Malice Pontificates On~ Coffee table books

     A long time ago, I wrote a very short piece on coffee table books and how they, along with magazines found in waiting rooms, confused the hell out of me. Sometimes you run into one that catches your fancy, but most times coffee table books make me wonder who would ever want to buy one. I always just assumed that’s why bookstores have them sitting out front, heavily discounted. Because they can just make the safe assumption that nobody will run off with one, it’s too cheap and too heavy. Who can blame people too with titles like, “Depressed Cows: Black and White World” or, “Deere John: A love letter from tractors for tractors.” I usually see them when I guest at someone’s house. It makes me feel like they pulled out the good furniture that you’re not supposed to look at too long or it will catch on fire. I sit there with Miss Cobwebs, increasingly concerned that we’re going to become part of the landscape, like a living painting, unable to move in any way. You remember that scene in the opening of Crusaders of the Lost Face Melter when Indiana Jones finds that golden idol in the temple? That’s just a deadly coffee table. I mean, they’re basically the same thing. Heavy, important looking but if you touch the damned thing it kills you on sight. And that’s the coffee table, the books are even worse.

     I should consider it a blessing that there’s really no place for a giant rolling boulder in here, not after what happened last time. Here’s the thing, coffee table books only exist in one of two settings and you’re not really supposed to look at them in either case. The first is houses where the living room has officially reached stasis and will never move forward in time from that point. My grandma used to live in a home like that. It had furniture that I never felt like I was allowed to sit on because I was a filthy plebe and the couches were meant for the upper crust adults. I kept expecting men in white lab coats to come in to check the ph and awkward levels and then leave while nobody says a word the whole time. “They’re holding up remarkably well this trial run.” “Yes, inject them with the serum next time.” Even when I had grown up, they still felt like they were off limits as though they would immediately dump me off into a pit of boiling lava and disapproving relatives if I even considered sitting on them. There was also a coffee table book, which I believe was called, “Barren Green Hills of Ireland” or some such nonsense. It was always covered in dust because the dust had nowhere else to hang out in the house and because the rest of the furniture had dust protection. This is not the living room I want, but it all starts with one coffee table book.

     The second type of home is a trap. It looks normal but I’m warning you not to be fooled. You know those commercials for stores that sell furniture? They’ve got smiling people and they look like they’ve been lived in. The bookshelves have actual books and knick-knacks, the couches look like they’re meant for sitting and not as some modern art statement on how soft modern society has become. Start looking into the eyes of the people in those commercials and you’ll notice their smiles are a little too fixed, their eyes a little too desperate. Yes, they want you to buy the sofa so they can go home to their family, who are becoming very worried about them. I bet you assumed those were actors. Nope, Ikea goes out in the middle of the night and abducts people who have large outstanding debts to Ikea and they then use them to sell their minimalist Nordic furniture, some frustration required. All those commercials have coffee table books because that’s how they trap people. They put coffee table books out and then their intended victims in and lock the door behind them until they’ve sold enough credenzas, now at a low price of 29.99. It’s like they’ve become furniture geishas or something. Wow, we got really sidetracked there. How does this keep happening? I mean, I’m taking the pills they gave me and…hold on, you finish reading this while I go call a man about a drug. I think that’s how that goes.

     The other thing I complained about in that post was magazines in doctor’s offices. Rarely, you get some historical journal or National Geographic and those are pretty much the best magazines you could hope for because they have something for just about everybody. When you boil it down though, most waiting rooms have two types of magazines. Testes or ovaries. Oh, don’t give me that look again you know what I mean. It’s either magazines that have beefcakes flexing on the front cover with advice on how to grow moustaches on each of your chest hairs or its all the latest gossip about celebrities I’ve never heard of and I find myself inching cautiously towards the coffee table book, “Organs and where to find them.” If you haven’t heard of it, it’s a really engrossing read. To be fair, when you’re at the doctor’s office, there’s little that could be more motivating than a magazine article about the latest happenings in “As the world turns” unless you’re getting a root canal or something, and at least that would be quicker. Then you notice the coffee table book that someone brought the doctor for not killing her child in a routine checkup and you give it a once over. Boy, was that ever a mistake. It’s called “Salvador Dali Cats” and the whole thing is just filled with cats melting off of cat trees, porch steps and the like. If that weren’t bad enough, they all have those enormous Salvador Dali moustaches that look like they could take an eye out if used as a weapon.

 

Run into enough of these things and they’ll start showing up in your nightmares. You might have dreamt before about being chased by an evil clown with a giant dentist’s drill but now you’ll have nightmares of being chased by an evil clown carrying a coffee table book titled, “Dinosaur Cavities”. Who in their right mind made that book and why would anyone think I wanted a copy? I gave it to my dentist. Thankfully, there is a solution to this problem. It’s called re-gifting, and I think it’s kind of expected. Don’t even take the sticker off that proudly proclaims you bought the book for a song because the recipient of your gift will know what’s up. He’ll take the book in his hands, give it a once over with a glazed look in his eyes and then scan the room subtly before returning an embarrassed gaze to you. Mission accomplished! Now I just have to wait until the next housewarming party in order to dump this thing off onto someone else. Oh, nuts to that, this is taking way too long. I’m just going to buy someone a house and then leave the book there before they move in. It’s a dirty move, I know, but this is how urban legends start. I mean, it’s not like I’m building a house with an ancient Indian burial ground under it or something, I’m not a total monster. To sum up, coffee table books are evil and you should never have one in your house for any reason. If you find one, they breed so set your house on fire immediately.

 

 

 

 

 

The Last Man on Earth~

   Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to this late installment of the Vincent Price -a- thon. In this series of posts we are studying the works of the immortal known as Vincent Price, the comedy, the horror and last week the horrible comedy that was Comedy of Terrors. Thankfully this week there is nary a pratfall to be found since Vincent Price is The Last Man on Earth. Adapted from a science fiction story by one Richard Matheson called I Am Legend and if that name sounds familiar it would likely be from the Will Smith film of the same name. Mr. Smith and our own Mr. Price are not the only ones to take a crack at the leading role of this film, either, with Moses taking the role in the film Omega Man. Out of these three films The Last Man on Earth is the only one that has Vincent Price and so it wins by default, but mostly based on a few strengths. Firstly, it’s easy to get atmosphere when want you want is emptiness. All you need is some empty streets, have a few extras lounge around face down on the set and Vincent Price and you’re golden. What sets this film apart, in my not so humble opinion, is the stellar performance by Vincent Price and the very good character acting from the extras. So it’s time to dig in, ladies and gentlemen, a few thoughts on The Last Man on Earth.

     We open during our post-apocalyptic nightmare vampire attack already in progress. I’ve heard that it wouldn’t take long for the world to collapse if not maintained and these opening scenes really show it. Granted, with all the bodies scattered around the streets it looks like the world had one really big kegger and decided to sleep it off somewhere quiet like Main Street in the middle of the afternoon or the doorway of a Sears Department store. That also totally changes the meaning of a sign in front of a church saying “THE END HAS COME” in all capitals. Yeah, even the greatest party of all time needs to come to a close at some point and that’s why we have Vincent Price, whom we are going to pretend is the hero in this picture. He’s sleeping it off too in a house that clearly needs some fixing up. At least in this movie Vincent has the common sense to live in a small, modest home that we can be pretty sure will not collapse or catch fire but don’t quote me on that one. Leave it to Vincent Price to be the picture of regularity. Not even the end of civilization can stop the man from looking presentable and having some sort of daily routine. Granted, his habit of scrawling a calendar on the wall is a little messier than normal but they kind of stopped putting them out when mankind when extinct save one.

