“Where in the world,” I barked, indigent, “do meerkats and chupacabras co-exist in the same habitat?”

Husband, round clear vowels disguising any impatience he may have felt, intoned, “Noooowheeeeere.”

Even before the words were out of my mouth I knew this was a dumb question and that I should stop watching Tivo’d SyFy Saturday night craptaculars and get some real work done.


Then we un-paused Chupacabra: Dark Seas (aka Chupacabra Terror) and wallowed in the hilarity.

There will be spoilers in this post, but only for those not astute enough to figure out that a movie whose ads imply it might as well be titled “Chupacabra on the Love Boat with buckets of fake blood and a guy in a rubber monster suit” is going to involve a chupacabra getting loose on a cruise ship.

[embedded: Chupacabra: Dark Seas (aka Chupacabra Terror) trailer]

Giancarlo Esposito plays a cryptozoologist transporting an animal in the cargo hold of a cruise ship. It’s a chupacabra, but don’t tell anyone! It’s a chupacabra who lives on a caribbean island with meerkats! Silly meerkats, why do you think you should only live in Africa?

And the cruise? It’s a chupacabra-themed cruise!

No. Really.

chupacabra: dark seas

Chupacabra: Dark Seas

I don’t wish to ruin it for you, but when the chupacabra breaks out of the cargo hold and starts chowing down on all the tasty passengers and crew, he doesn’t look anything like the novelty chupacabra carved vegetable centerpiece shown in that photograph.

John Rhys-Davies, as the ship’s captain, seems to be imploring the viewer to use this movie as an opportunity to forget Dragonstorm.

Alien dragons? Fat chance we’ll forget that.

Esposito plays accent roulette, mumbling through awkward dialogue as his chupacabra gets loose on the ship and mayhem ensues.

“I have trapped it before. I can trap it again!”

He says that line more than once. In the same scene.

The captain’s daughter is also the ship’s Tae Bo instructor. I’d forgotten about Tae Bo. I found this fantastic New York Times article (March 21, 1999) about Tae Bo:

A friend of mine says that Tae-Bo is the macarena of exercise: irresistible moves with a beat that anyone can do and look sort of O.K. Men and women, young and old, all ”get” Tae-Bo, because a punch is an instinctive move.

Nothing about yoga, by contrast, is instinctive. (You remember yoga, don’t you? The ”inner” workout?) Yoga is weird and painful and elitist; it made you feel like you weren’t quite a member of the club. And that awful feeling of being left out meant that you weren’t primed to receive the mystical yummies that yoga was hawking. Besides, unless you were writhing around with all your pierced buddies down at Jivamukit on Lafayette Street in Manhattan, yoga was boring.

Perhaps oneness is out. In any case, the mild aggression of Tae-Bo feels like a welcome palate cleanser.

I just looked up at the screen and someone was on fire. I have no idea who or why. I don’t think it matters, it just looked cool. The Navy Seals (who up to this point I thought were supposed to be some sort of comedy-relief coast guard auxiliary) are ineffective at stopping the chupacabra. Luckily, the captain, his daughter and his old navy buddy who happens to be on the cruise, save the day.

The captain’s daughter defeats the chupacabra with – I am not making this up – Tae Bo.

Husband proclaims, “You can’t use yoga on a chupacabra!” Which would have made a great tagline for this movie.

Then we watched Chupacabra vs the Alamo, which stars Erik Estrada as a DEA agent who does battle with….chupacabra. At the Alamo. On Cinco de Mayo. Sure, why not? The Onion A/V Club hits all the highlights so I don’t have to, although I would like to state for the record that I think the chupacabras in Alamo would be more realistic than the one in Dark Seas, if chupacabras were real.

One last thing: one of the actors in Chupacabra: Dark Seas played Amy the gorilla in Congo.

Amy good gorilla.

Good night.


Speaking of apes, which we weren’t, it’s Friday night, which means it’s finally time to watch BloodMonkey. I know we promised to watch it as a double feature with Flying Monkeys, but we lied.

