Posts tagged monster movie

Early Cthulhumas

Last week Wednesday, Jason and I celebrated Cthulhumas early, as he was flying to visit his family for the holidays. We did it up in proper style–I took him out to dinner, he took me out for drinks, and then we went home, opened gifts, and watched Sharktopus, because my man knows what I like. No one cried, so it wasn’t technically a holiday, but it was lovely nonetheless.

At first glance, Sharktopus appears to be about a half-shark, half octopus hybrid, which for some undiscernable reason has both whiskers on its face and bayonets on the tips of its tentacles, neither of which are found on either species in nature. Upon further reflection, I have decided that existence of Sharktopus is proof that Syfy loathes its target audience. The cancellation of Stargate Universe, the mere existence of Caprica–these things were evidence that Syfy kind of disliked the people to whom they cater, but Sharktopus is hard proof, a bayonetted-tentacle slap across the face that screams “OH GOD WE HATE YOU FUCKING NERDS SO FUCKING MUCH AND THIS IS HOW WE’RE GOING TO HURT YOU.”

Bad movies can be wonderfully fun, and given my intense love for trash culture, I enjoy a wide range of B movies, from the earnest-yet-inept to the self-aware. Sharktopus falls squarely into the self-aware category, however, the entire thing is done with a wink and a nod in a sort-of insulting way. “I bet you retards would like to see some dudes get yanked off the side of a boat while eating sandwiches. *WINK* Here ya go, assholes!” “Let’s see, I bet you shitstains would laugh if a stacked girl in a bikini found a gold coin on the beach and was so excited she started jumping up and down, jumbling her jubbly jiggly bits, and then BAM, sharktopus, all while some creepy dude watches and doesn’t help and then takes the coin she found. *WINK* There it is! We just gave you jerkoffs jackoff material for a month. By the way, the creepy dude and the pimpled teenager who shouts ‘AWESOME’ when he sees Sharktopus attack are both allegorical to what we think of you, our audience. Fucksticks.” Look, Syfy–if *I* can see what you’re really saying, it’s obvious. Maybe tone the hatred of your audience down a little? Or turn the production of your made-for-tv crapsterpieces over to someone who isn’t so bitterly resentful that he’s directing this instead of something like Black Swan that he infuses it with all of his loathing? Just a thought.

As far as the gift-giving went, Jason either genuinely liked all of the things I got for him, or he’s a far better actor than anyone in Sharktopus. I had done some snooping around on the internet and found his Amazon wishlist of two items, only one of which would make a suitable gift. He said that one was a genuine suprise, unlike the piles and piles of socks–athletic socks and support socks and squishy socks and fuzzy socks and moisture-wicking socks and god knows what other superpowers dude socks have. This is the thing about dude socks: I am used to purchasing lady socks, which are sold according to the laws of cuteness and softness–there really is no other standard that I have seen. Dude socks are all sold on the basis of performance enhancement, a concept with which I am unfamiliar in terms of socks. Arch support socks, cushion socks, odor-resistant socks, moisture-wicking socks, penis-enlarging socks, 50-yard-dash speed socks, bear-fighting socks, socks that will sneak out of the house at night and slay your enemies while you slumber peacefully…the list goes on and on. How am I supposed to know what sort of sock is the ideal sock? The World’s Greatest Sock? “To hell with it,” I muttered (truly, an embodiment of the holiday spirit), and bought some of each. Maybe we’ll need to hold some sort of sock endurance test, with graphs and charts.

He also said he’d like a t-shirt, maybe a matching t-shirt with me, which is not something I’m super-comfortable with because, hey, I’ve spent a long time building this obnoxious identity and it’s not going to go down without a fight. But I did find something that would make us both happy–the coordinating but not matching glow-in-the-dark Tron shirts at Threadless. I also got him some shower stuff that smells like apple pie, as he mentioned that apple pie is one of his favorite-ever smells–the best part about philosophy shower stuff (in my opinion) is that it smells amazing in the shower or while you’re taking a bath, but the scent doesn’t linger beyond the shower, so you don’t have to smell like apple pie or pumpkin spice muffin or gingerbread or peppermint bark or whatever for the rest of the day.

