Thursday, November 26, 2015

Things I'm not thankful for.

Why the hell is this even a thing?

Welcome, friends, to my annual Things I'm Not Thankful For post. Hard to believe it's been a year since the last one, isn't it? Well, this is the first one, so there's your explanation.

Time for a new Thanksgiving tradition for me, though. Yes, turkey is nice, football is awesome, family, blah blah blah. Everyone wants to talk about what they're thankful for. Not me, though. I'll leave that to you pumpkin pie-stuffed people. Gorge on your food, pass out on the recliner, ignore your obnoxious kids (I know I am), and let me tell you what I'm not thankful for: 2015 edition.


No, I'm not inspired.

Your annoying Facebook posts. Yes, that's right.

Consider this not just a Thanksgiving item, but a year-round, running item. Every holiday, election year, terrorist attack, celebrity scandal, whatever, fills my news feed with obnoxious, pointless, vacuous garbage. Being a retired military guy, I also have the bonus of a pantload of overly-conservative, paranoid, idiotic posts that just don't matter. OH NO, THE GAYS ARE COMIN'! THAT MUSLIM OBAMA'S GONNA TAKE MY GUNS! THEM BASTARD DEMOCRATS ARE GONNA TAKE ONE-HALF OF ONE PERCENT OF MY COST OF LIVING ALLOWANCE! LIBTARDS HURR-DURRRRRRR.

You get the idea. Let's go over this one more time: Nobody's going to take your fucking guns, Cletus. Your interpretation of God's sentiments are stupid and ill-thought out - do you really think a supreme being would care if two people with a penis fall in love and want to join the miserable world of marriage like the rest of us poor chumps? No. And remember: it just doesn't matter who you vote for or who the next president is. NOTHING WILL CHANGE. Not to put too fine a point on it, but remember: NOBODY CARES ABOUT YOUR POLITICAL OPINIONS.

By the way, I've been deployed on a couple of Thanksgivings and Christmases in my day, and not once have I seen a table full of troops hugging, or holding their hands together for a prayer/Facebook photo opportunity. Maybe it was on the other side of the dining facility, and I wasn't invited because I'm a grouchy bastard. You know why I was grouchy? Because I had to wait in line at the chow hall for at least an hour on Thanksgiving to load my tray up with delicious food that's WAY better than what I would have gotten at home.

Who's forgetting them?

But, I digress.



This little girl sums it up rather nicely.

Seriously, you guys are assholes. Enough with the blowing people up already, you know? We get it; you hate the things that make the western world great: exposed female knees and McRib sandwiches and Snuggies and bacon and and the good, Christian values that allow you to get married and divorced ten times as long as it's to someone of the opposite sex, and the inalienable right to choke yourself with a belt while you masturbate (RIP, Michael Hutchence). We get that you hate all that stuff, but can't you just write strongly worded letters instead of killing a bunch of people just trying to live their lives?

ISIS, Al Qaeda, Boko Haram, and everybody else who enjoys a stylish vest lined with explosives: just STAAAAAHHHHHP already. You kill people, you sadden and annoy the world, you create sensationalized media, you make it a giant ordeal to get through airport security, you are inconveniently scattered around the world, making it impossible to just nuke the shit out of you, you make me have to sign my name just to buy a goddamned box of Sudafed (wait, that's meth heads, not terrorists, sorry).

You want to blow yourself up for Allah or whatever? Cool, man, do it up. Just do it in an isolated patch of desert where nobody else is around. Try that place I pooped in the sand, just south of an Najef, Iraq. It seemed like a peaceful enough place to poop, reflect on life, blow your dumb ass up, whatever.

To all the terrorists who read my posts: please just stop killing other people, for Christ's sake. Deal? Awesome, thanks.

There has to be a better outlet for your angst, y'know?


You jackasses on bicycles.

All your roads are belong to us.

Oh my god, you're terrible. Not quite as bad as terrorists, but holy hell, you're not that far off. You go out  and spend money on amazing performance bicycles, you buy the ridiculous skin-tight outfits and those weird shoes with a brick on the bottom, then you prep for your ride with a huge self-entitlement shake.

How many times have you been stuck behind some overweight jackass on the verge of a heart attack while he tries to pedal up a hill, about three feet into your lane so you can't pass? If I had a dollar for every time that happened to me, I'd be doing something way cooler than writing for you people, like driving a solid gold Vespa scooter.

And you're just fucking stuck. You can't pass, you can't honk at the guy - god forbid he's asked to make any kind of adjustment that isn't in line with his I'M A CYCLIST! mentality.  We get it, jerkass: in your head, you're Lance Armstrong, but in reality, you're just an aggravation to the entire world.