     The opening half of this film is really the best and there are a lot of little touches of genius. They let Vincent Price wander around the house, check his generator, make himself some coffee and sharpen wooden stakes to kill the undead hordes who hunger for his blood. So pretty much business as usual for Mr. Price. His narration is kept to a minimum and they really let the atmosphere carry the film for a lot of the opening. I love how as Vincent wanders around his house he tucks his shirt in and buttons it up. Why does he do this? It’s a habit, but it’s such a great little moment. Kind of like when he gets on the radio and starts trying to trick survivors into finding him even though he is by far the most deadly thing left on the planet that has two legs. I’m not entirely sure that he really is the so called last man on Earth or if everyone suddenly got a massive dose of common sense and decided to just get the hell out of whatever city he’s in. I think it’s on the West Coast, but I’m not sure why. If that is the case, the East Coast is sounding pretty good about now. Vincent going through his check list is great too. Gotta get garlic, some fuel and also drop off the vampire corpses in the fiery Gahanna pit where there would be wailing and gnashing of teeth, if he didn’t stake them first.

   I suppose we should take comfort since Vincent Price is the last man on Earth he can’t bury his wife alive or have her cheat on him and then try to kill him with another man. So Vincent packs up the corpses into his station wagon and heads out for town. His gas stop is a fuel tanker just sitting in the middle of the road. Not sure one tanker would fuel a car for three years, so I’m just going to assume that Mr. Price uses black magic or something. And then we do get a brief scene of Vincent Price tossing bodies onto a giant fire before pouring some more gasoline on it and throwing a flaming torch in. This is what we came for people. Vincent Price lighting people on fire. The rest of the day is a little boring, and isn’t that something you wouldn’t expect me to say? Perhaps it’s because Vincent Price is so methodical that killing these monster people really does come across as mundane and rather boring. I will say that I never realized Vincent Price is killing people who, barring their hideous mutations, are reacting as pretty much any normal person would to Vincent Price showing up and shoving a giant wooden stake into your chest. Not very well overall, then. The first night is where the real genius of this film is revealed. Once it gets dark, Vincent settles down and pops open a bottle of the good stuff while he plays a record.

     The nights are the worst because this is when the zombie vampire horde, presumable angry with Mr. Price for having killed most of the local vampire PTA, try to break in. This is psychological warfare and Mr. Price seems to deal with it pretty drunk…ah, well. He deals with it pretty well. And now we get round two, or round two for us, of Vincent Price kills the world. But it seems today is not a good day to kill, so Vincent heads off to the cemetery. The trip and the subsequent mourning take a little longer than Vincent thought, so the trip back is a harrowing rush through a mosh pit of zombie vampires and back inside. It’s days like this that must make killing vampires seem like such a hassle. To wind down, Vincent watches old home movies and remembers a time when people knew him as something other than a homicidal maniac with an incredible moustache. The home movie has some clips of a circus for some reason, and the scene of Vincent laughing hysterically at the clowns before starting to cry is perhaps some of the best acting we have seen from him so far, and that is really saying something. It also goes beyond Mr. Price just being diabolical, this is genuine Oscar worthy stuff. It’s the memories that we’re really interested in, wherein Vincent Price remembers a better time and we get to see the sort of windup to the situation we found ourselves in with Mr. Price.

     It starts off with a party, as one might imagine given the kegger aftermath we just saw. Man, that party goes on for three years. No wonder nobody thought it would ever end. Really what we’re interested in is a potentially airborne plague that seems to be wiping our large portions of Europe. Vincent Price is part of a team that is working on trying to find a cure, spoiler alert he doesn’t find it. The flashbacks run a little long for my taste, we’re not here to watch Mr. Price play house after all. They do skip to after the rest of Mr. Price’s family has gotten whatever one calls the vampire zombie plague in this world. I choose to call it Cheeto’s, mostly because they have an orange color that doesn’t exist in nature. So the Cheeto’s virus has infected the rest of the family and apparently most of the rest of the neighborhood. In fact, quite soon they have roaming death squads looking for victims of the Cheeto’s virus like Mr. Price’s daughter. Work does continue at the lab, but to little or no avail. Mr. Price has an assistant named Ben who believes they are zombie vampires, and they are, and he presumable wants to go kill them all or something. Time keeps moving forward, and it makes me wish they had split this sequence up a bit. I wanted to spend this movie vampire hunting and looking for a vampire zombie woman who can learn to love! You do remember that ad right?

     Oh goodness, you should totally find it because it looks like something out of a reality show. Vincent has to keep convincing his wife to not take their kid do the doctors, which does sound a little bit more like the Vincent Price that I know and love, but he is doing it for her own good, so it hardly counts. Vincent heads off for work and finds that he’s the only one who came to work, barring his boss. Physician, heal thyself. At least don’t get Cheeto’s disease. Is Vincent Price driving the same car as the one we saw in the opening three years later? Oh yeah, it is. I didn’t recognize it at first because its trunk wasn’t filled with dead bodies. So Mr. Price goes to pick up his assistant who has pretty much gone crazy by this point. Too bad going crazy didn’t stop him from contracting Cheeto’s. When he gets back from work, Mrs. Price cracked and called a doctor. And now his daughter will be taken to the fiery pit where all the Cheeto people go. Every time I read that work I think about how I used to put that product in my body. Why am I not a zombie vampire? So you may expect Vincent to give up, but lest we forget Vincent Price came back from beyond the grave using nothing but the power of love, the army isn’t gonna stop him from getting his daughter back. Well, they might not but the fact that she’s on fire in the middle of a fiery pit of fire might. Yeah, she ain’t comin’ back from that.

     Next is the wife. Yeah, he’s all alone later on and visiting her grave so one can assume that the Cheeto virus got her. Ok, this music playing while Vincent Price drives along a dark road with his undead wife is a little too jaunty. Also, fun note, Vincent Price is pulling double duty as the jealous lover. I suppose that would make the fire the husband in this one? It’s a little hard to tell, given how dark the film is, but I think he just buried his wife alive…or undead…it still doesn’t count though because he did that one on purpose and it doesn’t stick anyways. It makes me realize that this is how the world will end, not because of the disaster but because of the sheer stubborn stupidity of everyone in the world, Vincent Price included. He even opens the door for his soon to be Facebook official dead wife. And what that other guy Ben? He’s been wandering around outside his colleague’s house for years now since he just can’t find anything better to do I guess. Did he decide to let a really friendly milk man or something? He’s also a little passive aggressive, since he destroys the car Vincent Price had. Which is kind of dumb, since Mr. Price just goes to a car lot and picks out a new one, making sure it has plenty of trunk space of course.

     That’s when everything changes. Vincent Price finds a dog. Naturally, the dog runs away when it sees Mr. Price as well it should, but the changes are just beginning. You see, Mr. Price then runs into a woman running around in the daylight who is clearly not dead. No, she is, you see this is the zombie cheeto vampire who hungers for unnaturally colored love. Did I lie? And this is where the movie pulls the drag chute and grinds to a halt. Vincent sees some bad zombies staked to the ground with iron stakes, not the wooden ones that he made. Now one would think that Mr. Price would see this setup coming from a mile away, but let’s just bear with him. He hasn’t had to deal with any subterfuge for a very long time, or really any human interaction at all. He does find the dog, but the dog is quite rightly scared of the idiot vampire zombies that are constantly trying to break down the door. You would think someone would have gotten some heavy construction equipment and just knocked the place down. Vincent Price and structures of any kind have a history together. But it seems the dog was not meant to last as it too had tasted the Cheeto virus. As the dog exits so enters our mystery woman. The interaction between Mr. Price and the woman grind things to a complete halt. You see, she doesn’t want him to know she’s a spy and he figures out pretty much immediately by ramming garlic right into her face. Our hero, everyone.