He got me a boxed copy of “Yo! Noid!” for the NES, a game (surprisingly) made by Capcom that’s essentially a big advertisement for Dominos pizza that I have a lot of nostalgia for that disappeared in the Great Game-Selling of Nineteen Ninety-Something, when my brother decided that the family NES was now his NES so he could pawn it for pennies to Funcoland and get a SNES. I’m not bitter or mad about this at all. Noooooo sir. Maybe a little. Anyhow, when I started working at Gamestop, I began to recollect these NES games, and I got my hands on most all of the titles that I remember playing as a drooling brace-faced child–pretty well all of them save “Yo! Noid!” which never showed up as a trade-in at the store. I had mentioned how bad games hold a special place in my collection and my heart to him in one of our earliest communications, and how it was missing “Yo! Noid!”…and he remembered, and it’s no longer missing.

He also got me this monstrosity:


Look at how huge it is compared to what I was using before (which was also a gift so I’m kind of loathe to get rid of it, though I have absolutely no idea what I’d use it for)! I hardly know what to do with so much screen real estate. Using Photoshop is going to be awesome now–no more toolbars piled upon toolbars which are piled upon yet more toolbars!

Best non-holiday ever.

More Monster Movie Madness

Oct 4th: Wes Craven’s New Nightmare 1994, color. “A demonic force has chosen Freddy Krueger as its portal to the real world. Can Heather play the part of Nancy one last time and trap the evil trying to enter our world?” I’m torn on this one. On one hand, it was a clever way to reintroduce Freddy. On the other, they eliminated the quirky kills that define Freddy as a monster and the one or two quips are halfhearted and a bit embarrassing.

Oct 5th: From a Whisper to a Scream Also known as The Offspring, 1987, color. On the evening his niece is being executed by lethal injection, a historian relates four tales about the town in which they live to a reporter, as he believes a great evil lives there and has tormented the settlers every generation, causing them to do evil things. These stories are similar to the type told on Tales From the Crypt, wherein everyone who behaves badly gets their comeuppance in a sort-of poignant way.

The first story is about a deeply awkward, squirrely man who lives with his sister, who has some sort of medical condition that causes Mr. Squirrely to have to bathe her in icewater daily. The impression is conveyed that the sister is more than hot temperature-wise for her brother, and that maybe a flipper-baby would be happy to join her in the tub. Mr. Squirrely, for his part, is deeply infatuated with a woman at work who is clearly out of his league, sends her flowers anonymously, and when he reveals himself to her as her secret admirer, she is less than receptive but agrees to go on one date with him. Mr. Squirrely, overjoyed, announces to his sister that he has a date and practically skips out the front door, in the most awkward manner possible. It’s a wonder he didn’t smack his face on the door frame. The date goes abysmally, Mr. Squirrely informs the woman that he loves her, that he’s written a song for her, and christ almighty, he begins to try and sing it. The woman tells Mr. Squirrely not to embarrass himself, at which point he attempts to force himself on her. She tries to fight him off, at which point he kills her. At her open-casket wake, Mr. Squirrely pops open some champagne, pours a glass for each of them, and has his way with her corpse. (All together now: EWWWWWWWW!) When he gets home, his sister looks like she’s been shot with Homer Simpson’s makeup shotgun set on incompetent whore, and informs him that she needs her bath. She does her best to seductively slink into the tub while he halfheartedly begins the process, and then she tries to make her move, something about siblings sticking together for Daddy’s sake and how hard she worked to make herself pretty for him, and Mr. Squirrely can take it no more and drowns her in the bathtub. After this, Mr. Squirrely goes and sits in the living room (christ, how can one man make SITTING IN A CHAIR look so awkward?) and he is disturbed by the sound of something breaking into the house. This something appears to be a ghoulie, but as Mr. Squirrely falls down the stairs in fear, it is revealed to be his monstrous child. Grosssss. The lesson here is: Don’t be gross. Seriously.

