Archive for the ‘bizarre’ category

The Osbournes Want To Believe…

September 28, 2020

 

 

 

The Osbournes Want To Believe is a strange combination of reality and paranormal shows airing on the Travel Channel.  Why is it on the Travel Channel?- – Who knows?!  Why is wrestling on the SyFy channel?  The series does “travel” in the sense of airing paranormal film clips filmed in different locations, I suppose.  Each episode is filmed with three members of “The First Family of Darkness” sitting on comfy oversized red chairs in a rather gothic-styled room, complete with black accents and lots of candles burning.  Patriarch Ozzy is there, complete with wife Sharon and son Jack.  There’s also a Pomeranian dog or two resting on one of them or a chair armrest, and moving so little that you wonder if they’re alive.  Ozzie wears a black knit hat decorated with skulls, often looks on the verge of falling asleep, and occasionally chugs large mugs of coffee to perk up a bit, requiring bathroom breaks.  His speech is often accompanied with subtitles as he can be, well, difficult to understand.  Sharon and Jack are readily understandable, and seem like sharp people who could pass in regular company.  Ozzie may have seen better days.

In each hour-long episode, son Jack who is involved in paranormal investigation shares videos with his parents who then comment on them, and rate each on whether they are creepy and credible on a ten-point Woogie Boogie scale.  The videos may be supposed to represent a variety of things like ghosts, UFO’s, and cryptic creatures such as Bigfoot or reptilian humanoids.  Predictably, the images seen on the videos are brief, blurry, and jumpy, filmed by amateurs. 

With low production values of the footage, this is certainly not a scientifically rigorous presentation of any of the unexplained paranormal phenomena.  Experts or professionals are nowhere in sight, and son Jack is the glue who holds the show together and advances it.  The show does not take itself seriously, and doesn’t pretend to.  It does grow on you, however, and is just strange enough to be fun, even if the Osbournes are now about as scary as The Munsters show of the 1960’s…

Progressive’s “Motaur: Gym” Commercial…

July 21, 2020

 

There are advantages to being a cybernetic organism.  In addition to being extremely cool, it’s awfully easy to exercise when your lower body machine components are those of a motorcycle; just roll onto a treadmill, and you’re off to the races!  You can even multi-task while you’re on a roll by reading a book.  That’s right, our Progressive motaur isn’t just a pretty face getting his laps in, he’s improving his mind!  We can all learn from this…

In our latest Progressive commercial, as our motaur hums along, he’s approached by a gym rat who tries to remind our man-machine that there’s a thirty-minute limit on the treadmill.  “Tell that to the rain,” counters our motorcycle/man in a fashion which reminded me of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s “Tell it to the hand” line from Terminator 2.  Would you care to argue with a cyborg?  No, I didn’t think so.  Our motaur sets the treadmill faster several times during the commercial, and calmly continues both his reading and his ride… 

Dashlane’s “Password Paradise”

March 24, 2020
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In our scary times, perhaps we’ve all been thinking a bit more about Charon lately…you know, the dread boatman who ferries souls across the River Styx to the afterlife in Greco-Roman mythology.  He looks a lot like the grim reaper, clad in a cowled, all black,  shroud-like garment.  Charon would be perfect as a goth or performing in a heavy metal band.  In our Dashlane commercial, the River Styx is a suitably forboding, mist-veiled river where strange birds cry out mournfully, and our nameless “Everyman” passenger is none too happy about being ferried on his final journey…he even attempts to bribe the Boatman with money!  But then, things brighten up, and a radiant light breaks through the darkness in the distance…this looks like an afterlife possibly worth going to, and our voyaging soul smiles in anticipation for the first time!

But wait, there’s a catch for our departed soul…Charon, who as per tradition never speaks but only looks grim and spectral, prompts the man for a password by holding up one of those whiteboards that you can write on with marker.  As the boat’s passenger struggles to recall his password, Charon even thoughtfully gives him prompts via the board, such as “Name of kindergarten teacher,” and “Name of first pet?”  The man fumbles trying to recall his password, even giving the spectral figure the name of a later pet, causing Caron to try to redirect the man through gestures and underlining to the fact that the password response requires the name of his first pet…but alas, all is in vain as the guy has utterly forgotten his password, and no amount of prompts are going to help him, otherworldly or not.  After three tries, Charon dramatically throws his board into the River Styx, for the man has exceeded the number of his allowed prompts.  The man gives off an epic cry of “Nooo!” when realizing the gravity of his plight; yep, it’s password purgatory, baby, and abandon all hope ye who enter here.  Too bad our hapless lost soul didn’t have a password manager such as our advertiser Dashlane would provide.  Eternal damnation is a high price for a bad memory, and many of us know that special Hell.  I can certainly relate…

