Archive for August 2020

“Serpentine Creatures” on MonsterQuest…

August 31, 2020

 

MonsterQuest was a show largely about cryptic creatures that debuted in October of 2007 and ran for three seasons before vanishing and being replaced by a series of inferior imitations.  The series was far better grounded than most, incorporating history of the supposed hidden life form under investigation, eyewitness accounts, and even commentary by actual scientists! 

I’m pleased to see that MonsterQuest is back for a fourth season on the History Channel as a series of specials, the first of which aired recently and concerned “Serpentine Creatures” or “Lake Demons,” essentially oversized, monster eels in North American lakes. 

In Lake Ontario in 1974, an eel fisherman was reportedly lifted out of the water by an eel that he could barely escape.  “Cressie” is said to exist in New Foundland, reportedly measuring 20 to 40 feet in length.  Then there’s the gold standard of North American lake monsters, Ogopogo, said to measure up to a whopping 50′ in length and to inhabit Lake Okanagan in Canada!  Ogopogo is said to have a snake-like body displayed in coils, and about seven sightings a year are reported by diverse people.

Pursuing Cressie, the MonsterQuest investigative team engineered a search that combined a helicopter team with a dive boat.  The helicopter crew spotted a thermal signature from the air, summoning then the dive boat to do a search.  The divers found sink holes in the lake, but encountered considerable silt obstruction.  They found a carcass that was hoped might be a juvenile specimen, but later scientific testing proved it to be nothing more than a deteriorated salmon…

While the tone of the episode was reminiscent of the old MonsterQuest series, it really wasn’t exciting to me personally, dragging at times to the point of becoming almost tedious. Giant eels really don’t float my boat, although they might if they were actually under it!  Hopefully episode 2 concerning Bigfoot will interject a little of the old series excitement…

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Soon, “Cheetah” Will be Unleashed!

August 24, 2020

 

Well, we’re all agog here in our little furry corner of the web called Foxsylvania about the latest trailer revealing more about the appearance of Barbara Ann Minerva (aka “Cheetah”) in the upcoming Wonder Woman 1984 film.  The Coronavirus screwed with the original intended release date as it did with many other good things, which has now been kicked back to October 2nd, 2020.  Good things can be worth waiting for, however, and it doesn’t look like we’ll be disappointed by the cinematic appearance of this bad girl furry, portrayed by Kristen Wiig.

While we previously just had fan art renditions, in the trailer we now have brief but actual footage of Cheetah in combat with Wonder Woman, and the battle looks incredibly kinetic and aerial, set in The White House!  We also know that Cheetah undergoes a progressive transformation into the character, eventually winding up with fur and a tail.- – I…am…so…ENVIOUS!  Progressive transformations are really the way to go, since an instantaneous one (I understand) tends to be both painful and unconvincing.

Barbara Ann Minerva isn’t just another pretty kitty…she has a doctoral degree in archaeology, and a complex love-hate relationship with Wonder Woman.  She can change her physiology at will, and as Cheetah isn’t even much bothered by the Amazon’s magic lasso.  The character has come a long ways from earlier representations as a woman in a a costume.  I do so like a character with bite, and you may want to make yourself a prrromise to see this one…




(- –Do we want to send in psychotherapists or animal control to deal with this one?) 

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Absorbx Cat Litter Commercial…

August 22, 2020

 

 

Cat litter commercials sell a necessary if somewhat distasteful product for feline fanciers, and leave it to Arm & Hammer to do so memorably!  Those who do not co-habit with cats at least deserve in such a commercial to be entertained, and I haven’t seen anthropomorphic animals portrayed so well in a classic western-gendre setting since the movie Rango, but here the characters are all feline…

Picture a classic western saloon circa 1870, complete with swinging entry doors, period piano music playing, and a cast of stock costumed western character types inside.  Enter the young, slender, white-hatted stranger; instantly the piano music ceases, and all eyes are fixed on the newcomer…will there be trouble?  

Thankfully, no…“This town smells FANTASTIC!,” declares the stranger.  At a nearby poker-type table, we see a trio of felines, on the left a female “Miss Kitty” type, to the right possibly a dandified card-sharp, and between them a large, hoary, black-hatted, black-overcoated alpha cat who looks like he might be trouble.  But no, he arranges a demonstration through the cat-bartender of the litter’s absorbency qualities using “desert-dry” mineral ingredients.  Follow the science, I always say…

Following the demonstration, our appealing white-hatted cat notes that word is going to spread fast.  “Spread it then,” admonishes the dark-hatted cat.  “Go on, git!”  And so the slender stranger does…and the rest will probably be the stuff of western legend…

Perhaps future commercial installments will feature “the Cat With No Name” gunning down purveyors of inferior cat litter, kind of a Clint Eastcat typeand I’d love to see Val Kilmer’s standout Tombstone character translated to Cat Holliday, frontier dentist, card sharp, and quirky gunfighter extraordinary!  