This movie is so Not Good we hadn’t even gotten through the title sequence before a cocktail party broke out here in the living room.

So, BloodMonkey. A bunch of sociocultural anthropology graduate students go into the jungles of Thailand. Little do they know, BloodMonkeys live in the jungles of Southeast Asia. The students traipse into the jungle to work with megalomaniacal anthropologist Conrad Hamilton, played by Fidel Castro as played by F. Murray Abraham.

Sociocultural anthropologists who cavort about in the jungle collecting new species of wildlife?

Hint: this is not what sociocultural anthropologists do.

Technically, primatologists do something sort of vaguely not really kind of like what these people might possibly be doing, if gigantic bloodsucking gorillas actually existed and biological anthropologists or primatologists or biologists or zoologists were still chasing the idea of a missing link and those researchers got enough funding to randomly fly dozens of inexperienced grad students halfway across the world just so…well, it’s not really clear why they were chosen to fly to Southeast Asia.

Wait…I know…

This large group of inexperienced grad students were flown half-way around the world to die, bloody.

Yes, it all makes more sense to me now.

Clearly, I’m sober and it’s impairing my SyFy craptacular film judgment.

Hey! While I wasn’t paying attention the grad students developed some knowledge of anatomy and physiology, sort ot, but I think that’s just so when BloodMonkey shows up they’ll know what’s killing them.

Real primatologists would be able to tell that this thing that’s killing them all isn’t a BloodMonkey at all. It’s a BloodApe. BloodApe doesn’t have the same zing, does it?

What I really want to do here is move the “tags” from the footer of each post up into the byline, just below the “categories” list, but I can’t do that while BloodMonkey leeches away my IQ, so instead I’m just cleaning up the header and some of the navigation elements over there in the far-right column. This place is a mess. I’m a terrible blogger.

We’re also eating frozen custard. Banana pudding, in honor of BloodMonkey. Not really. We’re eating banana pudding frozen custard because that was the flavor of the day at the Dairy Godmother so I got some this afternoon and stashed it in the freezer for later because it’s awesome.

BloodyMonkey? Not awesome.

Wait, what just happened? Um, I guess that’s the end of the movie. I think it’s best to just let it rest in peace. BloodMonkey was bad, but it’s wasn’t Bad. And that’s too bad, because that means it was just boring when it wasn’t annoying us with it’s representations of anthropology, primatology, and with the way it besmirched the good name of BloodApes.

We should have made this a double feature with Congo but I think Husband is smart enough not to let that happen. Watching Congo late on a Friday night runs the risk we’ll be running around the house chanting, “Amy Good Gorilla” all weekend.

That’s a terrible quality clip, but it’s midnight and my brain has just been broken by BloodMonkey and the custard is wearing off and it’s the best I could do after almost 20 seconds of youtube searching.

Sinister scared me witless. In honor of the Washington Post’s squirrel week, here’s my review of Sinister, which has almost nothing to do with squirrels but almost everything to do with why I’m never going into our attic ever again.

This (Hollywood) cheap horror movie riffs on found footage, snuff films, voyeurs, arrogant writers, technology, and the horrors that lurk in the suburbs. And in the attic. Horrors.


Here’s the official trailer for Sinister, which is creepy and spoils way more about this movie than my post does:

Ethan Hawke plays an arrogant, self-absorbed true-crime writer who uproots his family and moves into a house where, unbeknownst to his family, the subjects of his latest book died. Violently. Then he finds a mysterious box of home movies in the attic and unleashes evil upon his household.

The ad campaign and that trailer give away more about the movie than I do, so if you later feel that this post spoiled the movie for you, it’s really the film’s marketing campaign you should blame, not me.

Unless you’re one of those people who can’t derive the smallest amount of satisfaction from anything in life if it’s not shrouded entirely in complete mystery until the very second in which you view it. If that’s the case, the internet is not a good place for you to be knocking about.

