Archive for October 2021

All Hail, Halloween!

October 31, 2021

(Me, when Halloween is mentioned…)

I unabashedly love Halloween! You can have your Xmas, with it’s warm, cozy, fuzzy feelings…but give me Halloween, with monsters, witches, zombies, malevolent aliens, and more!

I’ve loved Halloween since I was a kid…always have, and always will! I’m far too old now to Trick-or-Treat, but I can still seek the sublime feeling of the creepy and a good scare. On Halloween, you can embrace your dark side and animal within, and dare to walk that creature around for a bit…

So keep a little bit of Halloween spirit with you all year ‘round…and dare for the scare! – -Ahahahaha!

(Happy Halloween from Fyrefox! 🎃)

“Shapeshifters Anonymous” on “Creepshow”

October 23, 2021

Gee, they’ve got support groups for everything these days…weight control, problem drinking, and even apparently Shapeshifters. I don’t know if it’s a 12-step program, but it’s certainly inclusive, sponsoring a were-cheetah, a were-boar, a classic werewolf (their newest arrival), and even an unlikely were-tortoise. And oh yes, there’s even a garden-variety furry with no shifting ability but whose character is a hippo. She’s readily accepted here as well, and identifies with the group.

In the Creepshow episode, a confused and troubled werewolf seeks admission to the support group. He only has the previous week’s password, but comes bearing a nice box of donuts, so they let him inI know that donuts would seal the deal for me! The new arrival is conflicted and full of angst about his werewolf side, as werewolves tend to be since the days of Larry Talbot. I prefer Ann Rice’s perspective of the wolf gift. But anyhow, the were-cheetah leader of the group takes the lupine under her wing (or paw), and she’s a gorgeous specimen, even if not quite on a par with Cheetah from Wonder Woman…

Anyways, the Shapeshifters don’t have long to get acquainted as they have a serious Santa problem, and are soon locked in a royal battle with an attack by a myriad of mall-type Santa’s helpers, capped off by a visit from the not-so-jolly old elf himself, who presents as more Krampus than Claus. He’s truly Santa Claws, complete with wicked blades where he should have hands. This is truly Psycho Santa…

Well, anthropomorphs aren’t going to take being pushed around easily, so with the aid of a transformational serum supplied by a previously-mute member they fight the helpers and then the big guy in the armored red suit with firearms, environmental weaponry, and tooth and claw. It’s wonderful stuff!

So catch Shapeshifters Anonymous, originally a 2020 Shudder special, on Creepshow. It’s based on a story by J.A. Konrath…

(Tip o’ the pen to Carycomic!)

American Horror Story’s “Death Valley” from “Double Feature”

October 20, 2021

The current Double Feature season of American Horror Story is exactly that, with the first Red Tide segments being about ghoulish vampires, and the second Death Valley feature centering on aliens. I’m only going to comment on Death Valley to keep things more contained, and frankly because I’m a bit tired of vampire themes, although admittedly Red Tide is innovative.

Now aliens I can really get my teeth into (with apologies to the vampires). What makes Death Valley a real hoot is the number of historical personalities portrayed, ranging from Eisenhower and Nixon (above) to JFK, Marilyn Monroe, and even an all-too brief appearance by Amelia Earhart, who without having aged in 20 years is delivered to the Eisenhower administration and pregnant with an alien child…yes, you heard that right! Well, a little later on Amelia has her alien baby and it’s a bad one, because it kills Amelia and the docs and nurses in the room until Ike and a couple of soldiers shoot it dead. This is wild stuff, and wildly entertaining!

Now you haven’t lived until you’ve seen Mamie Eisenhower possessed by an alien consciousness and levitating, with her eyes a milky white. The aliens communicate through possession of a human intermediary at times, and can cause the heads of opposing humans to explode by a wave of their hands, which is messy but compelling viewing. Wouldn’t you love to be able to do that?! Anyways, by possessing Mamie they gain emotional leverage over Ike so he agrees to allow the quiet abduction of several thousand people a year in exchange for alien technology. One of the goodies so obtained are cell phones, taken for granted now but unbelievable stuff during the Eisenhower years. Ike suffers angst over this, but hey, the aliens would simply have gone to the Russians had we not allowed them to abduct people, impregnate them, and breed hybrids so their race can survive on Earth.

Some of the alien genetic engineering projects fall short of the desired outcome, however, with disconcerting results like the humanoid above with one alien and one human eye…and the aliens can impregnate anyone and use them as a vessel, including males!

So catch Death Valley from Double Feature on the current season of American Horror Story. It unites so much of the mythic speculation on alien contacts and designs, with historical personages thrown in as you’ve never seen them before, very reminiscent of The X-Files and just as much fun… 🦊

Arm & Hammer “Slide Out of Funk” Cat Disco Commercial…

October 16, 2021

Many of us wonder what our cats do when they disappear from home for hours at a time. Hunt and kill things to bring home to you? – -Nah, they go to the disco where they got it going on!

