“A Quiet Place” Has It All…

Posted July 1, 2020 by vulpesffb
Categories: aliens, anomalies, creature features, doomsday, horror

Tags: ,

In this time of the pandemic, it’s perhaps understandable that many of us would be drawn to apocalyptic fiction and cinema, and A Quiet Place (2018) is one of the best done and most striking films to emerge in this gendre in recent years.  It’s edge of the seat horror and  science fiction that blends elements reminiscent of the Alien, Cloverfield, and Walking Dead franchises, depicting humanity overwhelmed by vicious and powerful aliens who are blind, but hunt very effectively by sound.  Human survivors of this meteor-borne invasion are therefore forced to live furtive and hidden existences, avoiding the generation of sound, and communicating by sign language.  As a result, there is little spoken dialogue in the film, although captioned subtitles appear to translate the signing to the audience.

As for the aliens depicted in Quiet Place, they are neither warm and friendly nor possessed of high technology; they simply want to eat you, and are well-equipped to do so, possessed of clawed extremities and impressive dentition.  There is no evidence of higher cognition here, but rather animal cunning.  In appearance, they are somewhat insectile or bat-like, possessed of an armored exoskeleton of sorts and ambulating briskly on all fours but capable of rearing up on hind legs at which times they can appear disturbingly humanoid.  They use echolocation, and might not be able to perceive you as prey from several feet away if you are perfectly still and quiet.  Their auditory aurifaces when open dwarf any human ears…

Although a horror movie, A Quiet Place is of the rare type of horror movie with heart, as a family and its relationships is at the center of it.  There are unpleasant things to see such as the death of a child family member, but it’s handled non-graphically; a blur of motion, and he’s carried off.  The tension conveyed in the film, however, is almost palpable.  The survivalist husband and father (John Kasinski) and his wife (Emily Blunt) are rock-solid, and their  eldest child (Millicent Simmonds), a gifted young hearing impaired actress, projects a wonderful adaptive kind of Wednesday Addams darkness; she adapts and prevails.  The surviving female family members left standing at the end of the film are more than the equal of the vicious monsters headed their way, kind of like Ripley and Newt in a farmland showdown.  Catch A Quiet Place if like myself you enjoy intelligent innovative horror with heart… 

 

 

The Forgotten Gold of “Rango”

Posted June 29, 2020 by vulpesffb
Categories: anthropomorphic, fantasy, feathered friends, furry, furry films

Tags: ,

You might easily have missed the 2011 film Rango in the theaters, intended as a quirky western comedy and featuring Johnny Depp as a chameleon house pet stranded in the Nevada desert who becomes the sheriff in the town of Dirt inhabited by a variety of desert anthropomorphic animals who move faster and more convincingly than most animal characters in films intended for children. Pictured above is the alluring vixen Angelique (Claudia Black), who is the secretary to the town mayor, an elderly tortoise.

Now Rango satirizes a number of western traditions and films, and there’s even a virtual Clint Eastwood character who appears rather mystically as The Spirit of the West. Although essentially a kid’s movie, there’s enough subversive darkness and hidden spoofs in the film to keep adults happy, and a furry like myself enthralled. The animal characters do smoke, drink, and shoot at each other. The film was actually criticized for promoting smoking, and because of this some actually wanted it to have an R rather than a PG rating… but hey, this is a western after all, and it isn’t real…Lighten up!

So if you haven’t seen it, you can probably catch Rango on your small screen. Johnny Depp is a hoot as always, and Angelique could own me in like two seconds…I’ll forgive her for the cigarette!

Living the Fantasy…

Posted June 24, 2020 by vulpesffb
Categories: current events, retro cool

Tags: ,

When I was a child, I often fantasized about being a superhero; you know, one with powers!  Such superheroes often wore masks or cowls to hide their secret identity.  Well, now with the COVID-19 pandemic, it appears that I can live out my superhero boyhood fantasy everyday, wearing a mask out in public wherever I go without being hauled off to the asylum. And to think, had I worn a mask out in public even six months ago, people might have thought me an armed robber! Now I can wear a mask, and just blend into the crowd undetected, ‘cause everyone’s wearing a mask! 