Try passing one sometime, coming within a three-foot radius of their space. You'll never see a more indignant, fist-waving human being EVER. How dare you almost come within three feet of giving him a side-mirror check? SHARE THE ROAD. CYCLISTS HAVE THE SAME RIGHTS AS YOU LAZY CAR PEOPLE!

Yeah, that would be great, buddy, if you actually followed the rules of the road. I see it every damn day. You blow through stop signs, you roll on up between rows of stopped cars, you yield to absolutely no one. You absolutely don't follow the rules of the road, but your head almost explodes when I pass you. Screw you and your dopey little outfit.

Enjoy the feeling of my side mirror on your elbow, asshat.

In summary, anyone who refers to themselves as "cyclists" and owns the ridiculous Speedo gear should be sent out of the country. Maybe the Northwest Territory of Canada? Not a lot of traffic up there. Go start your own country of pretentious, self-entitled douches on two wheels.

In the meantime, realize that you are about as important as the dorks riding around on Segways.

The answer is right under your feet, jackwagon.


Black Friday.

Buncha greedy jackasses, all of you. Every year, not only does this ridiculous debacle start earlier and earlier, but it's just stupid. KIDS WAKE UP WE HAVE TO GET TO WALMART AT 3 AM FOR A HUNDRED DOLLAR TV!

Seriously, Roman gladiator fights were less violent and better organized than black Friday sales. Waiting in line for hours while some poor 60-year old war veteran security guard counts down the minutes until he has to move the sad little rope separating him from pure, unadulterated frenzy at Target/Walmart/Best Buy/Toys r Us.

And for what? 10% off some Faded Glory jorts? $20 off that kitchen ninja? Half off the hottest new stupid doll the media has told you your kid just has to have? Is it really worth it? Stay home and enjoy your family, for Christ's sake. Stop following the crowd. Crowds of people are just plain stupid as a rule, and when there's four hundred people waiting to buy ten Quasar VCRs, it's not just stupid, but it's violent.

People lined up at Sears. Wait, what? Sears is still a thing?

Anyway, stop doing it. It's not worth it.

There are plenty of other things I'm not thankful for, but this is it for now. I've got more important things to do than explain to you why most of the things you do are just wrong.

Now, stop reading the stupid internet and go back to arguing with your family and watching terrible football games and gorging yourself on food. You'll be really happy you did, no doubt. 'Tis the season and all.

Bring on dessert!

Until next time, remember:


Life is beautiful, isn't it?

Sunday, November 15, 2015

The last few months, summarized.

Where the hell ya been, Dave?

Okay, so it's been a long time since I've posted anything here (aside from yesterday's awesome Cannibal Corpse review), and believe me, my phone has been ringing off the hook with calls and texts from many very important people asking, "When are you going to drop some more amazingly engaging blog posts on us, champ?" (The "champ" was from Obama; that's what he calls me.)

Anyway, the answer is: mind your own damned business. Okay, that's not the real answer, but sometimes my wittiness just overtakes me.

The real deets, broken down in a pie chart (as I understand it, the kids love pie charts):

Not included, because it's a constant: ignoring your stupid Facebook posts.

Notice there's no slice of the pie for "writing awesome things." That's because I haven't been, and frankly, you're the ones who suffer, so for that, I apologize.

However, despite not writing, I've been keeping up with the hot-button issues, formulating opinions and allowing them to simmer in my ample, powerful, creamy creative juices, just waiting for the climatic moment to unload them all over you. Grab a towel.

Shocking issue #1:

What? A lady in Kentucky hates the gays?

The charming, irrepressible Kim Davis

Yes, people really got upset about that. Who cares? Someone in Kentucky not helping gay folks is more common than a lower back tattoo on a woman entering her forties. BFD. The best thing to come out of this issue was:

Laugh, then move on.

Shocking issue #2:

Bill Cosby will drug and rape everybody

That's right; Cliff Leonard Part 6 Huxtable has been accused by about seventeen thousand women of slipping them a roofie and getting his zippidy-zoppidy-doo on. Now everybody wants to protest his shows - meanwhile, I can't help wondering: How in the hell is Bill Cosby still performing? People are paying money to go watch his rambling, incoherent, un-funny stories? Did I fall asleep and wake up in 1978?  If you've ever seen his clean, unfunny comedy, you had to know there's something deeper and darker under there. Nobody can be that damned nice for a living and not have a basement filled with chained-up drifters used for weird sexual gratification and/or Satanic rituals. Trust me; I'm very smart.