This feline disco is in the best 70’s tradition, complete with a lit-up dance floor and a mirrored disco ball hanging from the ceiling. Anthropomorphic cats are in colorful period threads, and there’s even a lithe, scene-stealing tomcat who moves like a young feline John Travolta. Yes, this cat is where it’s at!

It’s no wonder that the female kitties are all moon-eyed over this Top Cat. “Where did he learn to slide’ like that?,” wonders one. Why, Arm & Hammer “slide” cat litter, of course! And doesn’t the cat below on the left look as if she’s wearing a Star Trek uniform? Is this a Caitian, perhaps the feline version of Uhura?

I was never into the “disco” scene much; it ain’t what we called Rock ‘n’ Roll! The kitty disco scene is fun, but if leisure suits ever come back, I’m out of here! 😸 Until that time, “Go Cat, Go!

The “Birds Aren’t Real” Movement…

October 14, 2021

Where performance comedy meets reality, you have the Birds Aren’t Real movement. Living as we are in a post-truth era where personal desires and perceptions take precedence for many over objective reality, we are awash in conspiracy theories to which a disturbing number of people ascribe...

The central mythos of Birds Aren’t Real is that beginning in the late 1950’s, federal agencies began exterminating all biological bird life in North America, replacing them with robotic surveillance drones. These drones watch and report on you to government agencies who in turn sell information about you. – – Don’t believe this? Well, have you ever seen a baby pigeon?!- – And why do you think that birds fly away when you approach them?

Now you see, Birds Aren’t Real is an organization that holds rallies and tours, much like other conspiracy groups that advance claims unbacked by science or factual evidence. It’s leader is Peter McIndoe, an earnest-appearing young man who blends parody and reality seamlessly. He has been spreading his gospel as a “bird truther” since 2016.

Alfred Hitchcock tried to warn us about avian attack drones many years ago in his prophetic film, The Birds. Shouldn’t we be putting up massive domes to keep these “undesirables” out? Remember the Avian Flu? Who knows what horrors some hidden laboratory is creating to be carried by these feathered fiends next?

And Big Bird, come on! Surely you don’t think he’s real? He’s just a clever propaganda creation engineered to lull our young into a false sense of security, and we invite him into our homes!

The revelation that birds are in fact surveillance drones is sure to put a damper on many traditional Thanksgiving dinners this year. I for one wouldn’t want to wind up with a mouthful of electronic parts, would you?! Should you swallow a few components, you probably become an enabler…

So just remember that if it flies, it spies! And ask yourself whether you get the joke, or are one of the people targeted by it. For what is a BIRD but a Basic Information Recording Drone? And bird watching goes both ways. – – Watch the skies, for they may be watching you! 🙀

Geico’s “Animal in the Attic”

October 7, 2021

I’ve always felt that Animal, the Muppet drummer for Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem, might have been helped by the proper psychotropic medication. On medication, however, his explosive and wildly exuberant drumming might have suffered. It’s a trade-off, really…

The Geico commercial begins with an unremarkable middle-aged couple sitting on their couch, with the guy professing that they love their house, and have lived there for years. “Yeah, but there’s an Animal in the attic,” adds the lady…

and so there is, flailing away at his drum kit while vocalizing such snatches of speech as “Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah! Drums! Drums! Aaaah! An-im-al!

When not loudly pounding on his drums, Animal invades the kitchen, literally swings from the rafters, and slides down the bannister. Remarkably, all his unwilling hosts can do is try to ignore him. At least Geico makes bundling their car and homeowners insurance easy…

In a closing scene, we are shown Animal shambling across the couple’s yard, the length of broken chain around his neck a nice touch. Animals just have to be free, ‘ya know…. 🦊

(…tip o’ the pen to Carycomic!)

Tex Avery’s “Reginald Fox”

October 5, 2021

He’s an obscure character but a memorable one, appearing just once in Tex Avery’s 1949 cartoon, “Out-Foxed.” Reginald Fox is stereotypically a sophisticated Brit, speaking with an accent, wearing a monocle, and drinking tea throughout the production.

You just gotta love a fox who reads Fox News, and reassures his audience that they needn’t fear for his safety, because he is, after all, a fox. Very nonchalant even when pursued by hounds promised steaks for his capture, Reginald turns their ploys against them in a mocking manner reminiscent of Bugs Bunny.

Although a Droopy Dog cartoon, it’s Reginald who dominates the film, entering into an alliance with Droopy that becomes mutually advantageous with all enjoying steaks as the “captured” fox clan sings Droopy a rousing chorus of “For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow.”

The moral of our story is that few things age as well as a Tex Avery cartoon… 🦊


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