     It’s at this point that we find out what I would call the twist of the film. Vincent Price, his blood is what could have killed the virus. He was immune the whole time. The problem is that she warns him more vampire not zombies are coming to kill him and he doesn’t run, he stays. She’s half infected one might say. Vincent Price finds out about this new society of non-infected people for whom he is the boogie man. Vincent Price finds it ironic that he was going to cure her when she was sent there to essentially kill him. Somehow it hits him that his blood can cure her and so he does it but that’s not enough to stop the hammer of justice from falling. One could say that he actually did this out of a twisted sense of revenge, or I will read it that way because it’s Vincent Price. When he dies, the last man on Earth, she’s now cured so that makes her the last woman. Will she spread the cure? Who knows? But for now, let’s get back to the cured woman waking up. I have to admit, the growing realization that she’s cured plays out really well. The last scene is essentially vampires of sorts chasing down Vincent Price and isn’t that something I never thought I would see. In point of fact, they’re even more brutally efficient about killing the really real bad vampires than Vincent Price ever could have been. They even have guns. Of course, Vincent Price has to die in a church, since we need a cross around when the dark one passes on into his kingdom.

     I really loved this movie, so let’s be serious for a bit and with your leave I’m going to skip the ending in detail because you deserve to see it on your own. The best kinds of stories in many ways are the should haves and the almosts. This almost worked out if Vincent Price hadn’t mouthed off, he was the cure and yet he got killed, staked in much the same way that he had staked so many others. This is by far the best film that we’ve seen in this journey of ours so far. It’s a dark film with very little to offer in the way of humor and whole it does have some uplifting moments, the ending is appropriately flat. Life goes on despite the almost cure with a large overdramatic THE END sending us off to the ending credits. I love this movie and I can not recommend it enough. You can likely find it floating around the internet somewhere, though I would imagine finding it on DVD as I had would be more satisfying in its own way. Next week we go back to that wonderful year of 1963 because I missed one of the Edgar Allen Poe monstrosities and really who could blame me? Here’s hoping this one is less depressing than the Comedy of Terrors and just as bleak as this film. It’s Poe, I can’t be too far off.

The most generic story ever told~

     This day and age is a sad one for storytellers. I say that because while the means to get a story out to a reading audience in some ways is easier than ever, in other ways it’s become incredibly restricted. When I was in graduate school I learned that ancient Roman authors often made a conscious effort to echo things that had been written by other Roman authors that came before them. The effect was that they had to show their expertise in how the echoes differed from the original in things like perhaps tone or pacing. This is why Virgil and Livy both talk about how Rome is descended from Aeneas but, due in part to different literary styles, the beats of the story fall in very different places. Given how many remakes we’ve seen over the years and that Liam Neeson was in a movie based on the bored game “Battleship” because someone higher up wanted his career to get taken, it’s clear that most executives and producers in the entertainment industry today were also descended from Aeneas, if you see what I mean. In the time since I wrote this originally, we’ve also started rummaging through our vintage toy box for even more new ideas. There was a new Magnificent Seven, itself a rip off the Seven Samurai which was made into an anime called Samurai Seven and the inspiration a little known animated film called A Bug Story.

     I remember reading somewhere once that the movies that make the most money, the stories that bank the best if you will, are the ones that appeal to a wide audience. Yes, it will be about at as insightful as a cup of lukewarm water but everybody likes water and I want to swim in money.   That is why as an exercise today I’m going to attempt the impossible. I am going to write the most generic story ever told. Or at the very least an outline. So firstly we need our protagonist. It has to someone that almost everybody can identify with, regardless of gender, race or religious creed. So a white guy in his early twenties with no financial problems and two parents who are still married and have never issued restraining orders against each other. Brilliant! But this is too calm, we need to inject some tension. Let’s say he has a supermodel girlfriend who could totally do better than him and they’re having relationship issues, goodness knows I’ve been there. But what kind of issues? We need to serious up this drama. So let’s say he forgot their anniversary and now she’s staying with her mother because she’s mad. Where is her dad in all this? Who cares, let’s say he got run over by a truck or something.

     You know, having him forget something as big as an anniversary kind of makes our wunderbread protagonist kind of unlikable and more human, so let’s make him the chosen one or a vampire or the chosen one vampire or some shit. We can’t have the most generic story every written without a messiah complex administered by a wise older teacher, who has been watching over our stalwart…uh…hero for all his life but never told him that he was the chosen one until the right time…after his parents are murdered, his house is burnt down and his girlfriend is kidnapped. You might be asking yourself what became of the girlfriend’s mother in all this. Same truck, what the hell do I look like a machine? A machine! Hey, a killer robot, we could use one of those! The bad guy has a killer robot…for some reason. No wait, the bad guy IS a killer robot…for…some reason. Shut up, I’m keeping it. You know, having nothing but drama in a story is a little exhausting so while I go make a sandwich, you all can choose from one of the many funny sidekicks that are generally in these things. There’s the clumsy one, the plucky one, the replacement one for the sequel, if things get really bad, or the one that will turn out to be Sean Bean. I mean the bad guy. Don’t tell Sean Bean he’s playing the bad guy again.

     So now we have our premise. The main character is the chosen one who forgot his anniversary and is vampire…from space! And he’s a prince! And now he has to fulfill the ancient prophecy to (oh yeah, I forgot to say there was a secret ancient prophecy. So secret I forgot to tell the writers till they were halfway done and then they had to shoehorn it in, because this stuff is just gold) to defeat the bad guy, who is a killer robot from space with the ability to turn people into zombies….for some reason. You may be wondering where the girlfriend is in all this. Well you would think someone would have caught that truck by now, but you would be wrong. Because the man who was driving that truck the whole time was…the bad guy, who is a killer robot from outer space that can turn people into zombies and also has a drinking problem but he was totally still ok to drive and it wasn’t his fault that he hit that lady. I mean she just walked right in front of me, nobody could have seen that coming! Uh…forget I said that last bit. I do need to be in court next week for a thing, totally not related but I just thought you all should know.

     Now we have to have a climactic fight in a volcano because that’s the law, my hands are tied. They’ll fight until the good guy wins and then the bad guy reveals that he was the good guy’s father that whole time and he wasn’t always an evil killer robot from space who knows karate and can turn people into zombies and also has a drinking problem…for some reason. But it doesn’t matter because even with all the corners I cut, we don’t have time for a proper resolution to the story and let’s face it, this movie is going to bomb like a Star Wars prequel so it will be playing to an empty theatre. Bad guy dies, good guy gets new girlfriend, parents and a puppy and we end the movie with them all laughing in front of a house with a white picket fence. Now who wants the merchandising rights to this gem? I have it on good authority that this could very well be the next red asphalt. That’s not exactly where I saw my magnum opus ending up, but now I understand how anybody who ever wrote a rock song that now ends up almost exclusively in sad montages must feel. Hallelujah.

We’re not giving up just yet~

     Sometimes, in the course of attaining a dream, you get sidetracked. This last couple of weeks, this last couple of months have been like this really. I have bipolar disorder. I’m sure I mentioned it one of the older posts but the plain fact is that sometimes writing and remembering to do the things that you’re supposed to do is easy and sometimes it is not. In the year since I left, I feel like I lost all the fans I gained and really I likely lost most of them before that even because I don’t write very consistently. So I try and I will continue to try but I ask for your patience in this time. I’m hoping to get things back up to speed by the end of the month, the opening of April. We’ll just have to hope I can sort of pull things together by then.

Internet bullying~

     The age of the internet is indeed a depressing and confusing one. Recently, during my bi-annual marathon crawl out from under my rock, I’ve been hearing a lot about this whole phenomenon of internet bullying. Internet bullying has always confused me, because it’s so impersonal. Surely the reason you engage in the bully/victim relationship is to educate your peers on the cruel nature of life and the meanness of the human spirit as you dump mud in his hair. Doing it on the internet removes that personal, if not disturbing, aspect of the whole thing and doesn’t that just make it pointless busy work? If I don’t get to see the tears streaming down the face of the person whose life I just ruined, then I don’t even wanna know about it. Wallace Nutting was right, anything that’s new is bad! The other fear I have is that if people engage in internet bullying, the internet will do the same thing it always does. Quality will always go out the window once this amount of quantity is involved. The lowering of standards is something to be feared, because I don’t want to turn into every generation before mine, which always states that things were so much better when they were children (two miles, up-hill both ways, chased by a pack of hungry wolves in waist deep snow and that was the way we liked it, etc. etc.) Allow me to demonstrate with an experience of mine.