Plus, you must be incredibly annoying.

I watched a woman flip out on her friends for telling her that there’s a love triangle on Lost. I witnessed this a little over a week ago. March. 2013.

Lost aired from 2004-2010. It was a TV show with more than 2 characters. Ergo, it was required by the federal court of TV and motion picture law to have a minimum of 1 love triangle per story arc. Over 6 seasons that’s a lot of complicated geometry.

Spoiler Alert Girl was really tightly wound and, evidently, humorless, which is both the reason I wanted to yell, “The plane crashes and there’s time travel and the goddamn Hobbit drowns!” and also the reason I refrained from doing so.

But I digress.

There was something about Sinister’s sound design, the forward momentum of the story, the cinematography, and a few good old-fashioned jump scares that kept my attention. We watch a lot of less-good movies, but I think my standards for (non-craptastic movies) is still pretty high. I often blog my way through the the craptastic ones. Sinister is (visually) very dark and looks great when viewed in a darkened room, so I scribbled a few notes in a notebook but otherwise paid attention. Plus, the tappity-tappity on my macbook would have been distracting, since, like I said, the sound design had some subtle, interesting elements.

I did have to pause the movie three times. The first time was fairly early on, when the writer’s wife wants to leave the house because she and their two kids are miserable and the writer makes the big annoying, “it’s our dream to be on the bestseller lists and win book awards and do the talk show circuit,” speech while his wife pleads with him to think of the family.

I’m really tired of the cliche wherein it’s noble for a family to make sacrifices for the father’s writing career. Consequently, Husband was treated to a treatise on the subject before we could resume our movie-viewing adventure. In popular culture, women who ask their families to sacrifice for their careers raise children who become serial killers. I presume, if a woman was ever portrayed as both writer and bread-winner, her kid would bring about the apocalypse.

Bad mommy. Bad. Bad. Bad.

My tirade was probably extra-cranky because I’d read this just hours before we watched the movie, “VIDA’s Count — Women and Ambition: A Discussion in Here, not out There.”

But again, I digress.

Sinister has been in our Netflix queue since it came out on bluray. At the PCA/ACA National Conference, we heard Marc Olivier present a paper, “Sinister Celluloid: The Textural Crisis of Horror in the Age of Instagram,” that intrigued us enough to finally watch the movie. (The paper’s abstract at that link may contain spoilers, so I’m not going to post any pullquotes from it here. You annoying spoiler-crazy people have been warned). Despite seeing pivotal clips during Olivier’s intriguing presentation and hearing a great deal about the plot of the movie, when we got around to watching it I still found it to be full of fun surprises and seriously creepy.

The basic premise – evil is unleashed by someone viewing evil’s celluloid leavings – isn’t original. Olivier pointed out the tribute Sinister pays to movies like Ringu and raised interesting questions about the role of outmoded technologies in horror movies – particularly when they’re used as the backbone of the story. Since I’m more likely to listen for soundtrack cliches and canned or poorly executed foley, I appreciated Olivier’s primer on this movie’s visual pre-cursers, especially how it pays homage to Blow Up. I also understand Olivier’s points about why the concept – dude watches film strip and evil wackiness ensues – has worn pretty thin.

Still, while Sinister isn’t a great movie, or probably even an especially good movie, I think it’s an effective horror movie.

While I don’t think that whole “demon uses technology” trope, especially when it involves that most self-referential of Hollywood technologies, film, has been clever for a while, the treatment in Sinister was fresher than I expected because the story wasn’t weighed down with tedious explanations for how the demon does anything.

It’s a demon.

It’s powerful.

It’s had millenia to learn how to operate a camera or make things materialize or rearrange the furniture. If there was some ridiculous Latin incantation or symbol that could destroy it, it wouldn’t be nearly as scary or powerful, would it? The Exorcist taught us important rules about hauntings and possessions, but the most important one of all may be that if we lived in a world where demons could only be exorcised by Catholics, then only Catholics would have demons.

