my idea might work.  Showing the alternative history of Kruschev’s visit to DisneyLand would be awesome.  It would necessarily have a not quite happy ending, but it would be a great way for Pixar to recreate the park soon after it opened.

Hipstamatic

That is a cigar.  And a newsie hat.

Save the ta-tas

JT changed this to the almost appealing “save the At-Ats.”. Clever one, that kid.