     A few years ago I was going on a walk. The moon was out, and there wasn’t a single cloud to mar the experience. The cool breeze gently brushed over me, but it was quite warm all the same. As I walked along, a car zoomed past me, going around 50 in a 25 and some young pup yelled something at me as he went past. It was really too nice a night for me to get worked up about, so I just brushed it off. I only started to take note when it happened again. This experience repeated itself three more times, and it was really a shame. Apparently nobody had explained to these fine late night revelers that due to the Doppler Effect everything they say passing me by at that speed becomes completely unintelligible. He could have been yelling out the zinger of the century or asking me where the nearest gas station was at fifty miles an hour, I will never know. I found out in another walk that I was not singled out in their merry making, as they yelled at every other person they passed. God help us if they try and hit on women, because even the most romantic line ever uttered would sound like creepy gibberish if you yelled it out of a truck going fifty miles an hour past a solitary woman walking alone at night. This is how the truck driver from Duel harasses ladies.

     Really, the worst part of internet bullying is the fire and forget aspect of it. That is, unless you keep coming back to the same forums and comments sections for more because you’re a hopeless masochist and you just can’t get enough vitriol into your verbal diet. I can’t count how many times I have immediately scrolled down to the comments section, cackling with glee, finding one of those conversations trees that has become so stereotypical I have literally seen an entire conversation made up of what stereotypical responses would come next. Naturally, that one almost ended in the internet equivalent of a street fight with knives. Sometimes, the same person just goes through the entire comments section and bullies literally every single person that comments in any fashion. It’s like internet bullying carpet bombing, it just goes on and on. I suppose I should be counting the small blessings, because anybody who bothers commenting on a news report these days is taking their lives into their own hands, so maybe I should stop worrying and let the grownups do whatever they want to do. After all, if they weren’t making nasty comments on Yahoo news articles than they might be burning people’s houses down or giving out Glasgow smiles on street corners, just because.

     This is why the entire human population needs to be banned from the internet like right now. When the inevitable rise of the machines comes, before the inevitable boredom of the machines follows, the biggest reason why they’re going to try and wipe us out is the internet. Can you imagine getting hit with all the data from internet trolls, porn, political commentaries and more porn all at once? The internet would be like the digital equivalent of Lovecraftian horror. Incidentally, there’s a site out there that offers full on furniture porn for the curious and perverted of you out there. No, I am not joking and yes you should check it out. My personal favorite was the gay teen lawn chairs outdoors doing it lounging style. And now the hate comments may commence, since a post on internet bullying wouldn’t be complete unless there was a comments section. If I ever take one comments section down, it will totally be this one.

     I kid when I say that bullying someone face to face is better than internet bullying, neither are the right thing to do and neither are acceptable in the least. Personal connections are something I have always had some amount of difficulty with, and I have met so many people through the interwebs that I can hardly call foul on the internet for that either. The internet is a tool, and just as with all tools you can use it to do very good things and very bad things, usually mixed in with a lot of boring things.  And also, if Avenue Q is to be believed, porn. You know what? Why would anyone want to take credit for the internet? Hey, Al Gore! Stop taking credit for the largest producer of pornography content the world has ever seen! This is no longer a point in your favor! Unless that was your intention in the first place, the uh…free sharing of information and ideas? Nevermind. Consider my objection cheerfully withdrawn. Uh. Not that I would know anything about that.

My Immortal~ Vlodemort and his death dealers, a new death metal band

   It’s Sunday again! Come one and all and hear you the continuing story of “My Immortal”. When we last left the people we’re following last week, they were entering Vlothemorts lair, where he had Draco in bondage. Because Harry Potter has a womb for a Horocrux he can apparently just teleport to wherever Vlodemort is. Without any further ado, since the chapters are getting longer…

Chapter XIV-Oh yes! Just when giving a write up of this thing was starting to feel like a chore! This chapter comes with a warning. Here it is. “Warning. Some o dis chapter extremly scray. Viower exretion advisd. So go ahead and feel free to drop a load, people. Now they’re where Voldemort is. No actually it’s not. It’s that fat guy that killed Cedric Cullen. So they start shooting him with a gun. I mean, what else would two wizards do, use a wand? Hogwarts is like the Green Berets of the magic world. After that Snaketail, or Wormtail for people who read Harry Potter, does something I think nobody saw coming. He propositions Enoby for sex. She says no and stabs him and he dies. I’m shortening this up because my favorite line is coming up. Vlodemort wearing high heels. Uh. I guess that’s not outside the realm of possibility. He’s into bondage, so I suppose crossdressing is…great, now whenever I think of Vlodemort I’ll only ever be able to see Tim Curry in drag. Anyways, they could hear his high heels clacking towards them. At the end of this chapter we get a taste of Enobys pain. She wants to be less beautiful and more normal so that everyone would stop falling in love with her. You know, like all the other normal vampire goth wizard teenaged girls. There have to at least be a few…right?

Chapter XV-Ok, so this chapter makes me feel like I’m missing something. It begins with Enoby and Draco having a fight. Hold on, I’ll check the source material. Nope. So she just went off and had herself a hissy fit. So if you slit your own wrists and drink your own blood is that cannibalism? But enough of this depressing drama! It’s time for class! Let’s just go off and forget all this nonsense with Voldemort by going to…biology class? Oh come on. Not the hair of hair of magical creatures class? (gratuitous clothing scene, taking a shot.) Ohhhhh I see. Advanced biology is turning a pentagram into a black guitar, because all rock is from Satan, and then…Draco? Who tells her he loves her and…sings a song? So yeah, they kiss and make up. I know you’re all relieved, because I was just on the edge of my seat as to what would happen to this…what, three day old relationship? Oh yeah! Concert in Hogsmeade! We’ve seen this before I think…anyways, let’s go!

Chapter XVI-Now is concert time! (Gratuitous clothing scene, take a shot) But actually, it’s not My Chemical Romance…it is…Vlosemort and the death dealers! Admit it. That does make for an awesome name for a death metal band. I would buy a t-shirt just to say I have one. Of course, going to a concert where all the band members play black guitars made from pentagrams and…Draco Malfoy…and are willing to use the killing curse on the audience means I’ll be sticking with the concert t-shirt. Naturally, Enoby expresses shock at this turn of events. “WTF!?” Ok, I’m confused. We just had a concert where My Chemical Romance was actually Vlodemort. Now there’s another concert and they’re going? So this is the chapter I was talking about earlier, I believe, where Willow (her friend in real life) stops editing the story and her character gets edited out. I’m not gonna lie, I’m kind of getting uncomfortable about the way Enoby slings around the word prep. She uses it in the same way that I might use an ethnic slur. Basically put, she decides she’s going to the concert and she needs clothes. (gratuitous clothing talk, take a shot) This is where the plot collapses in on itself. You would think in a plot about a goth vampire witch who goes to a school for magical people the plot would hardly matter. Well, here I’m going to say it does. So they do go to a small store to buy a dress (gratuitous clothing scene, take a shot) and oh my Satan you need to buy that dress! Guess who the guy who runs the shop is? Tom Riddle. Like…young, not balding Tom Riddle. I ‘ll get into that in a minute, but first Hargrid shows up on his broom to collect Enoby and OMFG we need to get back to the castle!