Wait. What? Let’s just move on from that, okay?

Vincent D’Onofrio has a cameo as a professor who susses out a bit of backstory for Ethan Hawke’s demon, Bughuul. He supplies just enough information to keep the viewer from thinking too much, but not enough to slow the movie down. Excluding any elaborate mythology or physics-esque explanations about how a demon can do stuff eliminates the need to construct much internal story logic. I don’t mean to say that the filmmakers used the “Sure, why not?” method of screenwriting, just that they didn’t introduce any elements that foreshadow a tidy eleventh-hour resolution to the haunting.

The ads showed a figure painting a wall with blood, so I figure it’s safe to mention how effective the scene is where we see the walls of a house painted in blood. The ancient cave art imagery evoked by this smartly shows that this demon uses images to propel itself through time and space. The medium both is and isn’t the message for Bughuul.

While these types of movies usually speak to some sort of deep-seated culture fear of technological progress, I don’t think that’s the case with Sinister. If that’s what the filmmakers intended, I think they failed, and I think that’s for the best. The idea that Bughuul has been eating souls since humans lived in caves and will probably still be eating souls in a colony on Mars is kind of interesting, I think.

Alas, it also leaves the door open for sequels, and that may be an unfortunate path to take. It wasn’t that this movie had a neat and tidy resolution, I’m just not really sure there’s a point to a sequel – the temptation will be too great, and maybe necessary, to create mythology for Bughuul, and that might not work out so well.

That said, I thought a sequel to Paranormal Activity was a terrible idea, but the filmmakers managed to produce a second movie that complemented and interconnected with the first one in an entertaining way, so what do I know? The third movie was okay, and had some good scares, but it wasn’t as cleverly constructed as 1 and 2.

The fact remains, I thought Sinister was good scary fun and I had to turn every light in the house on at 3 a.m. to get up to pee. I never do that. I was pretty creeped out.

I’d also taken a migraine medication that contains narcotics and caffeine and barbituates before we watched the movie. So there’s that.

You might want to take that into account, actually, because it probably affected my judgment a tiny bit. Husband was creeped out, too, though, so the scariness of it may just differ by a matter of degrees.

Still. Scary movie. A little dumb, pretty fun. What more can you ask?

Actually, there’s one thing you can ask: why do they have to make the creepy “there’s something spooky skittering around in your attic scenes” sound like squirrels in the attic? It’s like a long-range evil practical joke. I just know that the next time we get a squirrel infestation, I’ll be creeped out by this movie all over again.

The previous paragraph is a summary of the second monologue I paused the movie to deliver to Husband.

We hit play again when I was done holding forth on squirrel evil. Minutes later (in the movie), the panicked writer confessed to the comic-relief Deputy Sheriff that he’d heard footsteps in the attic but no one was there. The Deputy suggested squirrels. Then the Deputy delivered a hilarious bit of deadpan dialogue about how snakes don’t have feet, but scorpions have feet, but you probably couldn’t hear their footsteps. It was pretty great.

Then I paused the movie again and informed Husband that the next time we get a squirrel infestation I’m going to do what I always do: climb up the ladder, pop the attic door open an inch, and yell into the attic. But I’d be yelling in Latin.

“Why Latin?” Husband asked, because he hasn’t learned his lesson and still asks these questions. And because no one had even mentioned Latin in Sinisterso this seemed a little left-field, even for me.

“Squirrels don’t speak Latin,” I explained to him, to assure him I’m not an idiot. “They also don’t respond to the Latin Rites of Exorcism.”

Wisely, Husband didn’t ask my why or how I might know this.

“But they also don’t speak English, so if I’m going to feel like an idiot yelling at them to leave the house, I might as well do it with some flair.”

Husband seemed to see the logic in this argument.

Then we finished watching the movie.

Then we put the bluray back in the netflix envelope and put it by the door so we could mail it back on Saturday morning.