Shocking Issue #3:

Former Olympic athlete tucks junk, says "Yo, I'm a gal."

Comic Sans to really drive the point home that you're stupid if you care about this.

I don't get all the hubbub about this. Has Bruce Jenner been relevant since the late 70s? If he wasn't caught up in that undoubtedly weird-smelling and probably sticky-to-the-touch posse of Kardashians, what would he be doing? That Wheaties box was a long time ago, friends.

Look, I get that it doesn't make him/her HEROIC. I saw all of your dumb, indignant Facebook posts about how soldiers are the real heroes, blah blah blah. Here's the point, though (and I'm serious here - take notes): The industry celebrating his/her "BRAVERY" and "HEROISM" is the same industry that keeps you hypnotized with insultingly dumb sitcoms, masturbatory award shows, and "reality" television. It's Hollywood - the fakest thing to ever be fake! 

REPEAT AFTER ME: It's not real, and it doesn't matter.

That's all you need to know. Stop finding shit to be indignant about and live your life.

Shocking Issue #4:

"Achy-Breaky Heart" spawn Hannah Montana descends to TPC level.

The complicated evolution of a serious artist.

Miley Cyrus has gone from a cute teen star making bad television and bad music to an out-of-control trailer park chick making bad life choices. My kids used to watch Hannah Montana. Now you can't swing a Billy Ray Cyrus platinum record without hitting nude pictures of Miley. It's bizarre and, like everything else, DOESN'T MATTER. It's only good for comic relief.

Hundreds of years from now, we'll wonder why either of these people were a thing.

Okay, I've lost interest in this. So much ridiculous stuff happens every single day that it would be impossible for me to cover everything. I have much more important things to do than to try to edify you on it all (Northwest Florida Breakdancing Championships, "Enlarge Your Manhood" emails to categorize and research, football to watch, profiles to search, complex algebraic formulas that lead to realistic intergalactic travel to write, toenails to clip, etc).

Oh, one more thing: we're still a year away from the next presidential election, and you f*ckers are already making Facebook insufferable. Here's a tip: Donald Trump isn't going to get the Republican nomination, Bernie Sanders isn't going to get the Democratic nomination, and your political opinions are about as relevant to the world as the Full House reunion. Nobody cares what you think. You aren't smarter than everybody else. No matter who is elected president, nothing will change. Get out of your little partisan echo chamber websites and off your high horses. Enjoy your lives.

That lying African Muslim antichrist radical constitution-hating terrorist who somehow made a deal with Allah to become president is comin' fer my gunz, I just know it!

There's so much you could be doing right now that doesn't involve arguing with idiots on the internet about who you think should be the next neutered figurehead leader of the good ol' US of A. Read a book (preferably Cherokee Spleen, which has been referred to as "the greatest collection of words put together in the history of mankind"*). Spend time with your kids. Stop driving like an asshole. Stalk old girlfriends/boyfriends on Facebook. Learn how knit. Stop the spread of skinny jeans on men. Send me a check for $50. Move the headstones of an Indian burial ground, but leave the bodies. Stop worrying about being anything but a good person. Take the truck nutz off your car. Drink some coffee. Climb a tree. Hang out at the mall and tickle random strangers. Watch a scary movie (but not The Culling, for the love of all things holy). Listen to "Safety Dance" ten times in a row. Stop getting worked up over who's rubbing their genitals together.

Here's a tip: when you read something on DAH INTERNETZ that you don't like and you think you should share with the world, try this:

It's surprisingly effective.

Above all, realize life is short. Seriously, I was 20 years old about two weeks ago full of piss and vinegar, ready to change the world. Now I'm 43 and guess what: I haven't changed the world. I made some lovely kids, vomited and peed in many exotic locations around the world, and wrote a bunch insignificant fluff, but really, what does it mean?

Soon enough, your kids will be feeding you and wiping your ass (that's right, my four precious little daughters, take note), and do you know how important all your fist-pounding self-righteousness over politics and the state of America will be? I bet you can guess. Your kid is going to be wiping creamed corn off of your chin and thinking one of two things: " poor father/mother," or "Hurry up and kick already; I have a life to live."

Don't be that guy.

In short, just because you CAN doesn't mean you SHOULD.

I'll leave you with this inspirational picture quote: 


*Quote from the author himself.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

No matter what, we'll always have Cannibal Corpse

Cannibal Corpse/Cattle Decapitation/Soreption/Dark Star Coven
Vinyl Music Hall, Pensacola, 11/6/2015

ZOMG! I was there!