Now the type of superhero mask that just goes around your eyes like the Lone Ranger or Green Lantern wore won’t pass muster in the pandemic. It’s got to go around your nose and mouth, which is more concealing and mysterious.  So concealed, I could be The Shadow, decades ahead of the curve with the power (acquired in the Far East) to “cloud men’s minds!”- – Don’t certain politics do that to some? The trouble is, such masks tend just to cloud my eyeglasses, and crime fighters who blunder into things make a poor nemesis of crime.  Criminals might, however, be disabled by laughter…

So I’ve got official blessing to wear a mask out in public, and in fact am strongly encouraged or even required to do so. Now if I could just get a similar blessing to wear a dramatic cape, I’d really be on my way to my boyhood superhero look! Capes are dramatic, you see, just by their very nature, and you can really swish about with them, assuming that they don’t trip you or get caught in the door, which might be embarrassing…

Eventually, of course, the aspiring superhero must acquire a sidekick, sort of a crime-fighting associate who is kind of learning the trade. I’m still working on that one…      

E*TRADE’s “Bear Market” Commercial

Posted June 9, 2020 by vulpesffb
Categories: advertising, animal elements, animal spokepersons, animals, anthropomorphic, commercials, furry, furry commercials, television, twisted reality

Tags: , ,

 

Bears have not gotten their proper representation or respect in commercials, with the toilet paper obsessed Charmin bears a case in point. One cannot readily imagine them functioning in a species-specific parallel world either, as the Chantix turkey appears to do so effortlessly in a number of memorable commercials. That may now change, as at long last, we are finally given a peek into a world where bears have meshed into the trappings of human civilization, courtesy of E*TRADE.

These bears calmly prowl the aisles of a supermarket on their hind legs, sniffing at cantaloupes and filling their shopping carts with generous amounts of honey, appropriately in those little bear-shaped clear containers. A bear family stops at the fish counter where they’re waited on by one of their own; there’s even a disabled bear who whizzes by in a motorized shopping cart! The cashier is likewise a bruin, calling for a price check on a honey container that stubbornly refuses to scan while the customer moans his annoyance.

“If this is your idea of a bear market,” we hear in the closing voice over, “maybe trading’s not for you.” We’re advised not to get mad, but rather get E*TRADE, and get more than trading…and I’d like to get more glimpses into the universe of these very relatable bears! They’ve evolved so far from the days of Yogi…

COVID Masking, and Identity Expression…

Posted June 1, 2020 by vulpesffb
Categories: current events, furry, the human condition

Tags: , ,



A few months ago, facial masks were rarely seen in public, and there was little interest in them. With the Coronavirus pandemic, however, masks literally became “must have” items almost overnight.  Your choices in them were originally quite limited and dreary, but demand has spawned a thriving cottage industry dedicated to their creation and marketing in an otherwise mostly depressed economy…

From just a few listings, places like eBay now offer for sale literally thousands of different homemade cloth masks in a dizzying array of colors, patterns, and presented images.  They have become almost fashion accessories, an expression of personal interests and identity.  One may procure a facial mask that proclaims one’s favorite sports team, or represents an affiliation or hobby.- – Who knows where a comment about one’s “cute mask” might lead?  (from a safe distance, of course!) 

The proliferation of more colorful and creative masks has become almost a daily Halloween for the masses, kind of a passive outreach tool in an age of social distancing.  So will you be a face mask fashionista?- – Show your colors!  What will your mask reveal about your inner self?!