In the second story, a man is on the run from mobsters, gets injured, and finds himself in the cabin of an old man, who turns out to be much older than he appears…300 years old, in fact. He has developed some sort of life-rejuvenating serum, and the man on the run attacks this old man in the hopes of getting his hands on this serum. The old man had already given Asswipe some, and when his end comes…it is gruesome. The lesson here is: Don’t help people. Especially asswipes.

In the third story, a glass-and-razor-blade-eating carny falls for some carny groupie, but their love is not to be, because the voodoo-practicing carnival owner won’t allow her property to leave. Mr. Glass Eater tries to resist this groupie, but she is insistent, and convinces him to meet her in a graveyard to make out, because that is clearly the hottest place to get it on, according to this film. As Mr. Glass Eater begins groping Carny Groupie’s bum, she shrieks, and he pulls his hand away in horror to find that his fingers now all have razor blades at their tips, turning him into a half-assed Wolverine. The voodoo-practicing carnival owner laughs and laughs and tells Mr. Glass Eater that she knows where he’s been and that he’d better never leave again, because she can take his glass-eating powers away at any time and rip him up from the inside. This first demonstration was not enough, so Mr. Glass Eater and Carny Groupie run away together to a hotel, at which point razor blades begin shooting out of Mr. Glass’ body, splattering the room and the Carny Groupie with gore. After Mr. Glass is dead, Carny Groupie is forced into the carnival herself as his replacement, The Amazing Human Pincushion. The lesson here is: If you love a freakshow, their qualities will rub off on you. (Shut up, I am not Aesop. This moralizing is difficult!)

In the fourth story, the Civil War is over and towns are wartorn. A douche-y Yankee shoots a few Dixie soldiers who had surrendered, because even though the war is over, he is determined to kill them all. A member of his company tries to leave and go home, and Douche-y Yankee shoots him in the back. Eventually, he finds himself in a town run by children, who stab him in the balls and take him prisoner, according to the orders of ‘The Magistrate’. One of the children, a young girl, has lost her eye in the war along with her father, and Douche-y Yankee says, gee, what a coincidence, his daughter by the same name was killed in the war, and if she’ll only agree to untie him, SHE could be his daughter and he’ll get her fixed up by the best doctors and it will be like nothing ever happened. Naive and not realizing that eye transplants are a thing of the DISTANT future and not exactly Civil War technology, she unties Douche-y Yankee and gives him a hug. He snaps her neck and runs away, only to be recaptured. The children reveal that The Magistrate is made of bits and pieces of their blown-up parents that they’ve sewed back together, and now The Magistrate is telling the children that fire will cleanse the sin off this man and make him fit to eat. The lesson here is: Children are fucking creepy.

Oct 6th: Jason Goes to Hell 1993, color. For a movie with “goes to hell” in the title, I expected a little more Hell. Maybe some devil-fighting. My expectations were a little too high, methinks. It did have some Captain Adam Fuller, straight out of 21 Jump Street, though, and a cute head-nod to Quint in Jaws.

Oct 7th: Carrie 1976, color. I love this movie. It’s so well-done, and Sissy Spacek plays the role of Carrie perfectly, with a believable fragility. Her few moments of blossoming happiness juxtaposed with fiery revenge is particularly effective. It also touches on how your perceptions about how others see you can be incorrect, and that revenge can not only be unsatisfying but can also harm the undeserving. Also, fun fact: for continuity purposes, Sissy Spacek slept in ‘bloody’ (karo syrup and food coloring, though she was willing to have real blood dumped on her) clothes and skin for three days.

Oct 8th: His Name Was Jason 2009, color. A documentary about 30 years of Friday the 13th. This movie had a LOT of Tom Savini talking about makeup effects which made me VERY happy. It also revealed that the directors would like to take a collective dump on people who care about series continuity, because this is one series that was never really interested in continuity.

Oct 9th: The Amityville Horror 1979, color. The book scared the hell out of me as a kid. It had TRUE STORY printed right on the pages. How could a publisher lie about something being true? …Quite easily if it makes money, it turns out. Here is a direct quote from the movie: “Jesus Christ, it gets worse all the time.” That effectively sums it up. The book scared 8 year old me. The movie bored the shit out of 28 year old me. Oh wow, a dramatic driving over a bridge sequence AND a barking dog? You don’t say! Get me my smelling salts, I’m feeling the vapours come on.