Don't know Cannibal Corpse? Weird; I thought they were a household name. Family friendly, good-time party rock. Well, for those of you who live under rocks, here are a few facts:

- Cannibal Corpse has been a band since 1988.  You people likely forget how much terrible, terrible music there were in the late 80s. It's my job to keep you people in touch with reality, and I take that responsibility very seriously. Anytime someone tells you, "Oh, I love 80's music!" first, tap them on the forehead with the ball end of a ball-peen hammer, and then tell them they're not remembering all the top 40 manure traveling over the airwaves at the time.

This is what inspired, nay, necessitated, the formation of Cannibal Corpse.

- If you've ever wondered what it would sound like if Cookie Monster sang death metal, then Cannibal Corpse is the band for you. Seriously. "Cookie Monster vocals" is a thing, look it up.

The kids love him!

- They were in the movie Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. A lot of people saw that movie, so odds are you've seen Cannibal Corpse and didn't even know it. Look at you! You're a gore metal fan already.

Aaaaaaaallllllllrighty then.

So, there's just a little background info for you. Please ensure you bookmark this page, or print it out, or at the very least, commit it to memory. If you haven't found yourself in a heated argument over what year Cannibal Corpse formed yet, trust me, it's going to happen, and you're going to want to be prepared. Again, I do these things for you because I care. I want you to be armed and ready for anything that may come your way.

I'll spare you a long-winded writeup of each band, but I will say, local doom-sludge metal group Dark Star Coven were good and the singer of Swedish death metal outfit Soreption looked ready to beat everyone's ass.

California grindcore group Cattle Decapitation (tied with Pig Destroyer for my favorite band named after a horrible-sounding animal mutilation) followed Soreption, and as a result of the off-putting name, it should probably be noted that they are staunch supporters of animal rights and taking care of the planet. If you could understand vocalist Travis Ryan's vocals (which range from Cookie Monster to Dani Filth), you'd hear stories of forcing humans to go through what we put animals through in the interest of meat consumption. Harrowing, disturbing subjects, to be sure, but the music is pure death-grind-core mayhem. Watching them put it together on the small stage at Vinyl Music Hall Swas fascinating to me. With so many shifts in tempo, tone, vocal styles in every single song, you just wonder, how do they do it live? How drummer Dave McGraw does what he does boggles my mind, quite honestly. (In fact, I told him that after their set, to which he said, "You can do anything you want to, if you just believe." Wait, no, that's not what he said. I don't remember what he said. Maybe it was something about how nice my eyebrows looked that night? My memory fails me.)

Cattle Decapitation guitarist Josh Elmore, NOT playing Skynrd. 

Punishing, insane, awesomeness from drummer Dave McGraw

Just throw ya hands in the ay-uh...wave 'em like you just don't cay-uh!

After Cattle Decapitation finished blowing the faces off of the crowd, it was time for the headliner, your mom's favorite band, Cannibal Corpse. (Trust me, she loves the song "Icepick Lobotomy" off CC's latest album, A Skeletal Domain.)

Comic Sans, because that's what your mom would use.

'bout to get all gory up in here.

Cannibal Corpse came and headbanged their way through at least fifteen songs (almost all of which contained the words "death," "mangled," "bloody," "violence," and/or "brutal." None of which contained the words "dat booty," "lovin'," "bae," "cuddles," or "good times.")

It was punishing, as it should be. You don't go to a Cannibal Corpse show for a lighthearted, fun time with your significant other. You go to get your ears split by guitars, your gut to be pounded by machine-gun drumming. Every Cannibal Corpse song is a gory little horror story, and if you listen closely enough, you can hear Tipper Gore rolling in her grave. Wait, is Tipper Gore alive or dead? Meh. Doesn't matter - none of you whippersnappers get the reference anyway.

What was I saying? Oh, right, Cannibal Corpse are still very heavy, very brutal, very passionate about what they're doing, 27 years into a controversial run as the premiere death-gore-metal band. They blew the place away with a near-set ending version of "Hammer-Smashed Face," one of their most well-known tunes (thanks to Ace Ventura, Death Metal Detective).

All in all, it was pretty awesome. Yes, that's right. I'm a 43-year old father of four daughters, and I just said a Cannibal Corpse show was "awesome." If you find that strange, well, too late, sucker - you've already read the whole story. Now look at these pictures:

George "Corpsegrinder" Fisher doesn't care if you like him or not.

Nor does guitarist Pat O'Brien.

Bassist Alex Webster definitely doesn't like you.

Time for some Hammer-Smashed Faces. Good friendly violent fun for all.