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Jif’s “Squirrel” Commercial…

September 8, 2019

 
I would probably have long since starved to death were it not for peanut butter.  I’ve eaten it since childhood, and continue to turn to it several times a week.  At times, I even crave it; peanut butter is my go-to lunch and snack of choice when I don’t know what to eat. That being said, I indulge my guilty pleasure at home; even I may not be seen at a park, slathering peanut butter on a slice of bread.  I’ve never been known to carry a jar of peanut butter around with me; I’m just not that hard-core…

…not so the curly-haired young lady in our Jif commercial!  Seated on a park bench, she whips herself up a thickly-spread slice of peanut butter bread, only to find herself approached by a squirrel.  Aww…isn’t he cute?  Who could deny him?  So she gives him a tidbit, and is soon approached by another squirrel, then another! No good deed goes unpunished, after all.  Soon the woman is surrounded by dozens of squirrels, kinda like what happens when you feed french fries to sea gulls at the beach…

…It’s then that the commercial takes a surreal turn, for towering above the sea of squirrels is a creepy man-squirrel, wearing a squirrel mask that covers his entire head.  He, too, is seeking a hand-out, and even making beseeching squirrel-noises.  Is this a peanut butter pervert?  And what should the young lady do?  Mace him, scream for help, or try to bean him with the peanut butter jar? This question is left unanswered, but some people will go to any lengths for the product.  It’s that Jif’ing good, we’re told.  I do sympathize, honestly, sharing the addiction…

…but in my twisted mind fed by a love for horror, the question lingers;  what happens when the woman runs out of peanut butter?  Do the legion of squirrels and their squirrel-headed human-sized leader decide that the lady might be tasty, too?  A few pounce on her to take a tentative nibble, and soon she is writhing under a blanket of them…Aieee! (The screen fades to black as we hear squirrels chittering…the Day of the Squirrel is at hand!)

 

KFC’s “The Most Delicious Union…”

March 29, 2019


I had thought that last November’s KFC commercial featuring a Colonel Sanders impersonator dancing with a human-sized bottle of Mrs. Butterworth syrup was a once-and-done thing, but in a companion piece commercial airing currently, the Colonel is back, complete with a misty, bedroom-eyes type expression as he meets Mrs. Butterworth in a marble hallway while a Celine Dion ballad plays.  I know that they say “the South shall rise again,”  but this is ridiculous!

Mrs. Butterworth appears to make the first move as the impossible couple stare into each other’s faces and the Colonel caresses her molded plastic cheek, probably thinking of all the syrupy goodness contained within…then the couple lean towards one another as a preliminary to a kiss which thankfully, we don’t get to see!  

I don’t know what will happen next, and frankly prefer not to go there.  Some things are best left to the imagination, and I cringe to think of a Sanders/Butterworth union.  Perhaps in the aftermath, however, a horror writer could pen an installment called Children of the Syrup.  It would not be suitable for children or sensitive individuals, and viewer discretion is advised…

 

Those East Wing Hallway Trees…

November 30, 2018


For the second consecutive year, First Lady Melania Trump’s East Wing Hallway decorations have proven unusual and controversial. The 2017 ornamentation featured bone-like white branches, icy and devoid of warmth in a darkened hallway. This year the dystopian nightmare theme continues with blood red trees that some have commented to be appropriate backdrops to Stephen King’s The Shining.  They spring up from the ground, as if drawing from some unspeakable underground plasma pool…

Care to promenade through the gauntlet of forty towering, blood red trees devoid of decoration? Perhaps we can hear them whisper, “Feed me, Seymour!  Must be blood!  Must be fresh!”  The Internet has had a field day with memes and commentary. And as if resonating on the same wavelength, it bears mentioning that black Xmas trees are making inroads this year.- -Bring on Jack Skellington in his Santa suit!

So have yourself a scary little Christmas!  It’s perhaps only payback for holiday merchandising beginning in October…

 

  

Stan Against Evil…

November 25, 2018


A comedy-horror series is a rare and wonderful thing, especially if it’s done well.  If you’ve missed this gem, you may want to check out Stan Against Evil, now in its third season on the IFC network.  The show takes place in the fictional New Hampshire town of Willard’s Mill, which was the site of witch burnings in the late 17th century.  As a result of that history, strange and creepy supernatural things continue to emerge there which are dealt with by the town’s former sheriff, Stan Miller (John C. McGinley) and it’s current one, Evie Barrett (Janet Varney).

Now Stan Miller is a delight as an aging, cynical, slovenly antihero who just wants to be left alone, but can’t even manage to do that! Teamed reluctantly with the young and beautiful woman who is his successor, Stan is pressed into service to battle legions of demonic monsters that include witches, vampires, evil puppets, and even a were-pony! Although he’d much rather be drinking and watching television, Stan uses traditional and improvised weaponry to devastating effect, repeatedly bludgeoning for example a large winged skeleton-bird wraith creature (at right) with a shovel until it moves no more .- – You gotta love this guy! 