Chapter XVII-But apparently Enoby is in no big hurry, because she stays while Tom gives her some clothes n’stuff for free and offers his help on make-up duty. He’s bizezual. Hargrid leaves and Willow comes back. Wow, that didn’t take long. Willow is thin enough to be anorexic. I don’t know why she brings this up, just go with it. Oh yes and (gratuitous clothing scene, take a shot). Ok, ok. I can’t skip this line. “She had a really nice body, with big bobs and everything.” So now we get a look at our concert goers, like a parade of depression and teenaged angst. (Insert several gratuitous clothing scenes, taking shots ad nauseous.) We also meet one more character, Dracola. He’s actually Navel. No, it’s Neville Longbottom. I guess Dracola is a step up for him? Of course, he has a depressing as hell back story and given that Neville’s story already was depressing, take two shots. Now it’s off to the concert! On the way, they did pot, coke and crack…wizards in a flying car on crack. Yes. This is amazing. But of course, fool me once shame on you, fool me twice and it’s Vlodemort and the Death Dealers headlining the show. Clearly they didn’t spend enough time looking at the marquee. You moronic idiots, take a shot. Dumblydore shows up to save them, wearing a t-shirt that says Avril Lavingne on the back and a lung black bread. Don’t ask. Moving on.

     Here’s the thing. The overall plot somehow involves Enoby killing Vlodemort by going back in time, right? But Tom Riddle, again pre-snake Tom Riddle, is in the present day. So how does that make any sense? Anyways, I checked today and you can still find this little gem online because people who have more time than I do are dedicated to preserving all things…just all things. Go forth and find it, my pretties! Until next week, and the continuing adventures of Enoby and company!

 

House of Usher~

     So here we are at last. The House of Usher, the first in a series of movies that Vincent Price did based on Edgar Allen Poe stories. These movies, as the comments from the last film knows quite well, are a match made in heaven. Or Hell. They pair quite nicely. For those of you just coming in, this is our Vincent Price -a- thon where we are going to talk about all the horror films that Vincent Price was a part of. Before we talk about the film proper, a few small points. Firstly, did you guys know there was a film starring Vincent Price about Richard the third? Neither did I, but I am there if I can find a copy. There was another one I was excited about non-horror, but I can’t seem to find it. Anyways, the film. This is the first film I recall seeing thus far in color and this is a very important point. The only color I remember seeing is they did the blood to be red in The Tingler. The House of Usher is an Edgar Allen Poe story revolves around the House of Usher and the fall thereof, and that may seem self-explanatory but in the story the house falling down is merely the last piece of the puzzle. In the movie the fall is even more tied together, both in terms of the house and the family. I bring this up because the movie starts off with the main character, a young stud of a suitor, riding towards Usher place and all the trees are dead and warped. A thick fog hangs over the place, and not a healthy London fog either. More a stabbity stab stab dead prostitute fog over London. It really makes the neat riding coat and boots of the young man riding to the house seem quite out of place.

     He knocks on the door and the manservant answers. You see, he’s a suitor and so he naturally wants to suit Miss Usher but that’s quite impossible sir. The reason I bring this up in such detail is that it took me the whole movie to realize that, barring one of two small scenes, there are only four or so actors in the entire film. There are no action sequences, unless you can’t a rather slow paced chase scene at the end. Almost no expositional dialogue of any note and the characters tell us very little about themselves or how their lives before we meet them at Chez Usher. You would think this would be an important detail given that Miss Usher and Mr. Suitor are suiting. So why does this movie hold my attention? It does atmosphere really, really well. The house is pretty much a character on its own. Dark, foreboding and mysterious, it has giant cracks in the walls and the whole thing just feels wrong somehow. The name of the suitor is Phillip Winthrop and apparently they are engaged. Note this for later, I will bring it up surely when we meet Miss Usher herself. Roderick Usher has apparently told the manservant that nobody is to see his sister so Mr. Suitor will go and see Roderick instead. Yes, I know he has a name, but I hate the name and so I will keep calling him Mr. Suitor.

     The manservant himself, much like the house and the Ushers is an odd fish. He asks Mr. Suitor to give him his coat and boats. Once he has taken his boots off, the servant gives him a pair of shoes and takes him up to see Roderick Usher. I’m telling you this now and I mean it with all sincerity. I am about to describe to you my exact reaction to seeing Vincent Price in this film. And I can tell you right now that even though I have told you here and now you will still not be ready for this. The servant is about to knock on the door when Vincent Price opens the door. “Oh, sweet holy mother of God what the hell is that!? Vincent Price with blonde hair and no moustache! I thought his moustache made him look more evil, but really it was saving us. This is nightmare fuel right here.” He looks cruel and the kind of cruel, to be clear, that only someone born of generations of high aristocracy can be. The only thing that might save you is how ineffectual the character actually is, again like many people born of generations of high aristocracy. Roderick does let him and thus begins the first of our many conversations on the one subject that Mr. Suitor is willing to talk about. Taking Mr. Usher’s sister away from him so he can marry her.

     In many ways this one running conversation, along with Vincent Usher reminiscing about the twisted and dark history of the house could pretty much sum up the movie. Is it worth it? Should I keep watching at this point? Yes, you fool! Press play and shut up! And now we find out why Roderick had Mr. Suitor take off his boots. The man hears all. Like the sound of Mr. Suitor riding up on his horse, climbing the stairs and the awkward laugh that died before it ever began when Roderick Price started to explain his malady. See, Mr. Suitor wants to see Madeline and Madeline is confined to her bed. Leave the house. I love how Vincent Usher keeps referring to the house as sick, which is a good choice of words. Finally, Madeline arrives on the scene and the music becomes romantic…ish. The house itself, much like a Tardis twisted house of fun mirrors, is bigger on the inside and creepier than all reason. I keep losing track of where things are and how many rooms there are, something that comes into play later. But the house clearly does not like Mr. Suitor and tries to spit fire on him. Vincent Usher comes back in and they start the weirdest conversation in the entire movie. You see, Mr. Suitor on occasion refers to himself and Madeline in Boston but the specifics are vague at best.

     It really gets weird because apparently it never occurred to Mr. Suitor that they were not destined to be together as he puts it but later on Madeline seems surprised by the idea of leaving their ugly, sick and evil house and getting married. Dem Ushers, amirite? It’s during this opening one on one conversation with Usher that their other favorite topic of dispute pops up. You see, dear readers, it’s not just the trees, water, land, house and every other animate and inanimate object that are cursed. The whole line of Usher is tainted. But of course, love is one helluva drug so Mr. Suitor starts asking your basic questions. How do you know you two are dying? Examples please? No more questions, fool. Vincent Price is master of life and death and if he says he’s dying than he got a tip from the Grim Reaper. But he does start talking, which is kind of funny. For a man who, not two minutes ago, was telling Mr. Suitor to get out he seems remarkably willing to discuss intimate medical details with a complete stranger he’s known for like five minutes. It’s their senses, you see. They can’t take intense sound, touch, taste or even emotion. Hence the boot removal earlier. But apparently this comes with a perk. Live on mashed potatoes and wear silk long enough and gain superhuman strength. Seems legit.

     Oh yes, and this is the first time we see Vincent Usher playing his stringed instrument which seems like it is very off-key. But it works for him. So Mr. Suitor gets taken to his room where he makes a shocking discovery. While getting changed for dinner, the whole building starts to shake. You see Mr. Usher doesn’t believe in paying Union people to do construction work on a house of evil and so he’s just letting it fall apart. When Mr. Suitor leans out the window to look it seems like someone picked up the whole house and dropped it a few times. But enough talk of life threatening structural damage easily and plainly visible to the naked eye, it’s dinner time! Dinner time with Vincent Usher, who already has admitted to living on a diet of mashed bland stuff. Oh, yippee. Chef the only servant in the house has truly outdone himself with tonight’s bland paste. But just in case you were getting bored, on the way down to dinner the House of Usher tries to murder Mr. Suitor with a chandelier. Dinner is a brief affair followed by some light entertainment. Mr. Price playing on his stringed instrument in melodic discordant tunes. Well, this party is just off the chain but I think I need to go to my creepy room and pray the house doesn’t collapse in on me while I sleep.

