Archive for the ‘Brilliant but twisted’ category

Allstate’s “Mayhem Cat” Commercial…

September 14, 2019

Dean Winters is back as the Allstate Mayhem guy, a role he plays to perfection…and he’s no stranger to playing animals as well, having played a raccoon in the attic in an earlier outing (below)…

This time he’s portraying a cat, and the absurdity and whimsy of his portrayal is enhanced by the fact that he’s neither in costume nor CGI enhanced, but simply appearing as a normally dressed adult human male adopting feline mannerisms, poses, and behaviors. 

“I’m your cat,” announces Winters, “and ever since you brought me home that day, I’ve been plotting to destroy you,” he declares calmly, flashing back to his batting away the petting hand of his male owner on that first day. We are show Winters doing a variety of iconic cat-things, like playing with kitty-toys while lying on his owner’s couch, and spitting a mouse onto their sleeping face.  “I’ve been sizing you up, calculating your every move,” Winters shares as he peers from a cat-condo and rides a Roomba.  “You think this is love?  This is a billion years of tiger DNA, waiting to pounce!” Eventually a faucet left running by the Winters-cat overflows the sink, causing the upstairs bathroom to collapse down to the floor below.  His feline agenda is proceeding nicely…

If you have the wrong type of insurance, you could be stuck coughing up the cash for this,” advises Winters as he coughs up bird feathers by a now vacant cage. “So get Allstate, and you could be better protected from Mayhem, like meow,” he closes, dipping his fingers into a cat-food bowl bearing the name “Mayhem,” and laughing in a rather sinister fashion, his outfit complete with a collar and tag…the devil is in the details, you see!

 

 

 

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!)

 

“Preacher” vs. Furries…

August 18, 2019

(Advisory:  some mature content)

AMC’s show Preacher  is one of the most over-the-top shows on television, outrageous yet compelling, and definitely not for children, those easily offended, or squeamish about blood and violence.  The series is complex and twisted, and so I won’t begin to attempt to explain it here; it even has Hitler and a likable vampire as recurring characters!  At any rate, in the Deviant episode of the current season (Season 4, Episode 3), central character Jesse Custer enters DeSade’s House of Entertainment to rescue a child, and winds up fighting and prevailing against a small army within that included furries, people costumed as anthropomorphic animals. 

The fight scene was extended, epic, and spectacular, beginning with fists and progressing from there to blunt objects, then knives, and finally guns.  Preacher Jesse was victorious, of course, because it is after all, his show!  I’m not quite comfortable with the portrayal of furries on the episode and I’ve seen far better fursuits,  but it was all intended to be outrageous in keeping with the general tone of the series, which has previously given us the divinity in a Dalmatian suit…

  

 

 

IHOP’s “Surprise Attack” Trojan Chicken!

July 31, 2019

Well, most of us are familiar with the Trojan War, ended when the wily ancient Greeks rolled an enormous wooden horse secretly loaded with soldiers up to the impenetrable city gates of Troy.  The Trojans, revering horses, thought that the gigantic horse was a gift from their defeated foe, and so rolled it inside of their city where after dark the advance Greek force descended, opening the gates and allowing the full Greek army to launch a devastating surprise nocturnal attack.  It was then game over…

…now imagine that the Greeks had crafted a gigantic chicken for their attack device rather than a horse, and you have the premise of this IHOP (International House of Pancakes) commercial done in period costume.  Possibly the Trojans would have doubled over with laughter, rendering them incapable of defending their fabled city (“Stop, you’re killing me!”). But no, the soldiers within the great chicken are wondering why they are sneaking into Troy rather than heading over to IHOP to enjoy some nice chicken and pancakes or waffles…make dinner, not war, you know…and pass the pancake syrup, please!  A Trojan soldier even hears the Greek soldiers conversing within and questions the giant chicken, to which the Greek strike force leader replies in (-what else?) a chicken voice, complete with squawks!  Then the great chicken reverses course and hastens to an IHOP, colliding with cars parked there, and totally out of time and space.  That should make for interesting reading on the insurance claims, but I worry about a rift in the time-space continuum…

Brad Pitt as Achilles is nowhere present in this fractured version of the Trojan War, although if he chickened out it was probably at the IHOP, and certainly not the battlefield.  Homer (not Simpson) sure didn’t write this Iliad…

 

Chantix’s “Paddleboard Turkey”

July 27, 2019

Well, everybody’s heard about the bird…the Chantix turkey, that is! And while I’m aware that the turkey is paddleboarding rather than surfing, they missed a great chance to use 1963’s Surfin’ Bird by the Trashmen as the sound track for this commercial!