P.S. I forgot the battery for my nice Canon DSLR, so I stood there like a tool, taking these pictures with my iPhone 5s. If you have any complaints about photo quality, see the picture below.

Remember: Every time you listen to Taylor Swift, Cannibal Corpse beats an angel to death with a guitar. Is that something you want on your hands? Can you live with that?

Hugs n' kisses until next time, kids. 

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Movie Review: Love in the Time of Monsters

We're at an age where pretty much everything has been done in horror movies and comedy movies and, well, pretty much all movies. There now exists an entire subculture of filmmakers who live to make horror comedies, most of which are entirely too self-aware, *wink, nudge*, too-cute attempts at not only ostensibly honoring the horror genre, but lampooning it.

Most of these entries into the genre that I've watched aren't particularly scary or funny or satirical, despite the writers-directors-producers' trying their best to beat you over the head repeatedly, trying oh-so-hard to prove that their movie is the one. (See my recent Zombeavers review.) Meanwhile, you're just watching the same old movie - stupid, promiscuous teenagers off to an isolated cabin where evil-but-hilarious stuff happens. *Yawn.*

Look, I know I sound like a crotchety old bastard, and frankly, when it comes to movies, I am. There's just not a lot of fun or interesting in the movies anymore. Everything is formulaic, disguised as an homage to something else based on some formulaic classic, everything is a remake-reboot-reimagining-rehashing. Plots are secondary, and often so predictable and homogenized that it feels like Hollywood is pissing in every moviegoers'  face. Everyone is too pretty, scripts are overflowing with lazy dick and fart jokes, the nerd gets the girl, the troubled protagonist gets redemption, the good guys win, style trumps substance all the time.

Go ahead, try to think of the last original-feeling movie you watched. The last movie that, when you walked out of the theater or turned off on your TV, just wouldn't get out of your head. Take your time. (Please, feel free to post a comment below with your answer...I'd honestly love to see.)

For the record, my answer is probably Kingsman: The Secret Service, which was just effing fun.

However, we're not here to debate the rather unimaginative state of the movie industry, are we? Pretentious ramblings of a crotchety old bastard (hey, there's the title of my memoirs) are only fun for about two minutes. On with the review!

Ominous and foreboding poster

After I posted my review of Zombeavers, I got a tweet from someone calling themselves Uncle Slavko, telling me to check out Love in the Time of Monsters. Turns out Uncle Slavko is the official Twitter handle for the movie. There was a still from the film attached to the tweet:


Great, another zombified forest creature. After the Zombeaver experience, I was tentative, but @UncleSlavko's enthusiasm was evident, so I figured, what the hell? It's Sunday morning, I'm not wearing pants, and I have about five mini-bottles of booze handy in case this devolves into Zombeaversquirrel 2: Electric Boogaloo.

The movie opens with a scene of a mother and father and their two daughters on vacation, the family fun cut short due to a tragic giant Paul Bunyan monument axe accident taking dad out. (Why wasn't the axe better secured to the statue's hand? The world may never know.)

Fast forward 15 years later, and the two daughters are grown and heading off on a family vacation of their own to Uncle Slavko's All-American Family Lodge, in an attempt to surprise blonde sister Carla's fiancee, who works at the cheeseball tourist trap and to visit their friend Agatha, who is in charge of running things. Brunette sister Marla isn't amused, and the opposite personalities are established.

"Where the American dream goes to die."

One of the attractions at Uncle Slavko's is a nature walk with fake, designed Sasquatch sightings. The team of guys in Bigfoot suits includes Carla's fiancee, Johnny. The leader of the Bigfoot team is none other than Kane Hodder, who you may recognize if he was wearing a hockey mask, since he played Jason Voorhees in several installments of the Friday the 13th movie series.

As the sisters establish their quirky opposite-ness even further (Carla's the cornball idealist, Marla's the wild child), something goes wrong with the Bigfoot crew during their training session - one falls into the swamp, which is, of course, infested with toxic goo (it's always toxic goo, man). A scrum ensues with the rest of the Bigfoot team when they discover their peer's body floating face down in the water, which causes them all to tumble into the toxic-goo-water. Surprisingly, falling into the toxic goo is problematic for the guys, turning them zombie-ish and really causing poor complexions.

Marla's at the bar, trying her best to get into no good with handsome bartender Armando (please say that with a cheesy Spanish accent, thanks), while Carla decides to strip down to lingerie and wait in the employee parking lot to surprise Johnny. Neither of these things turn out well, and the chaos begins. Zombie guys dressed in Bigfoot suits begin attacking the lodge, eating away at whoever they can. Carla flees and is taken in for her own safety by the local grizzled wild man, Chester.