Then we nervously laughed about the fact that Bughuul has a facebook page. Then we realized that if anyone invented the endless aspirational-wedding-obsessing-and-vintage-baby-nursery-creating-abyss that is pinterest as a way to spread its image across time and space to consume the maximal number of souls, it would be an ancient, powerful, prehistoric demon.

Then Husband quietly walked to the front door, opened it, put the Netflix envelope outside, and shut and locked the door.

Then we went to bed. With the hall light on, until Husband made me turn it off.

John Carter isn’t nearly as terrible as everyone made it sound. I was pretty disappointed about that.

There might be spoilers in this review/coping mechanism to get me through the movie. You’ll only feel that they spoil the movie if a) you ever plan to see it and b) you’ve never seen a movie and c) you enjoy unexpected and fairly pointless scenes of alien baby-creatures covered in viscous mucous but prefer being pleasantly surprised by their inclusion in the movie.

If you were going to choose answer “c” I guess I already ruined it for you, so you might as well keep reading.

The movie just suffers from lack of a clear audience and characters you don’t care much about because of their flat affectation. But not that Wes Anderson-esque lack of affectation that’s minty-hipster-fresh, just…a dullness that suggests they’re all depressed to have to be in this movie but had no choice because their agents are doing a significant amount of gambling in riverboat casinos and can stop at any time, but so far, have chosen not to.

When I wrote the 1st draft, I had no idea that Wes Anderson is the great-grandson of John Carter’s creator. I read it on wikipedia so it must be true.

A Civil War vet named John Carter dies, leaving his nephew a journal that details the weekend he spent drinking slivovitz, a 100 proof damson plum brandy that he probably shouldn’t have been alternating with absinthe. In his defense, he just needed to take the edge off all that opium.

None of that is true, except the nephew and the journal, but it’s a slightly better movie if you believe that.

Carter kills an alien dude in a cave. The dude looks humanoid for whatever reason. Then we’re on Mars.

The lack of a clear intended audience leads to confusingly conflicting elements. John Carter has a gleeful and wacky leaping session in the weak gravity, and that scene really ought to be accompanied by a nose harp soundtrack and a couple of juvenile jokes, perhaps about nose-picking or how girls are icky or whatever else entertains 8 year olds. Then there’s a scene of a teenage girl being branded for misbehaving. A green, alien, teenage daughter, so it’s okay, I guess, but rationalizing the violence as being against a non-human Other doesn’t make it less incongruous when juxtaposed with the low-G frolicking.

When one of my ex-coworkers was a child, her family lived next door to Edgar Rice Burroughs. Storytime after tea was pretty cool. But not William S. Burroughs, because that would not be cool if you were a little girl.

I had some Gungan jokes about the aliens, but this movie wasn’t nerdtastic enough to deserve them. Even Michael Chabon as screenwriter wasn’t enough to salvage this thing from a vista of mediocrity so far and wide that, if you stare at it too hard, you’ll feel like you’re looking out a plane window while flying across west Texas. How did this happen?

The main problem with this movie is that it’s not bad enough to be funny, not good enough to be Bad. What it needs is Liam Neesen. We all know how well that turns out.

Wrath of the Titans is a clunky inept sequel to a clunky inept remake of a clunky inept movie from the 1980s. Young Boomers/older Gen Xers, who thought the original Clash of the Titans was great because they were young and impressionable when it first came out (and were probably stoned when they saw it) are now the people green-lighting the big budget IMAX 3D reboots of movies that they would realize weren’t very good if they weren’t currently working as “Creatives” and consequently making business decisions while smoking pot.

The people who greenlit this movie also know two things. One, that the kids who are willing to shell out weekend box-office don’t comprehend, or care, that the original movie was Not Great. Two, GenXers will Netflix or purchase the reboot in a fit of pique and/or out of misguided nostalgia. What this means is this: lots of people will get paid.

Everybody wins.

Except us, because we’re watching it. Right. Now.

This movie, like all movies, co-stars Liam Neesen.

Seriously. What the hell?