 The show parodies horror in a loving fashion, and manages nods to The X-Files and other traditions from which it has drawn.  I’m glad to see something like this still in active production…long may its demonic beasties thrive!

 

 

The Myrbetriq Bladder Commercial…

October 16, 2018

 

I, for one, worry about my internal organs becoming uppity, detaching themselves from the collective of my body, and leading me around by the hand with clear designs of influencing my behavior.  A case in point is the anthropomorphic bladder in a Myrbetriq commercial for overactive bladder depicted as kind of an apple-shaped thing with overly-large and expressive eyes.  It’s a disquieting mixture of creepy and cute, a kind of bizarre but unique pet which is dragging its owner off to the bathroom at frequent and inconvenient intervals.  We all know what to do about the problem; see a doctor, and medicate the little bastard!

Now there are undeniably occasions when it might prove advantageous to have an auxiliary bladder, especially if you could somehow wirelessly transmit surplus urine to it to handle those times of overload, say when you’ve downed several cups of coffee or glasses of cola.  Diuretics can be so inconvenient, and no one wants to traipse off to the bathroom any more often than you have to.  But people might talk if you waltzed about with your internal organs visible, or at least diagnose you with an active mental illness for presuming that such was possible.  “My bladder is giving me fits.  What do you mean, you can’t see him?!”

I suppose that there might be anthropomorphic organ pets even worse than an overactive bladder; a spastic colon, for example.  But for the time being, I’ll just resolve to keep my internal organs all wrapped up in myself, where they properly belong.  I don’t care if they don’t like it…and I don’t want to hear their organ recitals, either…ahahahaha!

 

Mummified Corpse Housing Wildlife…

September 12, 2018


Gentle readers, the following post falls into the category of morbidly fascinating grossness.  It may accordingly not be suitable for the young, the overly-sensitive, or those who are eating.  Please consider yourselves duly warned…

…now that I’ve peaked your interest, welcome to Vulpes’ Cabinet of Curiosities, ahahahaha!  As the eerie harpsichord music begins to play, let’s stroll to where a mummified human corpse was found hanging from a tree in a forest in southwestern Poland.  Said corpse was of the seasoned, vintage variety, with the deceased estimated to have been, well, hanging around for approximately 13 years.  The body was fairly intact due to its suspended elevation and the relative absence of scavengers there, plus the fact that it was clad in two pairs of trousers, which kind of held things together. 

Now in the thirteen years that our fellow had been kept hanging, his body had become home to bees, wasps, and even a squirrel! First discovered in 2016 and reported last month in the journal Forensic Science International, researchers said the discovery illustrates the “unbridled resourcefulness of wildlife,” namely that such creatures exploit even the most unlikely spaces to thrive.  “Human bodies, if they meet the requirements of organisms, can be a home for them,” noted study author Marcin Kadej from the Institute of Environmental Biology, University of Wroclaw, Poland, in a statement.

All of this begs the question, would you want your body to hang from the trees and be a home for the bees? – – No, I wouldn’t either…but join us for our next creepy crawl into the Cabinet of Curiosities, if you dare…

The Grim Reaper of Home Appliances…

September 8, 2018

I, for one, fear the Grim Reaper of home appliances. My grief was great when he came for my hot water heater, leaving me $800 in the hole for plumber bills and heater replacement. Death, there is thy sting, right in the wallet!  Oh, the suffering budget, the anguish, the gnashing of teeth!  It was not a pretty sight…

…and so I can appreciate the trials of the poor woman in the American Home Shield commercial who answers her door to find the Grim Reaper paying a call, the icon hovering complete in smoldering black cowl.  As the dreaded black specter advances, our housewife understandably freaks out.  “No, it can’t be!  I’m not ready!  I do spin class!,” she protests, sinking to her knees in supplication.  But the Reaper advances further, his bony finger extending to indicate that his target is not the woman herself, but rather her large stainless steel refrigerator/freezer!  Now understanding, the woman protests “What? The refrigerator! – – Oh come on!  Do you know how much it cost me?  You’re killing me!”  Then the lady decides to rephrase her unfortunate choice of words, but death is implacable.  As the refrigerator shakes in his otherworldly powers, the announcer tells us how all of our appliances will eventually die, but their plan will see to their replacement.  For good measure, the Reaper decides to take out our hapless lady’s home central air system too.  It was a full day’s harvesting, apparently…

When the Reaper comes for me, I’m going to say “Oh happy day!”  No wait…that’s what I’m going to tell the aliens…