 

 

 As Billy Joel’s lyrics noted in The Stranger, 

“Well, we all have a face

That we hide away forever

And we take them out

And show ourselves when everyone has gone

Some are satin, some are steel

Some are silk and some are leather

They’re the faces of a stranger

But we’d love to try them on”

 

 

In a way, self-disclosure can be quite…liberating!  May we all have a happy, more nearly-normal June…

Of Giant Monsters…

Posted May 20, 2020 by vulpesffb
Categories: animals, horror, insects, movies, sci fi, twisted reality

Tags: ,


There’s a special place in my heart for 1950’s horror movies, especially those featuring giant monsters…and it’s hard to think of a better tag line for one than, “This was the day that engulfed the world in terror!”  More than 60 years after its 1957 debut, The Deadly Mantis continues to be entertaining as a high camp classic, more amusing now than horrifying.  The clumsy and dated not-so-special effects of the giant mantis flying are alone worth watching the film for.

In these times of invisible horrors like the coronavirus, it’s so nice to see our fears embodied as something gigantic and readily identifiable that we can shoot artillery at, and direct flame throwers towards; we know that we’re going to win against it at the end.  I doubt, however, that bleach and bright lights would be effective against this thing.  Perhaps we can get a large number of regular praying mantids together, and make one really big one like this that we could threaten murder hornets with.  A Universal Picture creation, one yearns to see the Deadly Mantis locked in mortal combat with some creature from the Toho Studios world…Mothra vs. Mantis has a nice ring to it.  Now that’s entertainment…I’d go bugs over that one!

 

https://youtu.be/G8R9OoQh4q0

 

 

Creepshow’s “Bad Wolf Down”

Posted May 15, 2020 by vulpesffb
Categories: animals, anomalies, anthropomorphic, furry, furry horror, horror, television

Tags: , ,

I freely admit that I’m more of a werewolf than a vampire fan, but what would you expect? I’m a furry, and werewolves are kind of an amplified furry. I was therefore in seventh heaven to see that werewolves were featured prominently in the Bad Wolf Down segment of the new Creepshow series by Shudder, now available for viewing on the AMC network. This series draws heavily from the earlier Stephen King and George Romero movie by the same name which aired in 1982.

Meshing horror comics with live action, this S1/Ep2 installment plunges us into a furious firefight of WWII American troops overwhelmed by Nazis. Seeking sanctuary from annihilation, the few remaining Americans flee to an abandoned building where they encounter a woman locked in a cell who turns out to be a female werewolf! Seeking the release of death, the woman wants only to swallow the silver cross of one of the Americans. They accommodate her, but not before requesting that she bite each of them, transforming them in turn into werewolf soldiers that are more than a match for the pursuing Nazi elite troops.

Now the werewolf transformations are budget-restricted yet still effective, and the gore-fest which follows is not for the squeamish. It did, however, provide me with a satisfying spectacle as well as a reminder of the power of shape-shifting. I found it an uplifting experience…You might, too, if you are into horror, werewolf sub-classification. Other episodes look equally promising, so gratify your dark side by checking out the new Creepshow series; it’s a worthwhile indulgence…

 

Our Insectile Savior…

Posted May 8, 2020 by vulpesffb
Categories: current events, insects, Invertebrates

Tags:


Just as it appeared that we had no defense against the nasty and invasive murder hornets, a champion appears who can beat them at their own game…the praying mantis!  We haven’t seen a battle this epic since Species 8472 handily beat The Borg in Star Trek.  Come to think of it, Species 8472 somewhat resemble praying mantids, who do look rather alien with their triangular heads and all.  It’s a good thing that they don’t grow to six feet in size, or they might want a piece of our action…

It’s no mercy in a viral video depicting such a match-up between the hornet and the mantis, who gets right to work, latching onto the hornet, and eating his head!  Yes, this video is not for the squeamish.  As the hornet operates more through nerve ganglias than a brain, the remaining parts of the hornet continue to try and sting the mantis, all in vain. – – Can we get a collective ewww here?  Thank you…

 

So it would appear that the bad boys of buzzdom can be beaten, and it’s all in a day’s work for our backyard beneficial buddy, the praying mantisHe’s mean and green.- – Who can blame him for doing a victory dance?  Oh yeah, who’s bad?!