I just watched The Haunting (1963), one of the all-time scariest movies of all time ever. I spotted the 1999 remake on HBOHD and, being too sick to think, decided to see if it was as bad as I remembered.

It was. Got a post about that drafted, you’ll have to wait for it a little longer – the relevant point here is that the remake starred Liam Neesen.

Husband decided to watch all the Star Wars movies. We watched 4, 5 and 6 over the holidays. But we know who’s in the the first 3: Liam Neeson.

Our Tivo, OverLord II, recorded Unknown for us. Never heard of it. Looked at the description. Liam Neeson.

The Netflix fairy sent Battleship. Liam Neeson.

The Dark Knight Rises? Liam Neeson.

Maybe the connection here isn’t “Liam Neeson.” Maybe it’s “our questionable movie selection judgement.”

I’ve been sick for 3 weeks. I don’t know what Husband’s excuse is. I guess that doesn’t explain the last 20some years of our movie watching co-existence, does it?

Moving on.

I guess I have to quit copying IMDB links for Liam Neeson movies and pay attention to the screen if I want to describe Wrath of the Titans to you. There aren’t any spoilers in here. To be fair, I think to have a movie spoiled you probably need to care about the outcome. Trust me, no one should care about the outcome of this movie.

Except Liam Neeson’s agent, who should probably wake up with a horse head in his bed or something. This dude has been in some shitty, shitty movies.

Wrath of the Titans. Wrath of the Titans is about Perseus and Zeus and a bunch of other Gods who lived back in the Ancient Greek Lack of Hygiene World.

Liam Neeson is Zeus. His half-human son, Perseus, has to rescue him from the underworld and

I just realized I’ve been sitting here trying to remember why the guy woke up with the horse head in his bed in the Godfather and I’ve forgotten what came next in that unfinished sentence you see above this paragraph. I fall asleep every time I try to watch the Godfather. I’ve seen the scene but I have no idea what it means. (What? It was before my time. Plus I was afraid of New Jersey as a kid so the Godfather isn’t really my thing. Sorry).

Back to Wrath of the Titans.

Perseus has Poseiden’s pitchfork. It’s a Magical God Pitchfork, which means that it glows orange whenever it’s near manure, I think. That describes the overall quality of the script for this movie, so the pitchfork glows a lot. Husband thinks it might be more complicated than that, but Husband had to get up at 6 a.m. on a Saturday and work all day and he’s had a few drinks so I don’t know that you should trust him.

Plus, he’s still really bitter about the whole midi-chlorians thing, which he seems to be holding Liam Neeson personally responsible for.

So, Perseus has the pitchfork and he goes off to find his Dad.

Perseus ends up in a cave with Bill Nighy, one of our favorite actors. Nighy performs a monologue from a one-man Off Broadway show. Or outtakes from Love Actually. I’m not really sure, but I think it must be one of those. Then he shows Perseus and Andromeda a shortcut to destroy the Underworld that seems to defeat the whole “I’m on an epic quest” story-arc.

Husband: “There’s a small thermal exhaust port right below the main port!”

Liam Neeson, incidentally, was in Love Actually.

Wait, what’s Andromeda doing there? When did she show up? Perseus rode off alone on his Pegasus. Then he fought a bunch of badly rendered monsters and then I think he flew around some more.


Sometimes the dialogue is hard to understand. The sound mixing is actually pretty good. To be honest, the biggest problem is that we keep yelling lines from other movies, which makes it hard for us to hear the movie we’re watching. Husband hasn’t seen Taken, and neither of us has seen Taken 2 or the forthcoming Taken 3: the Quickening, but all of the trailers look the same so it seems safe to just make up dialogue.

Seriously, how many movies can there be in the Someone Stole Liam Neeson’s Daughter franchise?

It’s possible I made Taken 3 up…but I bet it gets made.

Since Perseus gets around on a fast-flying Pegasus, I’m not really clear on how all the other characters seem to be able to keep up with him. Nevertheless, Pegasus and Perseus go flapping away and everyone they left behind is just somehow with them in the next scene.