Oct 10th: Albert Fish: In Sin He Found Salvation 2007, color. I pulled and wore a horrible face for the entirety of this movie. “Albert Fish, the horrific true story of elderly cannibal, sadomasochist, and serial killer, who lured children to their deaths in Depression-era New York City. Distorting biblical tales, Albert Fish takes the themes of pain, torture, atonement and suffering literally as he preys on victims to torture and sacrifice. Includes interviews with artist and Odditorium owner, Joe Coleman, and true-crime author, Katherine Ramsland, Ph.D.” It takes a LOT for me to find something distasteful. I’ve built a life of reveling in trash, but the way this was handled made it pretty clear that the director/editor/whatever were titilated by the subject matter, like they were glorifying the shitstain of a person that was Albert Fish, and it was obscene in a way that made me want to retch.

Oct 11th: Them! 1954, b/w. Nuclear testing causes mutant ants to descend on a New Mexico town and wreak havoc while searching for food. This was one of the first movies to deal with the populace’s fears of the atomic age, and has been a HUGE influence on sci-fi and horror cinema–you see references and blatant rip-offs everywhere, mostly by James Cameron (don’t sue me!). Terminator 2, Aliens, Titani–ok, not Titanic.

Up tonight: The Machine Girl!

Oh jinkies, it’s the Ghost Adventures drinking game!

On Friday, I went to a friend’s place to have dinner, gossip, and play the Ghost Adventures drinking game. If you’re not familiar with Ghost Adventures, it’s a show about grown men who have decided to investigate supposedly haunted areas and their theory is that they can draw the ghosts out via taunting. It’s three men, standing in the dark, illuminated by night vision cameras in an empty room, screaming at nothing. In a word, it’s amazing. It’s like a slumber party for dudes minus the nail-painting and lasting psychological damage. If people think *I’m* an overacter (and the majority of the population does), I’ve got NOTHING on these guys.

We watched two episodes, one from the first season when they visit a country-music bar that they have heard is “the gateway to hell” and the second was the newest episode, where they revisit that place. The first time around, they went crawling through some drainage pipes and then had themselves locked into the building at night. The ringleader of this ridiculous spectacle, Zak, began to complain about some heat and pain on his back after screaming at the ghosts that if they wanted to attack someone, they ought to attack him. His shirt was lifted, and to the sounds of much dramatic freaking out by all of them, they discovered that he had three faint scratches on his back. Zak’s voice started cracking as he demanded at the air to know why something had injured him, when it’s patently obvious that he had injured himself earlier in the day in the drainage pipes because his skin was not reacting in a way that would be consistent with scratches that had supposedly just occurred. Zak decided to consult a ‘priest’ (I have my doubts) about his injuries, and the priest claims that it’s three scratches to represent the holy trinity. Demon ghosts are all about god symbolism, you see. Totally.

When Zak returns to the scene for the next episode, he again freaks out and claims that this is where he got his ‘scars’. Really, guy? Three light, faint scratches managed to scar your delicate skin? The scars are never shown and I am calling shenanigans. I also called shenanigans when the ‘priest’ insisted that the camera be shut off when he was supposedly exorcising one the guys. SHENANIGANS. You can’t have a show about taping everything to prove that there are ghosts and then shut off the cameras when it’s easier than faking demonic possession.

Regardless, the drinking game is as follows:

1. One drink per Zak voice over 2. Two drinks per Aaron “OMG” freak out and run 3. One drink per EVP 4. Chug for entire duration of a ‘possession’ 5. Two drinks per disproportionate conclusion Zak comes to when talking out loud (for example, if they hear some random clicking sound–“Is that the sound of the gun that Roger Rogerson loaded before taking the life of his girlfriend and then himself?”) 6. One drink per new piece of unexplained electronic equipment 7. One drink per ridiculous camera angle

…we drank a LOT.