Carla realizes her fiancee is a zombie and, naturally, runs off into the woods in her pink lingerie.

Things get gory as guests and employees are attacked and ripped apart. Guests flee in their cars, leaving most of the remaining crew to hole up inside the lodge as they attempt to figure out why the fellas are eating people and turning to Dr. Abraham "Doug" Lincoln for answers. The doctor informs them that he's missing one crucial piece of the toxin puzzle to create the antidote for toxic-goo-zombification.

Chester and Carla and Dan (the only non-infected member of the Bigfoot crew) sneak back to the lodge and take refuge with the others, sisters reunited. Mrs. Uncle Slavko (played by Shawn Weatherly, who you'll no doubt recognize as Miss South Carolina, Miss America, and Miss Universe 1980, or perhaps as Cadet Adams, from the comedy classic Police Academy 3: Back in Training), tries to help keep things under control. The cops arrive and are swiftly and predictably dispatched of by the zombie Bigfoots (Bigfeet?).

With no options left but to try to create the antidote, a "task force" forms and sneaks off to the swamp to get a sample of the icky stuff. This does, however, lead to one of the best scenes in movie history: two lodge employees, Big Kahuna and Brandi, create a distraction to divert the creatures' attention away from the task force in the form of a mini-dance party, complete with loud techno music and flashing lights. Brandi grows tired and turns to Big Kahuna for motivation, which brings the second best line of the movie:

"Dance like lives depend on it!"

Couldn't find an actual image of the dancing, so this is my rendition.
Yes, I'm available to do artwork for you.

The task force returns, having failed their mission due to some aggressive zombie fish, Chester's at death's doorstep, the goo sample is lost. However, in a bit of magical serendipity, they find a piece of paper in Chester's coat pocket, and GUESS WHAT? It's the seventh secret herb of the toxic goo, which allows Dr. Abraham Lincoln to create the antidote.

Unbeknownst to our heroes, Uncle Slavko is hiding a dark, completely SHOCKING secret: he's the one responsible for dumping the toxic goo in the water and triggering all this mayhem. He grabs the antidote and his cash and tries to get away, before Mrs. Uncle Slavko catches up to him and...well, let's just say it's an...explosive meeting...

Insert Dr. Evil bad joke laugh here.

At the same time, poor Brandi the dancer (Heather Rae Young, Playboy Playmate of the Month, February 2010) is attacked by a horde of undead squirrels, resulting in your first and only boob sighting, one hour and twenty minutes into it. Despite screaming like a maniac, the squirrel finishes her with a very familiar-looking chest-bursting scene, and Brandi and her big fake boobs are killed.

Thusly, we arrive at the denouement, a standoff pitting Carla and Marla and Armando (please read that with a cheesy Spanish accent, thanks) against an army of zombified birds and squirrels and a moose. Carla manages to give Johnny the antidote, after receiving the most sage piece of advice from her sister, delivered in the best line of the movie: 

"Whatever you do, don't not do this."

If there's a better line in movie history, I can't think of it at the moment. In fact, there is a better-than-average chance that "Whatever you do, don't not do this" will be tattooed on one (or both) of my forearms in the very near future. Standby for pictures!

Anyway, the "real" Bigfoot shows up to help fight off the baddies in the epic, climatic battle between hot chicks and undead forest creatures. Our heroes emerge victorious, and love abounds...because, really, it's all about the lovin'.

Love in the Time of Monsters isn't going to change the world. It isn't going to change the way you look at horror or comedy or the hybrid of both. However, it is an entertaining movie, for sure. The dialogue feels relaxed and naturally funny - not overdone and forced. The scenery is lovely and the effects are serviceable - of all the zombie squirrels I've seen, these were definitely the most realistic. The cast actually isn't bad, which is usually a problem in this genre. The whole thing actually feels lighthearted...there's no trying too hard or sneaking in any seriousness. It's fun, and really, that's what you want from a movie like this.

(Bonus: several songs on the soundtrack by an actual band called Thunderdikk.)

I don't have a rating system, but if I did, I'd put Love in the Time of Monsters somewhere in between a soothing dip in a hot tub and an extended version of that nice little buzz you get in your head when you sneeze. You know what I'm talking about.

Click Uncle Slavko to go the official movie page, because America!

Saturday, June 6, 2015

"Something" from December 14, 2002

So, I was just digging through my writing folder and came across this document, cleverly titled "Something." The created on date is December 14, 2002. I have no idea what I was doing with this or where it was going, but I suppose it doesn't matter. Anyway, just thought I'd post it here for no reason...

