Archive for September 2021

“Creepshow,” Season 2’s “Model Kid”

September 24, 2021

Creepshow, a horror anthology series that premiered on Shudder, may now be viewed on AMC, UTube, On Demand, and probably other venues. Now in its second season that began in April 2021, the Creepshow series may be considered an extension of the 1982 movie, and blends retro horror, animation, and live action, with each installment having two separate segments.

Plastic models of classic Universal monsters were big decades ago, and the Model Kid segment of S2/Ep1 pays tribute to this tradition with the tale of Joe, a 12-year-old boy in 1972 who is obsessed with horror monsters, building models of them and watching cheesy but wonderful flicks with titles like Gillman Meets the Mummy. I watched such titles in my day, and would still if given half a chance…

Well, it turns out that following the sad death of his indulgent mother, young Joe falls under the abusive thumb of his uncle, who trashes Joe’s monster collection…but a contact with his late mother from the great beyond prompts the boy to add to his collection with the purchase of “the Victim,” which functions as a voodoo doll for him, and enables Joe to summon monsters into reality. Karma ensues for his uncle…

Ahh yes! Horror has a sublime effect on its viewers, and is well said to be the most fun you can have being scared.” And do check out the Creepshow series, won’t you? The Creeper will be waiting for you… 🙀

Flo Meets the Addams Family…

September 17, 2021

In a crossover commercial event, Progressive Insurance’s Flo, Jamie, and others show up in cartoon form at the Addam’s Family mansion. All of the Addams characters are there, including Lurch, Thing, Kitty Kat, and even Cousin It. It’s just hard to tell if you pitted Flo against Wednesday, who would come out on top. My money’s on Wednesday, although Flo is scary, too, and far more annoying. Wednesday harbors, however, a vast and formidable darkness that is absent from Flo.

But there is no confrontational relationship to be had here as both Progressive and the Addams Family are playing on the same team. The Progressive agents are unswayed by the eccentricities of the Addams Family, and begin doing their protective and safeguarding duties at the mansion, such as Jamie sliding a coaster under a glass of Grandmama’s green brew. All the while, a parody of the classic Addams Family theme plays, this time relating to the Progressive players… “They’re helpful but annoying, they always leave us snoring, their accidents are boring, the Progressive Family!”

“So when do you all go home?,” questions Morticia Addams. “Never!,” chirps Flo, “We’re here for you 24/7.” “How terrifying!,” replies Morticia. The commercial concludes with a promo that Addams Family 2 is coming to theaters and On Demand October 1st. While some translations of live action to cartoons are dreadful, the first version I actually found rather worthwhile. I’ll take all of the Addams Family that I can get, especially on Wednesday 🦊

“Alter Ego” Coming to Fox…

September 11, 2021

We’ve all probably gotten a bit weary of singing competitions, even the offbeat ones such as The Masked Singer where contestants perform in full body costumes that disguise their identity. Now in an attempt to pique our jaded tastes, a new type of singing competition has hooked into technology, and is allowing contestants to perform as their chosen avatar.

These are not static avatars, but 3D moving, full-bodied representations limited only by the imagination. Want to perform as a humanoid with purple skin? – – Got you covered! Prefer to be singing with butterfly wings? – – No problemo.

You can also be gender fluid on the show, looking like someone androgynous or other than your sex assigned at birth. Your performing avatar can interact with and respond to competition judges as well.

Performing in motion-capture suits, the singers will control their avatars and appear before the judges as them. It’s kind of like American Idol meets Ready Player One, and just when you thought singing competitions were old hat…

So September 22nd and 23rd on Fox, contestants “from all walks of life” will compete, but not as themselves. They will have such names as Lover Boy, Night Journey, and Fern. Cartoonish? Perhaps…but if you could perform as an avatar, what might that “alter ego” be, hmmm? I think that I should like to perform as a demonic fox, just to stretch myself creatively a bit…then if the judges didn’t like me, they’d be sorry, heheheh! “Mr. Producer, need a new panel of judges here, ASAP!” Oh well, singing was never my strong suit…

The Dog Girl of Tamaulipas…

September 9, 2021

Security cameras are everywhere now, and have captured images of everything from criminal activity to cryptic animals to supposed ghosts and aliens. One such video captured disturbing images of what appeared to be a naked girl ambulating on all fours with remarkable speed and agility. Stories and attempted explanations for the “dog girl” have spun off from there.