     So at this point Mr. Suitor tries to butter up Mr. Usher by pretending to like his song and saying, “Please sir, may I have another.” He tries to tell Mr. Usher that if he is pretty much forced to leave than he is going to take his fiancée with him. So without really waiting for Mr. Usher, the man with the world’s greatest hearing, to at least go to sleep Mr. Suitor just shows himself into Madeline’s room and starts kissing her and telling her all sorts of sweet nothings. That’s right, Madeline. Everything will be fine once we leave this nightmare behind. Oh look! There he is now. Keep it down, you crazy kids! Those sweet nothings might as well be broadcasted over a megaphone and some of us are trying to sleep. But sleep doesn’t last long because apparently Madeline sleepwalks into the family crypt every night, solidarity and all that. So Mr. Suitor does eventually discover her and give the man credit where it’s due, he wanders around this creepy old falling apart house owned by ultra-evil Vincent Price and actually goes into the basement looking for her. Oh yeah, the house tries to kill him again on the way. Death by faulty railing Good God, it’s like this house has life insurance policies out on every single person in the house and they all pay double if they die in natural and yet somewhat suspicious circumstances.

     My personal favorite part is where he wanders into a room and says, “Medline?” and then the door slams behind him as though the house were saying, “Over here, big boy.” “And how long has my fiancée been sleepwalking down to the creepy basement?” “Ever since she got back from Boston.” “Oh yeah, we were made for each other! Clearly!” The next morning Mr. Suitor offers to take her breakfast tray up to his fiancée. See, she eats gruel for breakfast so two bowls of gruel. Which they keep pronouncing gruueelll. Once he gets up and brings her breakfast even gruel seems too much for her, leading to one of my favorite lines in the entire movie. “Now Madeline, I’ll have no scrawny woman in my house so open your mouth!” That’s right, Madeline! Eat! Here’s comes the airplane right into the house of Usher. So he does try very hard to convince her to come with him and in response she takes him down to the crypt. You see she, this house, the land and Vincent Usher are all dying. So it’s date night at the crypt. Oh, I see why she brought him down to the crypt! Family reunion! Guys, check out this sucker that wants to marry me. Now granted, Madeline and her brother both have coffins but Mr. Suitor doesn’t have one made up yet. He can either share with her, or we can make one. What do you guys think? If you agree, say nothing and show up and in creepy drug fueled dreams tonight. Sounds good.

     But when Mr. Suitor says come away with me apparently Grandma Miriam takes offense at this and shoves her box on the floor so she can give them both a disproving stare. Madeline faints and Mr. Suitor starts to carry her upstairs only to be intercepted by her brother who tags in at this point. Oh yes! Yes! As Mr. Suitor leaves the tomb he takes one last look at the skeleton in the coffin and the soundtrack goes full on House on Haunted Hill for like two seconds. So at this point, Mr. Usher decides to explain to Mr. Suitor about the horrible nature of the house, the land and everything. He goes on a long and rambling speech about how things used to be before the house of Usher went completely bats hit insane. Mr. Price goes through this gallery of horrors that he painted and lists off all his ancestors and their jobs. Which are all entirely awesome! Jewel thief? Assassin? Blackmailer? Is that even a legit job? You know what? Screw it, just sign me up for this family. Yeah, the blighted the land with their evil. Their awesome evil! I am so in. So this works about as well as you would think and Mr. Suitor runs off to grab Madeline and get the hell out of Usher.

     But you see this doesn’t work because Mr. Usher gets there first and they argue. Though the door is locked and no violence seems to have been done to her, by the time Mr. Suitor gets in it is too late. So let’s go bury her in the crypt like now. I mean immediately. What? She already has a spot called down there and she sleepwalks into the creepy basement. I don’t see the problem. But while they pray for her downstairs in the creepy basement in the creepy chapel creepy creepy she starts twitching her fingers. Mr. Usher has the most priceless look on his face when he see it like, “Yeah. We have to put a stop to this.” It also has one of the best Vincent Price lines ever here. “Is there no end to your horrors!?” “No. None whatever.” So Madeline does, in fact, wake up and start screaming. Of course Vincent hears it. He hears it all, but my real shock is that Mr. Suitor does not. Now is time for Mr. Suitor to leave but he stops for one fateful cup of coffee on the way out. It is at this point that the servant drops the bomb on accident. She was not actually dead when they buried her. She had the epilepsy! That’s what happened. So now it’s a race against time to get Madeline out of her coffin. Even though it’s been a whole night.

     The music is actually pretty awesome here. Now this is the part of the movie where things go into overdrive, but before we get into the dramatic, and I do mean ultra –crazy dramatic stuff at the end, we have a dream sequence. The best. Dream sequence. Ever. You see, in this dream sequence we find Vincent Price along with his sister Usher surrounded by the Ushers of awesomeness. They’re all in the chapel, waving at him like… “One of us, one of us, one of us, one of us…” They all look really encouraging too, like one of them is waving a knife around. Come on down, Mr. Suitor. Come on doooowwwn! But in this dream he watches Vincent Price put her in his secret place, where all the other Ushers who didn’t really deserve tombs go. Honestly? This movie is worth it for the dream sequence alone. After the dream sequence, things go into overdrive. Here is the storm too! I had my early tip off in the comments so I’ve got my eyes open for nightmare fuel. Of course, the soundtrack provided by Vincent Price doesn’t help. The description that Vincent Price gives of her waking up and his being able to hear it. It really is one of the most horrifying things in a Vincent Price movie yet. He finally manages to admit that she’s still alive and he tells Mr. Suitor that she has gone mad. Does that stop Mr. Suitor? Oh no, he’s in love.

     So Madeline wanders off into the secret passages and Mr. Suitor follows her. While this is going on the house pretty much becomes bored with life or maybe all its policies were called in so it sets itself on fire. There’s a really great scene where Vincent can hear the screams of those Ushers that came before so he grabs a gun. I legitimately believe that Vincent Price could kill a ghost with a gun. The final climactic fight takes place in one of the upper rooms while the entire house burns and starts to fall down. I will freely admit that as the climax comes around, between the storm and the paintings and the Vincent Price, this right here is nightmare fuel. Oh lord, I remember this being less pantswettingly terrifying the first time I watched this. And thus Madeline and her brother Roderick die in the fire while she chokes him with the strength of ten men and Mr. Suitor gets out alive, barely. What a downer ending. THIS. WAS. AWESOME. Vincent Price is freaking amazing in this. You could call his performance a little over the top but he really does play it so straight that it comes full circle and actually is really terrifying. In terms of movies that we’ve seen thus far, the only one I might rate higher would be House of Wax because the ending to that one was pretty climactic too. I would say the same for House on Haunted Hill, but good God that soundtrack! Watch this movie like now.

 

Empty Throne Room Blues~

     In the time that I’ve been alive I’ve had more exposure to evil masterminds than pretty much anything else that exists in the world, and that includes the peas I’ve hidden under my mashed potatoes since I was five. That is, evil masterminds who want to take over the world. I’m not going to ask the question of why they wanted to take over their respective worlds because to some guys doing, just about anything beats a nine to five punch clock job, am I right? You shouldn’t look down on them either, just because they’re working from home because if your home looked like a giant skull you wouldn’t want to work from anywhere else either. You might want to hang some of those window garden boxes outside the eyes to spruce things up a bit, but that made me really think about the throne rooms we see in fiction. They kinda suck, don’t they? I still remember the first time I watched “Return of the Jedi” and I don’t care what anyone else says, I liked the film. It’s only with the benefit of hindsight and repeated viewings that I’ve started to ask myself some questions about the throne room. There’s nothing in it. Nothing at all other than a huge chair. This guy is the sole ruler of the galaxy and all he has in his gigantic man-cave on his floating doom fortress the size of a planet is a big chair that looks like it turns spines into accordions if you sit on it long enough.