Now there was foreshadowing for this commercial in the last one when we saw the turkey getting out his flip-flops, knocking them together, arranging seashells, and looking at beach scenes on his phone. We shoulda seen this coming, folks. And as I’ve said before, this turkey has a better life than I do. He even returns from his beach visit in the coolest little convertible vehicle that suits him perfectly!

In my twisted mind, I can see Peter Griffin from Family Guy either getting into a dance-off or perhaps a fistfight with the turkey. And like Peter Griffin, “I dream of an America where everybody knows that the bird is the word.” Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow!

Liberty Mutual’s “Zoltar”

July 24, 2019

Some of you may remember those creepy but cool, coin-operated fortune-telling booths from years ago that featured a glass booth enclosing most often a stereotypic gypsy, witch, mystic, or psychic seer. You simply dropped a quarter into the booth’s coin slot, and the costumed character’s crystal ball lit up, he or she made a few robotic movements, and the booth spit out a slip of paper with your supposed fortune on it, usually something general enough that it would apply to almost anyone.

Well, in this Liberty Mutual commercial, we are shown such a fortune-telling booth in an unusual outdoor location overlooking the Statue of Liberty, undoubtedly symbolic of Liberty Mutual. Such booths were usually housed indoors in arcades. When a lady drops a coin into this fortune teller, the robotic seer, Zoltar, intones that great fortune will find the woman when she allows Liberty Mutual to customize her insurance, permitting her to pay for only what she needs. Grateful for this info, the woman asks Zoltar how she could ever thank him. Eerily, the mechanical seer swivels his head towards her, and mentions that maybe she could “Free Zoltar.”  Well, there’s a convenient button for this purpose on the front of the booth which the woman depresses.  Instantly the walls of the booth drop, revealing our seer clad in colorful shorts and seated atop a unicycle!  He cries “Thanks lady!” and pedals away, a bag held in each hand, and calls for a taxi…

I love happy endings!  Perhaps someday someone will free the fortune-telling Elvis that I’ve seen awaiting business out of a booth…

 

“Cats;” Two Paws Up…

July 21, 2019


  

“Cats,” the movie version based on the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical upcoming in December of 2019, promises to be one of those things that you will either love, or passionately hate.  Previously the studio had released little information about the film other than that it was coming out in December.  A trailer is now available of the film, and reactions run to polarizing extremes with either praise or excoriation .

“This is not a cat,” huffs one, “this is an abomination!”  Other descriptions have included the terms horrifying and terrifying.  Why, you may ask, do some people freak out so badly over the early images from Cats?  The answer might lie in the fact that they are not comfortable with the idea of anthropomorphic animals, which in this case involves a blend of live action and CGI animation.  The cats in Cats have human mouths, teeth, and lips blended in with their furry faces along with human hands, and this seems to creep some people out to no end.  Some of the cats wear clothing and others do not, with the female felines who do not showing breast swellings.  The cats also have tails that move and sway, which seems to have phallic connotations for some viewers.  Anthropomorphic representations of the animal characters also seemed to disturb viewers of the Sonic (the Hedgehog) movie.

Those things being said, the cats of Cats move with ballet-like feline grace and are quite engaging once disbelief and initial astonishment is suspended; they show distinct personalities and a variety of moods.  The cats are shrunk down to their appropriate proportional size in their environments, and are not human-sized even if bearing some human features.  The cast is stellar, and includes Taylor Swift, Jennifer Hudson, Idris Elba, and even Ian McKellan…yes, the actor who played Magneto is playing a cat!  When Jennifer Hudson opens up with her powerhouse voice to sing Memories, time seems to stand still.

I’m hardly objective about all of this, being a furry myself.  I could fit easily into this world, but I can understand the discomfort of those who cannot.  This is entertainment, after all…consider it as something different, not as an affront to reality; you may like it, and it might even grow on you.  Cats the movie is likely to be a big hit for the holidays, with viewers likely to love it, hate it, or simply shrug and say, “that was weird.” Such was the reaction to the original musical, which ultimately became wildly popular.  A tale based upon anthropomorphic cats who sit about introducing themselves until one of them dies is weird by nature, and likely to provoke fur-vor on both sides…