Now the Dog Girl (Nina Perra) was first filmed in Tamaulipas, Mexico in 2009, but reports of her appearing more recently have since surfaced. She’d now be about 25 years old. Video footage is brief, filmed at a distance, and blurry but still memorably creepy. I mean, this naked humanoid doesn’t stagger awkwardly for a short distance on all fours, but moves rapidly and fluidly. She’s done this before, and is good at it.

Internet remarks on the footage are diverse and snide, with some contending that the person depicted is on meth while others calling the images that of a wendigo. According to one report, the security cameras are in place in case the person “escapes.” A more scholarly explanation offers that the figure depicted may have a medical condition called Uner Tan syndrome, which prevents a person from walking normally in an upright position on two legs. The parent of the individual by this account protectively keeps them out of sight to avoid mockery and derision. This explanation does not account for the individual pictured being apparently naked. In addition, most people with the condition are not able to move quickly or smoothly.

So there you have it; another questionable urban myth. It’s unclear whether the video images have been subject to manipulation. All that I can say is that I’ve personally gone bipedal as that better permits me to pass unnoticed among you… 🦊

“Ghosts” On CBS…

September 6, 2021

From the ghost of Hamlet’s father to the Kirby’s on Topper, ghosts have always been compelling presences in entertainment. Now it seems that we are soon to be haunted by such spirits on Ghosts, a comedy coming to CBS appropriately enough in October.

Now Ghosts is adapted from a hit BBC series, and ghosts are no strangers to the British or their entertainment. The series Being Human was also translated to an Americanized version, with the characters including a vampire, a werewolf, and a ghost. Ghosts will focus just on haunts, however, as a comic series and not as a paranormal “in search of“ endeavor.

The ghosts in question here inhabit a large Victorian estate recently inherited by a couple, Jay (Utkarsh Ambudkar), and Samantha (Rose McIver), who intend to convert the property into a bed and breakfast. When Samantha has a near-death experience, she acquires the ability to see and interact with the multitude of spirits who haunt her property.

And what a diverse crew these spirits are! One is a scoutmaster who wanders about with an arrow through his neck, another is a Viking explorer, a third a 60’s hippie, a fourth a militiaman, plus a prohibition-era lounge singer, and so forth. A number of the spirits have a certain unique power that can manifest itself in the world of the living; the Viking, for example, can cause electrical fixtures to sputter, while another can telekinetically move small objects.

There’s a touch of Beetlejuice here, but the ghosts are far more vulnerable, and have roommate issues. It hurts them when the living walk through them, plus in so doing we smell flatulent to them. It’s no piece of cake being deceased but earth-bound and not having been “passed on,” which is an aww moment.

So you may want to catch Ghosts, premiering on CBS October 7th. It could be a fun way to kick off the Halloween season… 🦊

“Grimace” Unveiled…

September 3, 2021

Over the years, you have probably puzzled as I have over what exactly McDonald’s mascot Grimace was supposed to be. To me, he resembled something like an ambulatory eggplant, or perhaps how Barney the Purple Dinosaur came to appear as he completely let himself go. Yet it turns out that the anthropomorphic purple blob was not actually intended to be any of these things, so wonder no longer.

Grimace first appeared in 1971 as Evil Grimace (above), complete with two sets of arms to steal milkshakes and other drinks. About a year later, however, the character was reformed to just be Grimace, a dull-witted character intended as a comic foil to Ronald McDonald. He has continued to be one of the gang ever since. This group includes Mayor McCheese and the Hamburgler.

Now thanks to Canadian franchise holder Brian Bates, we have learned that Grimace is actually nothing more than a gigantic taste bud whose presence is intended to represent that McDonald’s tastes good. The goofy grin on the character’s face is intended to reinforce his happiness with the product’s flavor. I suppose that we should be grateful that Grimace is not supposed to represent some component of the lower gastrointestinal tract.

Sometimes, the less that we know about our food, its processing, and promotion, the better…

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