Husband: “A small one-man fighter should be able to penetrate the outer defense!”

Hang on a second, there’s some kind of fire-monster warrior guys attacking our band of plucky morons. That’s sort of cool.

Honestly, I have no idea what’s happening.

Husband: “Get this big walking carpet out of my way.”

The tagline for Wrath of the Titans is “Feel the Wrath.” That’s the best they could do?

Anyway, Andromeda and Perseus are on an epic quest. At some point while I was trying to make up a joke about feeling the wrath a bunch of shit happened and now I’m confused about who’s fighting who or what the quest is. It seems to have changed.

I actually thought the movie was over because they’d gotten out of the Underworld and put on deodorant (I think that’s what they were doing. I might be mistaken). But now the people who I thought were mortal enemies are fighting on the same side and I can’t figure out who in the hell they’re fighting.

Rolling Stone’s Peter Travers summed it up when he wrote, “…Clash of the Titans sucketh the mighty big one.”

We aren’t even bothering to recite movie dialogue anymore, we’re just moaning and mumbling to ourselves. Husband just said something about his blast-shield being down, but, having realized that the credits are rolling and our servitude is over, we’re both too busy scrambling for the remote to think clearly.

After the movie ended I was giving this post a quick edit to remove eighty percent of the profanity while Husband stared at the blank TV screen looking, frankly, happier than he’d looked over the last 92 minutes. That was when our furnace – which is located in the basement – directly below the television – emitted a terrible sound.

Husband has been down there for the last 10 minutes trying to repair it enough that it will limp along until Monday. Mostly, we’d prefer not to pay Double Jeopardy Magical Super-Overtime, or whatever the rate is you have to pay for a furnace repair at 10 p.m. on a Saturday night in February. Honestly, I’m also a little afraid if we call the furnace company they’ll send Liam Neeson over. Or, the more likely scenario will occur: my cough medicine will take control of my mouth and I’ll just blurt out a request that they not to send Liam Neeson.

They probably don’t get a lot of out-of-the-blue requests to not have Liam Neeson dispatched to people’s homes. It actually wouldn’t be the craziest thing I’ve ever called and asked them. Still, cross your fingers that Husband’s repair gets us through. Just in case, we won’t be subjecting the furnace to any more bad movies this weekend. It’s all Downton Abbey from here on out.

Yeah. Right.

I spent hours today crafting a post about professionalism and web-presence. Then I glanced at twitter and all hell broke loose (in my brain).

I’m not, by any means, a fearless person. Still, I like to think that I don’t let any phobias control me, but I know that’s not true.

I’m deeply, utterly, completely afraid to eat powdered donuts.

Suffice to say it’s all because of Gamera Vs Guiran, Creature Feature with Dr. Paul Bearer, and the fact that a tiny irrational part of my brain wants me to believe eating powdered donuts will enable these women to open my skull and eat my brains:


Today, Scientific American asks: “Nano-Powder on Your Donuts: Should You Worry?”

Hell, yes, you should worry!

You should lie awake all night tonight worrying about this, like I’m going to.

I haven’t even read the article yet, I’ve been so busy worrying about the headline.

Those women are going to try and steal all of our brains.

All. Of. Our Brains.

All of them.

Or, if you’re unconcerned with food safety and/or alien brain-suckers, you can revisit this early 21st century classic meme, (turn up your speakers) the creepy donuts, which is what I found when I searched my archives for a post about The Powdered Donut Monster Movie Incident of 1976.

There’s so much annoying stuff like life and school that’s always threatening to interfere with the highlight of the year: Halloween. I mean, really.

I will not be deterred. I’ve been contemplating a theme for months, although I haven’t had an easy time making a definitive choice.

I don’t know if I can be as ambitious as I was with 2010’s 31 Ghosts, but still, October 2012 needs a theme and Halloween is too generic.