The scene is a crappy little apartment.  The living room of a crappy little apartment, more specifically.  You look around the apartment and take note of the mess.  The squalor.
The carpet is dingy yellow, the same shade as the plug that forms on the spout of a bottle of French’s mustard.  The furniture is old, and you know that it wasn’t much to look at to begin with: discount store particle board, the stuff that starts to sag and rock after your books or television sit on it too long.  The recliner used to be a sea green, but patches of the material have worn off in the places where elbows and asses go. The remaining material is discolored from sweat and spilled drinks and ashtrays and so forth and so on.  There’s a stupid floor lamp standing next to the recliner, conveniently placed where you wouldn’t even have to get out of the recliner to turn it on or off.  The inverted cone directs the light to the ceiling, and if you look up, you’d see the misshapen shadow of hundreds of dead bugs that rest in the cone.  The small television is on, but muted, and it’s the Weather Channel.  The tanned guy is standing in front of a map, and if you could lip read, you’d know he was talking about the unseasonably warm September in New England.  The CD player is playing through the speakers; the song is “Dead Souls” by Joy Division.  Since you just got here, you don’t know that the same disc has been on repeat for the last five hours.  You just get the feeling that whoever lives in this crappy little apartment just doesn’t care.
Speaking of who lives in this crappy apartment, take a look at the miserable lump of body lying on the floor.  He’s curled up, his head is actually resting in a full ashtray, and he’s only wearing boxers and a t-shirt.  You’d say he’s wearing socks, but there’s only one white one with a hole, where a sliver of toenail pokes through.  The other foot is bare, showing a lot more toenail.  Surrounding the lump is what might pass for a crude police outline of a dead body, but it’s not made of chalk: empty brown beer bottles, spiral ring notebooks, empty cigarette boxes, pens, and a couple of Hustler magazines outline this lump of body.  Looking at it, you’d say it’s pretty fucking pathetic.
Not scary at all; just pathetic.
The lump stirs slightly, straightening its legs out, and it moans softly.  It says something like, “Christ,” but it’s soft enough that it could have said just about anything.  A hand moves up and grabs the side of its head.  The body starts to shift back and forth, slowly, gingerly.  You know right away that the lump is hurting.
“Shit,” comes from the lump, since it realized its head is in a black plastic ashtray.  It sits up, and some butts and ashes coat the left side of its face and hair.
And you think again, pa-the-tic.
Its back is to you, but you see it turn its head to the left and realize that the same CD is playing.  It starts singing along, saying quietly, and totally out of key, “They keep calling me…keep on calling me.”
Instead of singing for long, it opts to have a coughing fit, its hand cupped in front of its mouth.  You hear the coughing stop, and it smacks its tongue and lips and you know just how awful the smell coming from its mouth must be.
It reaches for a box of cigarettes, finds it empty, and searches through a couple more until it finds one with smokes in it.  It finds the lighter under its thigh and lights the cigarette.
It smokes while we notice the envelope on the table next to the recliner.  If you looked closer at it, you’d see that it was addressed to a Charles Freeman.  The return address is from something called the “Gerber Beach High School Alumni Committee,” from Gerber Beach, Florida.  Just below the return address is what must be an important message, and it says “Important Reunion Information Enclosed!” in bold letters.
About the time you add two and two together and decide that its name is Charles Freeman, and it must be around reunion time for him, you hear it lumbering up to a standing position—its leg joints pop and it wobbles a little bit, hands held out to its side as it works to maintain equilibrium.
It scratches its ass and surveys the crappy living room and glances over at the envelope you just looked at, and it sighs.  The sigh gives you a pretty good indication of its feelings, and you know it’s wondering how it could bring itself to go to a reunion.
In fact, looking at Charles Freeman, you have to wonder how it even gets up in the morning, or how it musters up enough life to just keep going.
And you watch it, or Charles, slowly wipe its fingers down the left side of its face.  The fingers come away gray with ashes, and it looks at its fingers.  It shakes its head slowly back and forth, enough to knock the butts out of its hair.  You get the feeling it’s not the first time this has happened to Charles.
If you glance at the clock hanging over the television, you’d see it’s about four in the morning.  Charles realizes this at the same time we do, and it ambles off through some door.  Presumably, the door leads to a crappy bedroom, where it will sleep more.  Its head will be on a pillow this time, and you just get the feeling that the pillowcase will be stained with sweat and drool and maybe some vomit.
As it disappears to wherever, you have a few moments before we fade out to look around some more.  Notice the open spiral notebook in the body outline on the floor.  If you zoom in on the page it’s open to, you’d see some words written in black ink.  Most of it is gibberish, scrawled by someone drunk out of their mind, but there are a couple of phrases written boldly and large enough to make out.
A few phrases jump out at you immediately: “Get me out” is one. “Come take me” is another.  “Make it stop” is the last one you really take note of.
Then you hear it snoring, loudly, jaggedly, horribly.  It sleeps again, and it’s pretty fucking pathetic, isn’t it?
Yes, it is. Jesus, yeah.
Charlie was dreaming.  He had to have been; things like this didn’t happen to him.