 

Twizzlers “Only the Road Knows” Commercial…

August 8, 2020


In this age of COVID, we are all spending more time alone, and what could be more terrifying than being left alone with our own thoughts?!  Fortunately, the thoughts that run through our minds are more often mundane than weighty…

As a case in point, we have the Twizzlers commercial, “Only the Road Knows.”  In it, a man is riding as passenger in a car driven by a woman along a lonely, isolated road through a deep forest.  He is chewing on a Twizzlers, and appears to be deep in thought.  For those of you living in a cave, Twizzlers are a rope-like candy traditionally red in color and strawberry in flavor, although color and flavor varieties are available.  One wonders what thoughts are occupying the man’s mind…perhaps from the setting the dreaded “relationship issues” questions?  Kill me now, please…

But no…we as observers are made privy to the man’s thoughts, which are revealed to be,”Am I too old to begin skateboarding?”  If one has to ask that question, the answer is likely a resounding YES, unless you are equipped with forgiving and rubbery joints, or like to spend time in orthopedic convalescence.  The question is one which the man needs to ponder, however, and Twizzlers is the candy that will assist him to “chew on it.” I do hope that the poor devil finds his way…

Research has shown, you see, that people are drawn to Twizzlers by the texture, and the gratification afforded by chewing.  Perhaps Freud was right about oral needs.  I’ve known people who claim that chewing gum relaxes them, and even helps them think.  At any rate, in the age of COVID, I would offer Twizzlers this supplemental slogan;

When life gets screwy, go chewy.”  Just take your mask off first, of course…    image                                                                              

 

Wilford Brimley Passes..

August 3, 2020

He was a fine character actor, and although his commercials for Quaker Oatmeal could be annoying, I liked the old coot, who kind of presented on screen as everyone’s crusty, grumpy, know-it-all grandpa.  I don’t often memorialize actors here, but Wilford Brimley appeared in some memorable science fiction movies, which is one territory we visit here, especially as they involve alien concepts and life.  Brimley appeared in both Cocoon and The Thing, the latter a wonderful if dark and gory 1982 re-make by John Carpenter of the earlier classic.  As Dr. Blair, the chief biologist in The Thing, Brimley’s character was the first to recognize the global danger posed by the shape-shifting alien, and he took a radical approach to attempting to contain the threat.  Carpenter’s The Thing remains one of my personal faves, it’s aged well, and I revisit it often.  He’s pictured above in that role, minus his trademark walrus mustache.

Brimley was an ex-marine, and most don’t know that he had a fine singing voice, and played harmonica well.  Wilford got into acting with non-speaking parts in 1960’s westerns, and might be seen there hammering horseshoes in the background.  In addition to numerous film credits and diverse roles, he also starred in a TV series, Our House.

If Brimley were here, he might talk to us for a few minutes about diabetes, which came across as diabeetus.  He’d encourage us to eat our oatmeal (because if you hate it, it’s gotta be good for you).  Suffering is good for the soul, right?  If so, mine ought to be almost golden by now.  And remember, you’ve gotta contain those insidious aliens!  Maybe feed them some damn oatmeal so they won’t want our world…and “It’s the right thing to do.”             


Little Caesars “Bear on Skates” 

August 1, 2020



Talking anthropomorphic bears are a part of my world, but for those for whom they are not this Little Caesars commercial could practically serve as a gateway to the furry fandom.  In it, a man sits on a park bench about to dig into some Little Caesars Cheesy Stuffed Crazy Bread and saying that he “must be dreaming.”  At that point, dreams become reality in the figure of a roller skating grizzly bear, complete in yellow shorts and matching head band, and carrying a boom box that he holds to his head. He clearly is quite comfortable on skates, and hints at some awesome moves on them while groovin’ to tunes of the age on his box.  There’s a great 70’s vibe to the bear, for those of us who remember or at least honor the more simple and carefree spirit of those days.  I’ve had far worse dreams, believe me…

The bear tells our bench-sitter that the cheesy stuffed Crazy Bread is a real thing, and that he should try it because it’s delicious!  The bear then moans pleasurably, and back pedals on his skates, presumably back to his own time and space as the commercial winds up.  One wants to follow this furry time traveler; he probably has some great disco moves, kind of like a furry young John Travolta of Saturday Night Fever vintage.

Although I was never much for the double knit polyester fabrics and “leisure suits” of the day, I’ve still got a boom box.  It’s plastic casing is all discolored with age and the tape player doesn’t work, but the radio is doing just fine…and wouldn’t the retro-cool 70’s Bear be a great meme? Don’t worry, this bear’s more into music and moving than maiming.  Maybe he could hang with Rocket Racoon, and listen to Star Lord’s mix tape.- -He’s got it going on, yeah!