 

 

“Murder Hornets” Are Here!

Posted May 4, 2020 by vulpesffb
Categories: animal behavior, animal occurrences, animals, events involving animals, insects, Invertebrates, science

Tags: ,

Just when you thought that 2020 didn’t have much left to throw at us, we have a new horror. They’re big, and frankly they don’t look real…but Asian Giant Hornets (Vespa mandarinia) appropriately nicknamed Murder Hornets, are a thing, and they’re invading North America… 🙀

Not to be confused with killer bees (so very yesterday), Murder Hornets are an invasive species native to Japan that have crossed over the Canadian border into the Pacific Northwest of the U.S., where they’ve been found in the state of Washington. An impressive two inches in size, Murder Hornets pose a serious threat to already beleaguered honeybee populations, which they can decimate within hours. These giant aggressive hornets bite off the heads of bees, then kind of mash up the thorax of their victims to take home to feed to their larvae. It all sounds like a bad SyFy channel movie…perhaps a script begs to be written for Killer Bees vs. Murder Hornets (No Matter Who Wins, We Lose)!

Now Murder Hornets have a stinger long enough to penetrate a typical beekeeper’s protective outfit, and the sting of multiple insects can be as lethal as snake venom. About 50 people are killed annually in Japan from the hornets, whose sting is likened by victims to having hot metal driven into the flesh. Experts advise, “Don’t try to take them out yourself if you see them. If you get into them, run away, then call us!” Sounds prudent to me, but the running away part might not be easy; they can fly at 25 mph. Serious efforts are underway to track and limit the spread of the insects before it’s too late…

It’s said that the hornets don’t ordinarily attack humans unless threatened. Be careful not to do this, knowing that the right lawyer could probably get a Murder Hornet charge downgraded to a Manslaughter Hornet offense… 🦊

 

Of Anthropomorphic Horse Evolution…

Posted April 30, 2020 by vulpesffb
Categories: absurdities, anthropomorphic, furry, strange, television, Vintage

Tags: , ,


Anthropomorphic horses have been on television for longer than one might suspect, perhaps beginning with the quirky but iconic 1960’s sitcom Mr. Ed that featured a talking palomino owned by an architect, Wilbur Post, portrayed by Alan Young. Those shows in turn were inspired by a series of children’s stories written by Walter R. Brooks.  Mr. Ed the horse was portrayed by a gelding named Bamboo Harvester, who was voiced on the series by former western actor Allan Lane.  Ed would only talk in person to Wilbur, although he would at times make phone calls, and be heard often talking to his owner by others, conversations for which Wilbur had constantly to offer false explanations.  The explanation for Ed’s origins as a sentient and articulate equine being was only touched upon once lightly and dismissively in the first episode in which Wilbur expresses his inability to understand the situation.  Ed replies to that confusion, “Don’t try.  It’s bigger than both of us!”  I can live with that, although alien genetic engineering seems to me one possible explanation.  “A horse is a horse, of course, of course…

Light years away was the adult animated Netflix series BoJack Horseman, which ran for six seasons and 77 episodes from 2014 to 2020.  BoJack was essentially an animal-person, equine from the neck up, but with human features below that point.  This presents as a rather disturbing combination at first glance, but it grows on you rather quickly, especially since BoJack is but one of a number of animal-persons of different species coexisting with mundane humans on the series.  BoJack is a middle-aged male whose heyday occurred in the 1990’s with a sitcom called Horsin’ Around.  That show abruptly cancelled, BoJack now seeks to restore his celebrity status in a dark series which satirizes Hollywood but touches on depression, addiction, self-destructive behavior, sexuality, and many other aspects of the human condition.

 

Mr. Ed was essentially a horse who acted like a human, whereas BoJack Horseman was a human who acted like a horse.  As to whether BoJack was Mr. Ed, the former once tweeted, “NO I AM NOT MR ED OPEN YOUR EYES.”  That seems pretty definitive to me…