He was driving, and it wasn’t his car.  No, the vehicle he was controlling was far better than his eight year old Geo Metro.  It was a Mercedes, according to the logo on the steering wheel, and it was beautiful.  The steering wheel was firm in his hands, and when he pressed the gas pedal, it slid forward easy and quickly…no lurching like the Metro.  The car felt solid.  Music came from the speakers; it was some heavy metal tune he vaguely recognized, but was enjoying.  The smell of the car was brand new, but there was another smell, something even better than new car.
In the passenger seat was Miss America.  At least, that’s who Charlie thought it was.  She was perfect, with auburn hair and tanned skin and glowing white teeth and bright blue eyes.  She stared back at him staring at her.  She was smiling at him, and he dropped his gaze down her body, loving the way the low cut, skin-tight pink dress looked.  Her cleavage was magnificent, and she spoke to him:
“Do you like me, Charlie?”
Astonished at the ignorance of the question, he said to her, “Of course I do. What’s not to like about you?”
“God, that makes me so happy, Charlie.” She smiled at him even bigger, white teeth and pink tongue exposed.  He noticed that now she had a sash around her that said “Miss America” on it.
Her smell was vanilla, a sweet vanilla, but not as cloying as the crappy vanilla perfume that he got his last girlfriend.  Her legs were smooth and tan and he wanted to touch them more than anything.  He wanted to run his tongue all over them.
He felt a hard-on raging in his pants.
“Ooh, what’s this?” she asked playfully.  She was looking at his crotch.
“Can I touch you, Charlie?”
Charlie tried to say yes, but nothing came out.  It didn’t matter; she reached down and unzipped his jeans.  Her warm, smooth hand pulled him out.
“Oh God,” he moaned.
“No, Charlie,” she said, leaning to his crotch. “Not God.”
“What?” he asked, shuddering as she opened up and took him into her mouth.  He saw the invitation to his reunion lying on the smooth black dashboard of the Mercedes.
And, even though she had him completely in her mouth and was sucking and licking him, he heard her voice again, clear as day: “Not God, Charlie.”
“Not God,” he moaned. “Not God, not God, not God…”
He was about to explode when

            He yelled and flew awake violently, kicking the dull brown comforter to the floor and hitching upright.  His breath came out in gasps, and he wasn’t even aware that he was whispering “not God” over and over.  Beads of sweat shined on his forehead, and his face was flushed a splotchy red.
            “What the hell…” he exhaled and swung his legs around over the side of the low bed.  His alarm clock, which sat on the floor by his feet, said it was half past noon.
            He reached for a cigarette and the ashtray, also on the floor, and lit one up.  A flashback to his fingers covered in gray ash flitted across the front of his brain as he exhaled.
            Reaching down to scratch and adjust himself with his nonsmoking hand, he felt the wet patch on his boxers, and realized, with half horror and half amusement, that he had just had one hell of a wet dream at age 30.
            “Jesus,” he said out loud to the empty bedroom.
            And, in his head, he heard Miss America’s voice again: “No, Charlie, not Jesus.”
            “Not God and not Jesus,” he spoke aloud again.  “I got it, Miss America.”
            He stubbed out the cigarette, which tasted like piss-soaked dirt in his mouth, and went to get ready for work.

            In his Metro, on his way to work, he sang along with the radio.  Pop tunes of no consequence.  Like Chinese food, he thought.  Hungry an hour later.
            On the empty passenger seat, between a couple of cigarette burns, was a piece of paper with a hastily written note.  Charlie had pulled the note off of the door as he left for work.  It said “Pay rent by the 15th or you’ll be evicted.”  It wasn’t the first note like that that Charlie had received.  In fact, there was another one in the glove box of his car at that moment.
            In front of the gauges, stuck down between the dirty plastic, was a picture of a girl.  The picture was curled down from the top; it looked like it had been in there for a while. In fact, it had been there for a while.

            About six months, to be almost exact.