I was thinking witches or werewolves, probably because my Tivo, Overlord II, keeps recording The Craft and Ginger Snaps every single time they’re on. A witch-themed October runs the risk of aggravating me because most movies about witches are filled with misogynistic bullshit or superfuckingannoying new agers, and that will distract from the fun. Drunken ranting mixed with critical theory? Never ends well.

I thought I’d covered Werewolves, but I was mistaken. I considered it in 2009, but clearly didn’t get very far.

Then I thought, what the hell? why not Witchcraft and Werewolves?

Just for the record, I don’t think this is a binary topic, Witchcraft OR Werewolves. I think there’s an interesting intersection of the werewolf and witchcraft genres in movies (or TV shows or books or graphic novels) where people transform into non-lupine creatures. Come on, you know there are going to be tangents and random selections made by Overlord II and things like that, anyway, so let’s just build in a little flexibility into the system and be done with it. There are loads of great examples, if you don’t believe me:

Wolverine? Maybe.

Maybe not. Probably not, because that was a terrible movie.

Cat People? Yes!

Plus other movie examples I’ve forgotten in the time it took me to type the last sentence and look up the links to both the 1942 and 1982 versions of Cat People and then spend a few minutes contemplating that Ronin Tunney is the girl in The Craft, which I looked up on IMDB a few minutes ago when I linked my earlier reference to it, and Robin Tunney looks familiar because she’s the boss on The Mentalist, which is a deeply stupid show I can’t stop watching even though I find Patrick Jane incredibly unsympathetic and the entire premise of the show a farce and the repetitive incidental music annoys the hell out of me and why the fuck has that show been on for FIVE seasons? This is the SIXTH season? Does the devil own Bruno Heller’s soul? Apparently not, since he was one of the producers of the failed Bionic Woman reboot. Not even, he was only the producer of the unaired pilot of the doomed series. But still, what the hell?

This is a terrible movie, you should definitely watch it if you’re looking for something short, stupid, and loud. Mostly stupid and loud. The first Underworld was stylistic and had a sublime ridiculousness that Director Len Wiseman got away with in large part by using the twin distractions of the always-dependable Bill Nighy as the king of the vampires, and Kate Beckinsale in neck-to-toe latex and leather as Selene the vampire.

In the second movie, some stuff happened, but I can’t remember what. The more I try to remember, the more the movie recedes into darkness. I have this same problem with all episodes of Doctor Who made prior to 2005 and any class I’ve ever taken that spent more than a month on Etruscan pottery.

The third movie was a prequel. Whatever.

The forth movie is subtitled, “Awakening,” because that’s what happens to you 88 minutes after you press play. Well-rested, you can have a cup of coffee and then try watching it again, because at 88 minutes, this movie packs a lot of incredible nonsense into a very short period of time. You’d have to watch two or maybe even three Nicolas Cage movies to get half as much silly, pompous, gunfire-ridden hokum.

Watching this movie leads to so many important questions. What happened in the second movie? Why is Selene the only one who knows Vampire CPR? How did she get her coat back? Was there really a third movie or am I getting this all confused with the time I fell asleep during a particularly turgid True Blood flashback sequence and woke up in the middle of an episode of Game of Thrones? Where does Selene keep all that ammunition and all of those guns in that latex and leather catsuit? Was I drooling on the couch earlier?

Underworld: Awakening was directed by a pair of unknown Swedish dudes because, apparently, Uwe Boll was busy.

There are many cultural issues regarding the Lone Ranger remake but every time I start to think about them, my brain derails with the thought, “Someone took a perfectly good Johnny Depp & put a fucking bird on it.”

I deeply question Vanity Fair’s assertion that Johnny Depp makes this look cool in any way shape or form.

Note to vanity fair: Bird. On. Head.

[embedded video: Portlandia: Put a bird on it]

This was a draft I found hanging around. It started life on my facebook page on March 8, 2012 so I don’t remember where I planned to go with it. This is what you get.

Doctor Who fans will want to try the Daleks Relaxation program.