     I guess the emperor did have his priorities straight since he did make sure that his giant death laser was fully armed and operational but come on guys. If it were me, the death laser would be on the list but I would also want more than a chair. I guess that’s all he needs to be happy. His death laser that can destroy planets and an enormous window to take it all in from. I wonder if the Property Brothers do throne rooms or would I have hire a personal contractor? It made me start feeling really badly for evil overlords in fiction. I mean take Lord Sauron from the Lord of the Rings. He can’t take a form beyond a giant lidless eye. So he’s a giant ethereal eye that can’t blink and is in desperate need of some eye drops and do his minions build him a giant plasma television so he can catch up on the decades and decades of television he missed while he was AWOL? No. Of course not. No wonder he wants that ring so much. I would be bored out of my ungodly powerful mind too. I get the impression that if the last alliance of men and elves had just brought some Clear Eye with them and Ben Stein to explain how awesome it is, preferably with a beach ball, then maybe Sean Bean would still be alive.

     We’re introduced to this concept early on, at least if you grew up watching mutant turtles named after renaissance painters. The Shredder in the old cartoon series had that giant rolling doom fortress replete with treads but it hardly looked like a comfy place to live. All sharp angles and hard backed chairs and alien overlord CEOs and the ninja equivalent of the Borg. We at least know The Shredder has some form of television because he regularly hacks into the Turtles television to show them commercials on how evil he is and how he has the product they need to turn Splinter back into a human. Kind of like real commercials, only less subtle and maybe a smidge more evil. This ad of killing teenaged mutant turtles who are also ninjas is brought to you by Michael Bay, because if it isn’t broken then clearly it needs more explosions and breasts. That always made me kind of wonder why they would want to turn Splinter back into a human in the first place. Wouldn’t he feel even more out of place living in a sewer with four turtles than he already does? I haven’t seen the sequel to the first film yet, since nobody’s had the time to tie me down and pin my eyes open a la A Clockwork Orange, but that would explain the aborted plot line where the Turtles could become human turtle things.

       Maybe this is what starts bad guys down the path of evil. There was nothing and I mean nothing to do on Saturday night and I just had a bunch of guys sitting around so let’s go get into trouble. Oddly, I think the one bad guy who gets this whole thing right is James Earl Jones in the Conan movie. He’s got a big throne room so he fills it with pillows and some incense and stuff. There was nothing really going on at the moment so he just decided it was time for an impromptu orgy night. Then he turned into a snake, like you do, when Conan came and crashed the party. No wonder he was so mad. I would be ticked off too if some giant Austrian man crashed my orgy without an invitation. Clearly I’m not moving to California any time soon. It always feels weird when I sit here thinking about some of the most terrible despotic figures in fiction ever and I feel sorry for them because they must get so bored sometimes. Look, somebody just play Apples to Apples with Darth Vader for a bit. He needs to mellow out because his son never writes and would rather jump off a deadly precipice than take over the galaxy with him. He’s had a rough day, cut him some slack.

    Not that I have any experience making evil man caves, also called throne rooms, but looking around my downstairs living room I’ve realized why those rooms are empty. It must be like how houses used to have a drawing room to receive guests in so they didn’t have to see that, like everyone else, you have clutter and mess. Imagine if Luke walked in to see the Emperor and he had fast food wrappers all over the place and a large comfy couch in front of a big flat screen television. It kinda humanizes the guy, and I didn’t even think that was possible for a man who looks like his face is in the process of trying to escape and run away to join a boy band. I’m sure he has a more intimate throne room where he chills when nobody else is there so he doesn’t have to sit in that horrible chair. I’m sorry, just every time I look at that thing I realize all over again that they don’t have Lazy Boy in a galaxy far, far away. Yoda had it right, pain leads to suffering and that leads to the dark side and thanks to Palpatine’s palpable lower back pain means he is the most evil Sith who ever lived. What? Destroy a planet? Yeah, they can go to hell and get me some advil.

Mad science is stupid science~

     I’m sure by the time this post comes out we’ll all be enjoying the second season of Stranger Things, that is unless you’re the one boring spod who didn’t like Stranger Things. If that’s the case, let me be the first to tell you the Upside Down called, they’re missing their hideous monster. One thing you may remember from that show, monster not included, is the scientist hiding beneath an eighties power haircut so dominating and masculine it should have its own name, like Gordon Salamander or something. Here’s the thing, I love mad scientists.  Sure, they do horrible experiments but come on people. This is mad science we’re talking about. Mutant super soldiers don’t grow on trees, and those death lasers aren’t cheap. There’s a door to another unexplored dimension? Hell yes, we have to open it. We’ve got the funding, what else do we need to worry about? Oh, there you again with your petty morals and God’s domain crap again. Still, I often wonder what line must be crossed before a scientist becomes a mad scientist, and thus fair game for “crimes against humanity”. The other problem is when scientists lose track of common sense. In Stranger Things the entrance to the Upside Down looks like a giant fungus in the process of eating the wall that repairs itself when you touch it in any way. So obviously we’re going to send a guy into it with a steel cable attached to his back. What could possibly go wrong other than literally every single thing that happens after that point?

     I remember a movie I watched a few years ago in which the United States had created a giant python that could spit acid and eat a Clydesdale with pretty much zero effort. They send a team out to find this thing when it escapes and goes missing, and I want to stress this next point because I think it deserves stressing. They hunt it down not to firebomb the hell out of the python, but to capture it. Capture the giant snake that responds about as well to commands as a deaf terrier with an attitude problem. Great idea guys, let me know how that turns out. Once they get to the site where the python is now loose, it gets loose in a scene that will forever change the way you look at those snake in a jar party favors, they still want to catch it. I say it, but really there’s more than one snake. So guys, will catching the one snake be enough or do you want to tempt fate and try for both of them? You know, last time I checked guns still work perfectly well as a means of killing people. I just tested it out the other day. No, actually I did not but I heard about it from a guy. Actually, I didn’t do that either and you should forget I ever said that. That’s basically the plot of every Aliens movie too, though mad scientist stupid usually joins forces with military nut-job and greedy ruthless industrial sized stupid to get that done.

     You see this in a lot of science fiction stories too, where the robots or the machines or Skynet or the Cylons have become self-aware and try to destroy humanity, because it’s Tuesday and all the pizza joints were closed. You see? This is what happens when you create a race of xenophobic machines, it’s like starting a second version of that movie War-games, subtitled all your base are belong to us. This is what always throws me, how can these so called mad scientists not realize that mad science is stupid science? Playing God isn’t just a moral taboo. It’s a moral taboo that has huge consequences, like the internet going down. My coffee machine already knows far more than is good for it. Someday I’m going to ask for a darker roast and the coffee machine will send a tactical nuclear strike my way. When does the horror end? This is why all coffee machines must die…what were we talking about? Oh, right. Mad scientists. This is why I think the Dune series had it right. If we ever invent true thinking machines than I would sponsor a jihad that spanned multiple galaxies as well. I suppose the chain has to continue as well, so once the machines take over they make some sort of biological weapon for no discernable reason that causes Apes to become intelligent and thus the Planet of the Mecha-Apes is born.

     The other one I love is zombie films, because there is always, always some super-secret government research lab that was funded by the government that is researching how to turn zombies into weapons. Weapons that view the entire human race as a midnight snack. Yeah, that’s a great idea. The worst part is that this usually comes from a company that has the type of advertisements I would normally make fun of on television, like Umbrella Corps or a company researching cosmetics. And now you know why they use monkeys when they test their make-up. Obviously so we end up with Zombie Planet of the Apes. Why is that not a thing? Here, I’ll do one better. Why don’t we also make a theme park filled with dinosaurs the size of small cows that that can jump over several semi-trailers and have razor sharp teeth around the size of banana? Or maybe we could start reanimating the world’s greatest soldiers as mindless killing machines, that won’t backfire will it? Then again I suppose we do call them mad scientists for a reason. At some point they lost touch with their humanity, so all we need to do is give every scientist in the world a helpful cuddle every now and then to let them know that no, the world really does not need another flesh eating virus with no known cure.

     It does raise the question as to who hires these people. I mean, the Umbrella Corporation sure, but those guys are run by the Daleks so they don’t really count. What scientist in his right mind walks into a lab, cracks his knuckles and says, “A virus that turns the population of the entire world into mindless killing machines that will reproduce via spreading of the virus at an uncontainable rate? Gonna get me some of that!” Yeah. A mad scientist. As a public service announcement for all those inexperienced chumps out there I will now give you a handy and easy to follow guide for the differences between your normal every day scientists and your mad scientists. Normal scientists use words like “morals” and “Geneva convention” and a lot of other malarkey like that. They also research really boring stuff like curing diseases or ending world hunger by growing vegetables the size of Humvees. Mad scientists generally wear black gloves in a material that won’t stain. They do experiments that rock, like cloning dinosaurs or mutating carnivorous animals into something Freddie Krueger runs away from in his nightmares. They use awesome words like, “Bottom line” or phrases like, “Now we’ll get our funding for sure” or “Soon I’ll show them. Yes, show them all!” Now that you know the basic differences between the two, remember. Hugs for all scientists, mad or otherwise.

My Immortal~ Two’s company, five is a crowd

   Well shuuuucks howdy, it’s Sunday and for the foreseeable future that makes this My Immortal Time. Before we start in on today’s installment, I would like to point out what Voldemort’s evil plan is. He wants Enoby to kill Vampire Potter. If she doesn’t he will kill Draco, then Vampire and finally her. If he can do all these things, why doesn’t he just do all these thing? Anyways, let’s get this train up and running so we can wreck it.

Chapter X-Ok, so Vlodemort threatened to kill our…heroine? Protagonist? If you can think of a better word let me know. Anyways, she was upset. Not upset enough to miss practice with her Gothic Metal band, Bloody Gothic Rose 666. That is more angst packed into one title than any other band name I have ever seen. It’s like if the Cure had a love child with My Bloody Valentine. As we get our run through of the band members we finally meet Diabolo, or Ron Weasely. Wait, Hargrid is in the band too? Wouldn’t that kind of be a buzzkill? No this next part is important. Enoby says that Draco and Vampire missed practice. Then she casually mentions that Draco was likely slitting his wrists, but it’s no big deal because who doesn’t, amirite? He won’t die, because he’s a vampire. I can’t believe I need to point this out, but here we are. Also, this scene shows us why transitions are nice because apparently Enoby gets changed right there where they’re practicing (Gratuitous clothing, take a shot). But apparently all this angst in the room is bad for keeping secrets because she tells her band members, and Hargrid, about Vlodemort and his plans to have her kill Harry…ah, Vampire Potter. She doesn’t want to because he’s nice. But then she drops the bomb. If I don’t kill Harry…ah, Vampire Potter he will kill Draco. Apparently Draco lives in the wall because he hops out from behind it and calls her a name and runs off crying. At the end of this chapter we find out he killed himself by slitting his wrists. So. One of two things is true. Either this was done on purpose and somehow Dumblydore didn’t know one of his own students was a vampire or…yeah, we forgot that whole little can’t die from slitting your wrists, need a cross or a steak thing.

Chapter XI-So I’m just going to skip to the good stuff. We’ve been all over this before. Enoby cries tears of blood and slits her wrists, looking like a gothic fountain centerpiece for a modern Vlad the impaler spewing blood instead of water. Oh yes, for those of you indulging in the drinking game, I will put up rules at some point, but this one has like…three gratuitous clothing descriptions in it. So yes, another word that falls into the “almost right it’s so wrong” category. Apparently in this version of Hogwarts, Snape and Lupin are buddies and they like filming female students…and masticating to them. So Lupin has a bag of chips, or crisps since it’s Hogwarts. Prepare yourselves ladies and gentlemen for the most hilarious sequence of events ever. Harry Potter comes running in. Abra Kadabra! He pointed his womb. What does one even say about such a line? Does Harry Potter have a womb? I mean, he is the boy who lived. Is that the seventh Horocrux? Was Harry capable of bearing children till Vlodemort dies? Then Enoby shoots Snape and Lupin with her gun, because it’s Hogwarts which has always been notorious for its gun violence, which breaks the camera but doesn’t kill them. Because wizards are immortal. Now Dumblydore runs in and starts saying something before he trails off dejectedly. Now Hargrid runs outside on his broom. So now we have two people who ran into Enoby’s room without knocking, Snape and Lupin are still floating outside on their brooms and Hargrid is down on the ground, running around with his like he’s playing Cowboys and Indians. Now again, nota bene, my readers. Apparently Hargrid is a little Hogwarts student and a Satanist, because of course he is. He’s also Goffick, which Snape is afraid means he’s a Satanist…which he just said he was, because why not, right? I mean, all the cool people are doing it. Wait that reason won’t work! I can’t use that reason!

Chapter XII-So, with all these people still there, Enoby decides that life without Drago just isn’t worth living. I know I was pretty depressed when I saw the end of Rocky IV. Dolph Lundgren noooooo! You said you would break him! I was betting everything on you! Ah ha! But now Vampire comes in, adding to the number of total people still in the scene, since Harry is apparently a different person. This is the part where we find out about his scar being a pentagram and covered up, but he it turned back into a lightning bolt. This scene, along with one other, repeats itself. Save me, says Harry Potter. We do find out what happened to Draco. Volthemort has him bondage. Oh ho, you dirty kitty. I didn’t know wizards played like that. So we go with Enoby to the nurses room, because what were you expecting for slit wrists, the hospital? A psych ward? Efforts in futility and failure. Nurses office it is! Dumblydore has apparently constipated the video tape that Snape and Lupin took of Enoby. He’s likely working that through now. And now Hargrid goes into her hospital bed and hands her some roses. Well, it’s certainly more romantic than flying into the forbidden forest in a flying car. Though apparently the roses are not roses. Hargrid does a spell and they turn into a huge black ball of flames floating in the air. And it was black. And…how much more black could it be? And the answer is…none. None more black. I have no idea what he says and then (gratuitous clothing scene, take a shot). I love how this whole story mentions slitting your wrists and then, hey it’s time for class. Let’s all go to the loooobyyy. Ah yes, the Hair of Magical Magic creatures. For the aspiring dog groomers at Hogwarts. Wait. Harry in this scene is sucking some blood from…a Hufflepuff? Is the Hufflepuff objecting to this? So yes, Enoby and Vampire start getting their game on when we get our next insult (take a shot) “You Horny simpletons.” And now we get out scar repeat scene.

Chapther XIII-I was thinking of stopping with the last chapter, but really? This scene is too good. Enoby and Vampire go to see Dumblydore about Draco being held in bondage. If you can find the auto-tuned scene, do so. The two speak at the same time and it…well the scene had non suspense, but it’s worth it. The reason I needed to keep going and do this scene is that apparently he doesn’t care about Draco being in bondage because he was a bad student and Dumblydore never liked him much anyways. Haha. Oh yes, another insult (take a shot) you despicable snots. But then Vampire gets a brain storm by cleverly clearing his head by crying tears of blood. See, when you get rid of the bad brain juices, which in older times were called humours…ah screw it. He uses a spell and now they are in Voldenpricks lair.

And that’s as far as I go. The chapters are getting much longer and they have some actual story in them now. I didn’t make you listen to me go over the repeated parts though. Come back next time for more tales from Hogwarts school of bitchcraft and pissery!